I have always admired roses. Over the years I have planted lots of roses, but always felt disappointed that they never looked the way that I had hoped they would for my garden. I pictured these beautiful roses on arbors, going up a tree or just this mass of fragrant flowers on this huge healthy bush. I started finding roses to be high maintenance and not worth the effort. I really did not care for or have the time for using sprays to control diseases.
Several years ago, I worked at a customer's home where she had beautiful roses trained on the side of her house. They were even growing up and over the roof. These were the roses that I wanted in my garden. I also had admired the roses that I had seen in several books written by P. Allen Smith. He wrote about the "New Dawn" rose in the book and I thought I would give it a try. I placed an order for it and waited for it's arrival. When it came it was small but what a fast grower. The picture above shows the rose in it's third year in the garden. Each year it gets bigger and better. Naturally I did purchase a second one for the garden last year.
"New Dawn" is a climbing rose that was patented in 1930 (the very first rose to get a patent) and it grows in zones 5-10. It has fragrant pale pink double blossoms in early summer that really puts on a good show of flowers. It also is a repeat bloomer. "New Dawn" has glossy foliage on canes that can grow to 25 feet. What I really like is that it is low maintenance and disease resistant. It also provides rose hips for winter interest and food for the squirrels and birds.
I now have changed my view of growing roses. I look for old garden roses and species roses that grow on their own root systems. I look for plants that are disease resistant, low maintenance and vigorous growers. Living in a home that is over 100 years old, I think that old roses work best for my landscape. I just ordered two more roses for the garden this year. One is "Cecile Brunner" and the other is "Buff Beauty". I guess the right roses can change your mind on growing roses.
The Creative Gardener