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Damask (or similar) roses for a Bay area beginner?

8 years ago

I am in the Bay area of California (USDA zone 9, Sunset zone 15) and brand new to growing roses, i.e. have never grown one before. I finally have some space to grow some, and am pining for the kind we had around growing up. I'm given to understand they were damask roses? All I know is they are the ones with highest concentrations of the "rose oil" and had a very strong, typical rose fragrance to them. They weren't traditionally considered the most beautifully or tightly formed to look at, and were pinkish-red in color. They were also used to make "gulkand" -- a kind of a sweetened rose petal jam/preserve.

Can anyone guide me to further information about these kind of roses, and if they are suitable for a beginner to grow? Would there be any particular types that are better suited to my area? Also, any peculiarities in requirements, problems to look out for, etc. would be great to know. I know we have a great nursery nearby that specializes in roses (Regan nursery in Fremont) but they seem to sell them bareroot, and I guess the season to buy and grow them has passed for this year.

Alternatively, I'd also love to know additional suggestions for other roses that might have a similar profile and strength of fragrance.

Thank you in advance!

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