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In my first life in the real world, I retired as a designer after 35 years in the business, with the last 10 providing major design services for a home renovation contractor and builder. When the real estate market crashed, I retired. I still keep a hand in that world by taking on the occasional client, usually a real estate staging or a small reno.

In my "second life", I mostly drink tea and grow roses and work as a volunteer vet tech with my local animal shelter and spay neuter clinic. It keeps me busy and off the streets. It's a heck of a lot more rewarding dealing with homeless and needy animals than most people! I also volunteer as a tutor in literacy programs and aid in fundraising to assist with finding a cure for Multiple Sclerosis.

I've been growing roses for over 40 years in the sticky goop/hard concrete of Southern acidic clay. At one time, it was well into the triple digits of HTs. Ive been downsizing and downfussing for a while. Presently, I grow about 300, with most of them no spray easy care ones suitable for the South. I still maintain some HTs on life support and trial a few new ones every year, but most permanant new additions to my garden have been antiques from the china, noisette, tea, polyantha, "shrub", and hybrid musk categories.

My top 10 recommended varieties for rose newbies (zones 6b+) would include:

New Dawn-- a large pink climber
White Dawn-- a large white climber
Dortmund--a large red climber
The Fairy a small to medium light pink shrub
Belindas Dream--a pink shrub rose that looks like a HT
Carefree Beauty--medium pink shrub
Prosperity--white hybrid musk with great SCENT, large shrub/climber
Lady Hillingdon-- an apricot REAL tea rose, with real TEA scent
Mutabilis-- a large shrub with single blooms that change color
Louis Phillipe-- a crimson red china that grows well with no help whatsoever

Theres probably different ones that are at the top of the list on a day to day basis, but these are easy to grow and very forgiving, with lots of rewards for very little effort.

I live in: United States

My zone is: 8a Mississippi

First registered on June 11, 2002 .