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Help me choose some Buck roses

Posted by ispahan 6a Chicago (My Page) on
Tue, Nov 27, 12 at 22:59

Without a doubt, the star performer of all of my roses during the 2012 season has been the Buck rose 'Quietness'. Planted as a two gallon own root specimen from Antique Rose Emporium in late October 2011, it survived winter without so much as a whimper or even losing a leaf (our winter was warm but with multiple freeze-thaw cycles). The plant sprung to life early in the spring and began growing steadily, symmetrically and healthily all season into the perfectly shaped, gracefully balanced 4 foot by 4 foot bush it is now. Blooms were lovely, abundant and nearly continuous with a moderate, pleasant fragrance. The extreme heat, humidity and dryness of this past summer did not seem to phase it. And best of all, the foliage remained healthy all season, without showing even the slightest hint of blackspot or mildew. I have high hopes for this rose for next year.

That said, I would like to add more Buck cultivars to my garden. Based on researching old threads here on GardenWeb, I have put together some ideas of those I think I would like.

Health, own root vigor, winter resilience (ability to spring back rapidly and bloom after winter) and good blooming habits are more important to me than color or fragrance. Blooms that fade or blow rapidly are not a problem as long as the other traits match my wish list.

I live in a very sheltered microclimate of urban Chicago along the Lake Michigan shore, firmly zone 6a but often 6b. My soil is slightly alkaline but most roses seem to thrive in this area when properly cared for. I do not and will not spray.

Here is my list of PROBABLY cultivars (those I will order unless someone talks me out of it):
Earth Song
Prairie Harvest
Prairie Sunrise
Winter Sunset
Griff's Red
Aunt Honey
Honeysweet (hardiness an issue with this one?)

And here are some groups of cultivars I am having trouble deciding between (is there is clear winner in these groups, or would it be worthwhile to have more than one?:)

1. Prairie Star vs. Paloma Blanca
2. Golden Unicorn vs. Pearlie Mae vs. Gentle Persuasion
3. Hawkeye Belle vs. Les Sjulin
4. Country Dancer--sufficiently different from the other pinks above?
5. Prairie Breeze--is this a pink or a mauve?
6. Enchanted Autumn--there are reports of this being fussy?
7. Iobelle--also fussy?
8. Carefree Beauty, Applejack--reliable but too huge?
9. Any others I am overlooking?

Please feel free to share all comments and advice concerning your experiences with Buck roses. I will probably settle on 10-12 total to plant next spring.

I look forward to hearing what you all recommend. It is so hard to make decisions based on catalogue descriptions and photos of individual blooms!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

  • Posted by alameda 8 - East Texas (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 27, 12 at 23:26

I love the Bucks. Of your list, Carefree Beauty, Earthsong, Winter Sunset, Prairie Harvest, Griff's Red, Aunt Honey and Honeysweet [LOVE this one - unusual, gorgeous color!] are all good for me. I love Folksinger when it first buds out - but it fades. Still grow and like it. I love Prairie Sunrise, but it will blackspot so might not work for you.

A couple you didnt mention that I LOVE are Bright Melody and Dorcas - I just ordered 2 more Dorcas because I love it so much. It rivals Belindas Dream in my opinion. I just bought alot of Bucks from a nursery clearing out a bunch of roses, so have a great group to grow for next spring. Barn Dance, a pink, is blooming its head off right now and is quickly becoming one of my new favorites. Spanish Rhapsody and Habanero are both very nice, as are Country Squire, Countryman Country Dancer. Cinnamon Spice and Mary Susan are unusual colored, sort of russet tones that I love. You would like Dawn Star, similiar to Quietness [which I also have and love]. Prairie Breeze is not totally mauve, but has a mauve cast to it and is one of the first roses to bloom always. Do Si Do and Malaguena are growing next to each other in a front yard bed and look beautiful together. My Enchanted Autumn hasnt been fussy for me. Love the color. I just got 3 Amiga Mias and they were all blooming well. I have Golden Unicorn - love the color when first blooms open - it fades and not much shape to the flower, but love it anyway. Winter Sunset is simply lovely, as is Pearlie Mae.

I have found Golden Princess and Blue Skies and Silver Shadows to be wimps and dont grow them anymore. My suggestion is to get advice from this thread, then just try some. Pick colors you like, plant them well and see how they do. If they dont please you, plenty more to choose from.

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

I have Praire Star and Blue skies but they are both new to me this year, got them in the spring. They are both growing and blooming wonderful for me so far though, beatiful flowers.I'm new to own-roots this year but hope this helps

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

Carefree Beauty is one of my fav's. Some folks report that it gets black spot and other issues in their area - but not an issue with me so far. It appeals on several levels - the bush is draping/drooping and the flowers are blowzy and a vibrant pink. Plus, it has a cinnamon fragrance (to me). You may consider Distant Drums. It seems to be a love or hate rose color. I love it. It needs to be planted close to appreciate the subtlety.

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

When I grew Serendipity in the Deep South, it was obvious that the Siberian threads in its makeup exerted considerable influence on the plant's constitution. The rose was definitely happier in late Autumn than it was in Summer. I wondered, then, and still wonder, how it would do farther north.

As usual, I loved the color, saw 'Griffith Buck' on the label, and bought every one the garden center had in stock. Seven years later, all survive under the care of that garden's new owners.

The bush itself is open and insubstantial. But during the first grand Spring bloom, it causes a neighborhood sensation. Buds begin starting in Coral, then Salmon, then blooms fading through a succession of Peach, Apricot, and Seashell. When the light hits the blooms just right, they give the impression of a flock of big, puffy birds. And the form/color of the opening buds sent the neighbors into absolute raptures.

The scent is fruity, reasonably strong, and lasts for the life of the bloom.

I'm tempted to grow Serendipity up here. But Chicago may better present the temperature extremes the plant seems to crave. It was prone to Blackspot for me, and needed incessant pruning of its lesser branches. I'd love to know how the plant behaves in the Upper Midwest.

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

plan9fromposhmadison.....I have Serendipity in my Z4 garden & it, along with Prairie Harvest, are 2 Dr Buck roses that I have a love/hate feeling towards. What I dislike about S & PH is I swear both of these roses have a daylily gene in them. Their blooms only look good for one day in hot weather & 2 in cool weather, they wilt & fade out easily. But the things I like about both are their hardiness & their fragrance. Both set a lot of blooms & they have a really good fragrance so I often just go out & stand next to them to smell their fragrance when in bloom.

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

Prairie Harvest is resistant to blackspot for me and most folks but does get cercospora spot. I( haven't seen cercospora reported as a big problem in the upper Midwest.

Hawkeye Belle vs. Les Sjulin--for me HB was quite susceptible to blackspot, LS was resistant but got some cercospora spot. HB flower lasts longer. LS repeats faster. Scent of HB was unpleasant to my nose, but the flower is very good otherwise.

Get Country Dancer; it is a good one.

Applejack is reported to have little or no repeat bloom, but I haven't grown it.

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

I grow Distant Drums along with Quietness. Distant Drums is not anywhere near as vigorous as Quietness (frankly the only other rose I've ever grown that IS is New Dawn) but I find it lovely.

The blooms change if not hour to hour than certainly day to day. I find the colors charming.

Super healthy, if somewhat slow (though certainly NOT the slowest) own-root growth.

A few photos are in my Flickr:

Just 1 for here...


Here is a link that might be useful:

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 28, 12 at 20:45

My Winter Sunset has been a wonderful rose.

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

  • Posted by TNY78 7a-East TN (My Page) on
    Wed, Nov 28, 12 at 23:13

I grow quite a few Bucks. My best performers in terms of health and rebloom are Freckles and Distant Drums. Worst are Golden Princess and Dorcus. Carefree Beauty is very BS ridden for me.

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

wirosarian, "I have Serendipity in my Z4 garden & it, along with Prairie Harvest, are 2 Dr Buck roses that I have a love/hate feeling towards. What I dislike about S & PH is I swear both of these roses have a daylily gene in them. Their blooms only look good for one day in hot weather & 2 in cool weather, they wilt & fade out easily. But the things I like about both are their hardiness & their fragrance. Both set a lot of blooms & they have a really good fragrance so I often just go out & stand next to them to smell their fragrance when in bloom."

That's a good way to put it: 'Daylily gene'. But ours always put on a traffic-stopping show, so we had no complaints. Heat and sun definitely cut the life of the blooms short, though. And you're so right about the fragrance. Just looking at these pics, I'm remembering standing in the hot Mississipppi sun, smelling that Serendipity. Ambrosial!

So, in your climate, are the colors as out-of-this-world for Serendipity as they were for me? And what has been your experience with that cultivar, in regards to Blackspot and Summer defoliation?

We learned to just let the plants lose their leaves toward the end of Spring, then water/fertilize like crazy, once the temperatures began hovering in the mid 90s. The Heat kept the blackspot down, and the water brought on new leaves and blossoms. Partial shade helps, too. But it took a ridiculous amount of dechlorinated water to keep the blooms and leaves coming. But the colors in those blossoms made the trouble worthwhile, I suppose...

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

Alameda, I was intrigued by your recommendation of Dorcas. Tried to find photos of the whole bush, and instead found something even better, a minute-and-a-half video! And it's in an 'Earth Kind' garden, so maybe that means it's not care-intensive?

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

  • Posted by alameda 8 - East Texas (My Page) on
    Thu, Nov 29, 12 at 19:24

Maybe it just does well in my climate, but I adore Dorcas. Bucks dont have much scent, but I dont care - this one is out in full hot Texas sun, is a big huge strong bush with well shaped blooms that stay on the bush a long time - I just finished deadheading another flush - and great disease resistance. I think the "dorky" name has hurt it - it is anything but dorky! Maybe not much is heard about it because it isnt grown much. Mine is in the middle of Sally Holmes and Chuckles on the other side [another fabulous, heavy blooming, beautiful rose, much underused!] and they are along a front fencline in the all day sun. They bloom all the time - the 3 of them are always putting on a show. I decided I wanted Dorcas near the house to enjoy and it was very hard to find. I get most of my Bucks at Chamblees but they didnt have it anymore. Got mine from Hortico, they are being shipped right now, so should get them in a few days. I will be sure to put my 2 Dorcas roses in a prime spot so I can enjoy their beauty. For me, this is one of Dr. Bucks very best! Give it a try! I have some photos someplace on my memory stick, but finding them is another matter. If I have time to look, in between putting up Christmas, I will post some photos. Dont overlook Bright Melody either, and you should see Barn Dance today! Covered in lovely pink blooms, big strong bush....I would like another of this. Dorcas's blooms are more well formed or "finished" - they arent loose and floppy and they remain on the bush a long time. Tough as boot leather, as we say in Texas.

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

plan9fromposhmadison...Serendipity has a nice color, although not one of my favorite rose colors, when it first opens but it rarely lasts for more than 1/2 day & then I would describe it as a "dirty pinkish-tan/white". Never had trouble with BS or defoliation on Serendipity, only Hawkeye Belle & Honey Sweet get a little BS for me....maybe we have different races of BS in our gardens. Also my Dr. Buck roses will get a little fungicide on them as I have HT's & HP's that I regularly spray and if there is any left over, I empty my sprayer on the Bucks & Easy Elegance roses.

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

I have Prairie Sunrise and it's done very well for me. We had an unusually hot summer this year with temperatures in the 90's from the end of April pretty much straight through until late August, but the heat never bothered it and it was always blooming. It's a great rose in my book!

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

I grow a number of Buck roses as you can tell from my blog (click the link to the Griffith Buck Rose entries on the right). Don't give up on Blue Skies; I don't know how it will do long term, but I love the blooms. And IoBelle has been a solid performer for me.

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Musings blog

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

Thank you everyone for your wonderful input! You have all given me so many ideas and helped me make some difficult decisions.

I have decided to order the following roses as two gallon plants from Antique Rose Emporium:

1. Earth Song
2. Folksinger

And the following as one gallon plants from Roses Unlimited:

3. Aunt Honey
4. Dorcas
5. Golden Unicorn
6. Honeysweet
7. Prairie Breeze
8. Prairie Harvest
9. Serendipity
10. Winter Sunset

There are many lovely Buck roses that I have left off of this order, apparent gems like Prairie Sunrise, Country Dancer, Freckles, Pearlie Mae, Iobelle and Carefree Beauty. I guess if any of the above selections do not work out after a reasonable amount of time, then I will have another excellent group of cultivars to select from!

I couldn't decide on a white or a red Buck rose, so in the end I chose the following:

13. Prairie Snowdrift, a semi-double white sport of the lovely Canadian explorer rose Morden Blush.
14. Firefighter, a hybrid tea said to do well on its own roots in my area.

I am so excited to see how these will perform in my garden. Thank you all again for your comments and ideas!

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

Good choices, but for the record, a well-regarded Buck rose in white is Paloma Blanca. Polonaise (pinkish red) and Queen Bee (dark red) are sometimes recommended. I can say that Prairie Valor is a disease magnet. A planting of them here died out from black spot defoliation.

RE: Help me choose some Buck roses

Thread link:

Here is a link that might be useful: New Buck Roses?

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