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Many questions about varieties....

Posted by melissa_thefarm NItaly (My Page) on
Thu, Feb 2, 12 at 13:25

While the weather turns polar I'm entertaining myself with planning a fantasy order from Petrovic roses in Serbia for this fall. Lord knows what my garden will look like by the end of the summer, but if all my recently planted babies die of drought at least I'll have plenty of planting room. (I'll have room if they don't die, too. I've got it worked out.) So, to start, can you tell me anything about the following old/older HTs: 'Kaiserin Auguste Viktoria', 'La France', 'Lady Sylvia' (and 'Ophelia')--both non-climbing forms--'Cynthia Brooke', 'Lady Belper', and 'Marchioness of Salisbury'? Also, your experiences with 'Lady Mary Fitzwilliams', which I grew from cuttings. The other varieties will all come grafted, but of course, I like to propagate from cuttings, so your experiences with ownroot plants are solicited. As to my conditions, we have heavy clay soil, full sun, hot dry summers, wet chilly winters--usually!--and we don't water after the first year. Fungal diseases are not much of a problem here. I don't expect HTs to be frugal and easy to grow, and these might be starvelings for me, I'm aware.
I hope to back with questions about other classes a little later. Those will come in other posts.
Thanks to you all.
P.S. 'Fantasy order' means that I'm seriously considering making an order, but probably won't be doing so until this fall. My current research is therefore to a considerable extent entertainment.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Many questions about varieties....

I am in No Cal, so a similar climate to yours, except a bit warmer. The only one on your list that I have is La France. I bought it about 20 years ago, and it has been in a half wine barrel on our patio ever since. I never spray it, and only throw on some osmocote and compost once a year, when I prune it. It has been reasonably healthy, and has the most lovely delicate elegant flowers.

We did have a climbing La France when we moved in here (1989), that my Father-In-Law told me he remembered from his childhood (he grew up in our house, and was born in 1913). So, it was very long lived. It was great - growing up into trees with NO CARE at all for at least 30 years. Unfortunately we killed it in our first year here, when totally ignorant. We were in a bad drought and had water rationing, and my DH cleverly put a large barrel in our basement under the bathroom to catch the water from the shower drain, which he then had going out into the garden via a gravity fed hose & then to a soaker hose. Unfortunately, the soaker hose was too close to the LF, and it got drowned. That's why I bought the bush version that is now on the patio - I liked the flowers.


RE: Many questions about varieties....

Melissa, I have KA Viktoria on order. It will arrive this spring. I posted a question about it and received some "negative" (for lack of a better way to word it) comments on HTs grown on their own roots. I was told it's kind of a 3/4 tea and so I decided to try it anyway. Hoovb posted some really nice pictures of the climbing version. I was told it's very slow to get going but worth the wait.

I don't know if this is helpful but imo some information is better than no information.

Here is a link that might be useful: KA Viktoria post

RE: Many questions about varieties....

Jackie and gardenatlanta, thanks for the feedback. Garden, I do have that dry summer heat that some fussy roses require, and at a low purchase price am willing to try risky roses, though I wish I had more really good positions to offer them. As Gean said in the KAV post, a lot of the issue with roses with a lot of Tea in them is whether they get summer heat. This is a problem I'm familiar with from my years gardening in western Washington. HTs are worth trying on their own roots if you can get cuttings; you never know what's going to work unless you try.

RE: Many questions about varieties....

I've tried HTs on their own roots. I have a philosophical preference for roses grown that way, though I am not inflexible about it. (I don't like tree roses either for similar reasons.)

In my limited experience there are HTs that do fine that way, and others that are wimpy weaklings without the support of a more robust rootstock. You just have to experiment -- or piggyback off someone else's experience.

Here in my garden Oklahoma has done beautifully on its own.


RE: Many questions about varieties....

And man, that is a rose I want. It's available in Europe, but not common. I think it might do well in Italy, and I've lusted after it for years.
I share your preference for own root roses (and aversion to tree roses). I've never done much with HTs, but am perfectly ready to believe that some do well own root and others poorly. With the varieties I'm asking about, who can say? But rose buying is experimentation.
Thanks for the input.

RE: Many questions about varieties....

My mother grew KAV at 3000 feet and further inland than here and hence colder winter, and it did very well for her. I think it has beautiful flowers.

I have a very young La France and LOVE the blooms and fragrance. Mine is own-root and small and in your situation you might want to baby this rose a little; it's worth it.

Good luck and have fun!


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