Thoughts on these roses for my zone?

zaphod42October 13, 2011

Browsing through Heirloom's website and was wondering about these and their suitability for zone 5b in southeast Wisconsin.

Distant Thunder



Pretty Jessica

Gentle Hermione


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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Pretty Jessica has a high rating, three stars, on disease resistant and winter hardiness (from Chicago Botanical Garden six years survey). It's also relatively thornless and smells better than Gentle Hermione or Portmeirion. Champlain and John Davis get 4 stars in that survey.

Here is a link that might be useful: Chicago Botanic Survey on Shrub Roses

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 10:14AM
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Have never seen that survey. Thanks for the resource!

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 2:02PM
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kentstar(5b, NE Ohio)

My Pretty Jessica survived all winter potted in my shed! And we get pretty darned cold and icey!
She is now planted in the ground. But, yes, she is disease free and very hardy here. Don't know about the rest

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 5:11PM
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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

The only rose from your list that I grow is Gentle Hermione - I've had her for two years and been very pleased with her. She has been winter hardy for me in my zone 5 garden and very disease resistant, as well as a pretty good re-bloomer.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 5:41PM
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stlgal(south z5)

Have been thinking about Pretty Jessica--sounds like it would work here (a few zone 6a-like microclimates in zone 5b).

Let me know if any of you can speak to the winter hardiness of:
Star of the Nile
Louise Clements
April Love
Wise Portia
Lady of the Mist
Lady Jane Grey
Liv Tyler
Frederic Mistral
Yves Piaget
Sonia Rykiel

I'm considering all of them from the form and fragrance angle but a bit concerned about survival over winter.

    Bookmark   October 14, 2011 at 11:34PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Stlgal: Your last post on Austins helped me a lot. Among the ones you listed above: I saw Louise Clements posted by someone from zone 4. I grow Wise Portia, IT IS A MUST FOR AUSTIN LOVERS. The scent is very pleasant, in cooler weather it's stronger than Eglantyne. It was still blooming with 2 hours of sun (my house shaded it in late fall). If I had placed it in full sun, it would beat Knock-out. I saw Frederic Mistral at the rose park nearby, blooming like crazy in cold and wet fall weather, zero balling. Its upper branches are thornless.

Krista grows Liv Tyler. I checked on it: needs protection in winter (mounding soil), smells like apricot.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 11:20AM
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Terry Crawford

I'm in Zone 5 central Illinois and I grow several on the list without any winter protection other than wood mulch in their beds and the random leaves that blow in. All are own-root from various sources including RU, Heirloom, and others. They are not cane-hardy, but by the end of May the bushes are robust and blooming their heads off.

I grow 'Pretty Jessica, Distant Thunder, Louise Clements, Lady of the Mist (climber and needs a tripod.... colors are fantastic and unbelievable!), & Star of the Nile.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 12:28PM
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stlgal(south z5)

Thanks to you both for the advice--it is so helpful to hear what people can actually grow here in the midwest w/o winter protection as it is impossible to tell from what's written on the web. Sounds like I should try a number of these as I can make space. Wise Portia is a gorgeous color--the site I have says it forms a 3.5 foot continuously blooming bush. As long as that's accurate I have several spots that will work. Especially if it can take one of the shadier locations--they still get a lot, but I reserve the full southern exposure for the heat&sun lovers. I think that must make this year's final cut! Sounds like many of the Heirloom ones may be similar to Austins in hardiness, while some of the others on my list that are basically hybrid teas may be too wimpy for me, as I don't want to winter protect.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 12:51PM
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Frederic Mistral is hardy for me. Even though it's classed as a Hybrid Tea, it grows larger and has less dieback than some Hybrid Teas. I do mound a little mulch at the base of the rose, but I never worry about it surviving through winter.

Liv Tyler is new to the garden, but with the substantial vigor it's shown already, I don't anticipate a problem with it through winter.

Gentle Hermione is hardy, but it has an unusual fragrance that is not to everyone's taste. I did not keep mine for this reason.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 1:23PM
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stlgal(south z5)

Maybe I can include them then--they look gorgeous and are listed as being very fragrant! I'm not adverse to putting on a little mulch around the base, but the year that I mounded with soil I decided that was more work than I wanted to do annually, and from then on I've just seen what makes it without help (which is all of the Austins). I see this year's order size increasing! My garden is southern facing and so usually behaves like a slightly warmer micro-climate anyway. Thanks for that info.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2011 at 1:54PM
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jim_w_ny(Zone 5a)

The article from the Chicago Garden is a great addition.

Now it was not obviously meant to include roses from other breeders. However I want to bring up Kordes roses that I have found to be very superior to those from David Austin. All 9 of which I planted died. Whereas the the 60 of so Kordes roses I grow are still with me.

Kordes� location in Norhthern Germany sites them in a place where hardiness is a factor in the their breeding selection. And they have been at it for at least 80 years. Two of my best K�s , Karl Forster and Eutin, where introduced in 1928 and 1930.

Some of the good ones are Illusion, Dortmund, Westerland, Robusta, Fritz Nobis, Rosarium Uetersen and the very best a relatively unknown rose Eutin. Many others that don�t come in mind on the spur of the�

This summer I waw a Robusta in a public garden in Maine that made mine look very poor indeed spotless foliage and those brillliant red flowers. They stood out amongst the other roses.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 9:38AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Thank you, Jim, for that info. Predfern is also from my zone 5a near Chicago, and many Austins died on Predfern. Karl from zone 5a gave up on Mr. Lincoln (he tried many times) - so does the rose park nearby us (they grow Chrysler Imperial instead). It's really hard to find a fragrant and robust RED rose for zone 5a. Thanks for your recommendations.

    Bookmark   October 18, 2011 at 10:21AM
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jim_w_ny(Zone 5a)

I can't find a good red HT. I think the problem is that HT's don't possess the toughness of a shrub rose. Rhode Island Red is sort of close.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 7:15AM
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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

I've grown Fredric Mistral for a number of years and found him to be hardy, a beautiful and fragrant bloomer, and quite disease resistant. Another magnificent rose whose bloom is similar to Fredric Mistral is the Buck rose Quietness - a gorgeous, disease-free (for me), hardy generous bloomer. It's still blooming up a storm in my garden while many of the roses are pouting about the wet cold nights.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 8:44AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Jim, I love my Veterans' Honor. It very vigorous, winter hardy and blooms a lot. The blooms are huge and they will last on the bush for a week or more and in a vase for 5 or 6 days. It will spot if not sprayed though. Another one that the people in my rose society all seem to love is Let Freedom Ring.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2011 at 6:59PM
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predfern(z5 Chicago)

Speaking of Kordes roses, does anyone know if Buxom Beauty will survive in zone 5a without protection? How about Folklore?
Liv Tyler, Frederic Mistral and Yves Piaget all died on me.
Pretty Jessica survives but doesn't bloom much (although it only gets morning sun).
Tradescant is a vigorous, fragrant dark red rose. Griff's Red thrives in zone 5a but the fragrance is not very strong.
Gentle Hermione is definitely hardy but the fragrance is bad.
Sonia Rykiel survives the winter and the blooms are to die for. Got mine at Roses Unlimited.
I have heard that Sheila's Perfume is hardy and fragrant...
Any of the Brownell roses thrive in zone 5?

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 12:24AM
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flaurabunda(6a, Central IL)

I gotta give a 2nd thumbs up to Veterans' Honor as well. It's a real "wow!" rose when people walk up to the front door.

A couple of things to note: that Chicago study was started in 1990 and printed in 1997 after 6 years of observation, so the data is 14 years old. I keep trying to find more recent information from the CBG, but it's like pulling teeth.

Another note is that they are in 5b, not 5a. Most of Chicago is 5b according to the 3 different zone maps I just checked.

I have Folklore downstate in both my garden and my parents' garden. It is truly spectacular; quite a site planted next to About Face.

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 11:58AM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Hi Predfern, I'm so glad to hear from you. I always look to you for guidance as to what would survive in our erratic Chicago's weather. Thanks for recommending Tradescant (Paul Barden reported its fragrance matching Mr. Lincoln). I'll place Tradescant on my list for next year's planting, and will consider Sonia Rykiel (how's the fragrance?)

Someone also reported Pretty Jessica as slow to rebloom - must be those packed petals. Thanks, Seil, for recommending Veteran's Honor (your picture at Rose Gallery is awesome). I smelled hardy Chrysler Imperial at the rose park and didn't like it.

Here's a link from University of Vermont: "We are testing some of these hardy roses at the University of Vermont Horticulture Research Center, zone 4b, which gets on the average -20 to -25 degrees F in the winter." That sounds like my zone 5a Chicago area!

Here is a link that might be useful: Hardy roses for zone 4b, or zone 5a unprotected

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 12:01PM
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jim_w_ny(Zone 5a)

Karen mentioned Quietness. Curious I tried to look it up in my books. Not in any of the 4 that I looked in, ARS, Botanica, The Ultimate and The Right rose.

Sounds interesting. What about it Karen??

    Bookmark   October 20, 2011 at 6:12PM
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predfern(z5 Chicago)

Sonia Rykiel also has a great fragrance. Note: Generosa roses are only marginally hardy in zone 5a so proceed with caution. If Sonia works out then try Madame Paule Massad

Quietness is a great Buck rose. If the fragrance were a bit stronger it would be perfect. It is available at Roses Unlimited (they introduced and named it).

Here is a link that might be useful: Quietness

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 12:27AM
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stlgal(south z5)

Does anyone on this thread grow Polka? It is an apricot climber that is supposed to have good fragrance and rebloom and might be just the thing for a spot I have. But I'm wondering if the catalog description is accurate.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 4:15PM
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strawchicago 5a IL(zone 5a)

Thank you, Predfern for fragrance info. on Sonia Rykiel. I'm spoiled by Radio Times and Mary Magadalene's fragrances, so I only buy roses that please my nose. LOL!

There are other factors that affect hardiness besides planting zone. I agree with Karenforroses from zone 5, Northern Michigan. She wrote "I think the wind does more damage than the cold. If I were in your situation I'd be sure to put them in a sheltered spot away from the wind, and a spot where they won't get a lot of direct sun, to avoid freezing and thawing."

We got down to 30 degree at night this week, and Eglantyne in a windy spot, was the first to suffer. In winter, it's the sudden freezing and thawing that kills plants. I received wintering info. from Heirloom Gardens (where I ordered my spring bulbs). They wrote: "If you are blessed with a deep, reliable snow cover, you can grow bulbs a zone or even two beyond what we recommend. Winter mulch with a thick layer of a fluffy, non-matting material such as straw, evergreen branches, or pine needles."

The snow also provides moisture that plants need for the winter. Austin roses are such water-hogs that High Country Roses recommends watering them once or twice in the winter. Where I am 1 hour west of Chicago: high wind, sudden freeze-thaw, dry winter with little snow - I play it safe (thanks for the caution, Predfern). Where I grew up near Grand Rapids, MI - there was lots of snow, little wind, and it was warmer with the moisture - Austins stand a better chance of survival.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 12:10PM
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karenforroses(z5 NorthernMI)

Stigal, I grow Polka on a split rail fence in the orchard with honeysuckle - don't winterize it and don't spray it, and it remains hardy and disease free for me. It's a lovely rose - soft apricot & light fragrance. Not an all-summer-long bloomer, but 3 or 4 flushes throughout the growing season.
Jim, Quietness is one of my favorite roses, and since I grow about 180 roses, that says a lot for Quietness. It isn't big on fragrance, but beautiful huge soft pink blooms that keep on blooming all season long and is almost disease free in my garden. I mound pine bark mulch at her base in the fall just to make myself feel better - she probably doesn't need it. I loved it so much I bought a second one - a really great rose.



Quietness with bud

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 3:57PM
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stlgal(south z5)

Thanks so much for the picture and information on Polka--looks like a really lovely rose as does Quietness! I think that may work very well in this spot! I agree with everything that Strawberryhill has to say about the weather and roses too. Dry and windy conditions do more damage than actual cold temperatures--that is where I lose canes. I try to send the Austins into winter very well watered by keeping the system on as long as I can before we hit a time of hard freeze. Some years there are also wild swings of weather in the spring and the roses get going and get frozen back more than once. Having to leaf out multiple times takes a lot of their energy, but you always have to expect the unexpected in the Midwest for weather.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2011 at 4:36PM
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