Re: [gardeners] killing roses

Marianne Lepa (
Tue, 21 Jul 1998 11:51:41 -0400

At 07:26 AM 7/21/98 +0000, Liz wrote:
>The more I find out about old garden roses the more mystified I am by 
>the popularity of hybrid teas and floribundas.  There are old garden 
>roses of every size and shape (when was the last time you looked at a 
>hybrid tea and thought the bush, not the flowers, was lovely and 
>graceful?), that require almost no pruning, insecticides, fungicides 
>or fertilizer.  It's not that hybrid teas and other modern roses are 
>bad -- it's that they are fussy.  I'm too lazy to keep them.

Right you are Liz. I love the OGR's and, a teeny misguided passion for mini
roses aside, I wouldn't want to be bothered with any other. My collection
includes R. rugosa, R. rugosa alba, Apothecary's (R. gallica
'Officinalis'), a Damask type 'Madame Hardy', and an Alba type (that's
actually pink) 'Konigen von Danemark'. If I had the space and the $$ I'd
have a million more. I do next to nothing for these roses besides a light
pruning back of damaged branches every spring and a shovel load of compost
every fall. Even in our climate they usually don't need winter protection.
For all that effort I get back a dramatic and beautiful display of
*fragrant* roses every June and a nice harvest of rose hips in September. 

I would definitely recommend you give the OGR's a try Alice, I think you'll
be delighted. The only caution I'd give is that the rugosa types will
sucker like mad in good garden soil. Containing them can be a problem. Mine
grow in a hedge bordered by the house on one side and lawn on the others. I
don't bother trying to grow anything else with them. 

Southeastern Ontario AgCan zone 5b