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Your Favorite or Best Performers This Year

I mean roses, off course. I thought we could keep it to five, with perhaps one or two runner-up roses. Mine are very predictable since so few roses have done well this year:

Le Vesuve
La France
Potter and Moore
Souvenir de la Malmaison

By next spring the line-up should be much more exciting since I have Emily, No. 92 Nanjing, Dr. O'Donel Brown, Wild Edric and five new tea roses that will hopefully all be blooming by then (especially if it finally will condescend to rain!).

I'd love to hear about your choices of what really stood out in your garden this year.


Comments (24)

  • 9 years ago

    It's been some time since i last posted.

    What stood out for me (and here I am as a broken record on repeat, repeat, repeat) as my best performers are Young Lycidas (I can't say enough good things about this rose), Yves Piaget, Jubilee Celebration, Lady Emma Hamilton, Magnificent Perfume.

    Young Lycidas--always a handful on blooms and buds on the bush while he is gearing up for his next glorious flush. I lost count on the exact number--five or six flushes since spring? Done very well in his current exposed spot of full day sun. Done well in the heat!

    Yves Piage--very quick to repeat, loaded with large, scrumptious blooms. (And finally outgrew his mildew this year with a once or twice weekly misting in the morning.) Done well in full sun, and he likes the heat.

    Jubilee Celebration--a new plant this year, but so far, very impressive, because it's been continuously blooming since spring. (Unfortunately, it has very, very thin stems, and the citrus fragrance fades after two days, but makes a long lasting cut flower.) Can't take too much sun, needs afternoon shade.

    LEH--blooms in flushes, stays reasonably compact, great fragrance etc... but can't take the sun or heat. The flowers will wilt and the leaves can be easily burned.

    Magnificent Perfume--someone described it as SdlM on steroids. I absolutely love this rose: great fragrance, floriferous flushes, beautiful and long lasting as a cut flower. (Like Yves, it finally outgrew its minor touch of rust and mildew.)

    Thought I add a pic of Yves. The shape of the bush is sinfully ugly but the flowers are really out of this world

    This post was edited by prickles on Tue, Oct 28, 14 at 15:01

  • 9 years ago

    My 2 best established roses were my Sunsprite and Nacogdoches, both were very healthy and always had blooms, Nacogdoches never ha less than 10 blooms all summer. My best new roses planted in the spring are SDLM, pink Don Juan, Evelyn and Heriitage......all have grown and bloomed all summer. My cl pinkies win for most vigourous growth, they started out in 1 gallon pots and now are huge and have already reached the top of my arbor. It hasn't bloomed much but I know next spring it is going to be a sight to behold, I have 3. But if I have to pick a favorite it is SDLM, I love love love this rose:).

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  • 9 years ago

    I am stunned to be admitting this, but wandering about at the allotment in the last rays of warmth, I caught sight of Crepuscule, loitering on the back chainlink fence. Most of this year, I have been pre-occupied with woodlands and the bindweed has had its way with Creps, almost vanishing beneath miles and miles of strangling growth. A few weeks ago, I finally got the glyphosate in use and sprayed around the roadside, back of the chainlink, walked away and forgot about it....until I was astounded by sheets and sheets of almost transparent amber blooms, mixing in with that faintly bronzed colouration of Creps foliage. Blimey - what a sight! I even gathered an armful to take home and 'arranged' it with handfuls of panicum grass (millions of little garnet seedheads). Looked almost artful.
    Which made me look around the plot a bit more carefully since traditionally, June is rose month in England.....while autumn blooms have their own charm, often overlooked in favour of the vivacious dahlias and salvias of September and October. So, June is a fading memory,,,,,but there are some gorgeous roses still to appreciate - top amongst them being the wonderfully exuberant Moonlight. I have a love/hate thing going with HMs - not that keen, to be honest, on most of the Pembertons and much prefer the tiny clusters of Louis Lens HMs....but Moonlight has always been a good doer, roots like a weed, beautiful crimson leafage and numerous flushes which get bigger and better as the season wears on.
    Wolley Dod's rose, aka pomifera 'Duplex' is also having a new lease of life - no blooms to be sure but lots and lots of glaucous downy foliage with those astonishing lush heps - burgundy coloured and sumptuous. Finally, 2 others are competing in the foliage stakes - a cantabridgiensis which has scarlet, maple coloured leaves in great graceful swaying loops (although facing the spade, if only to rescue it from invasive acanthus leaves which have colonised its base) and rosa glauca, snuggling in next to a small pink-berried rowan vilmorinii. Last of all, another rose which also had trials and tribulations this year: Madame Gregoire Staecheliin.....which spent all summer encased in scaffolding while careless roofers tramped back and forth snapping off new growth willy-nilly. Next year, we will pay for that with no blooms....but for now, there is a huge crop of glorious apple-shaped vermillion heps, almost oriental in their elegance, dangling just outside my kitchen windows.

    Growing mostly wildlings and once-bloomers, we have to look for our pleasures in different areas other than petals and scents once the autumn winds start to whip across the fens....but, in this season of berries and falling leaves, roses have surprising rewards.

  • 9 years ago

    Although all my roses did a good job of blooming in the spring after that brutal winter (and a drought the summer before), since spring, my roses just haven't done that well, and I am sorely puzzled to account for that. Perhaps long term effects of that brutal winter--several established roses just started fading away after that spring bloom and have recently been spaded as a result. It really is puzzling how roses can bloom decently in May and then decline away in the next few months. In the meantime, not any great flourish of blooms has appeared since May even on plants that are looking reasonably healthy. Is a puzzlement!

    So what kept on minimally blooming all summer and into autumn?

    Felicia--my new hybrid musk has done quite well. She is even prettier than I imagined she would be. Still quite short (by HM standards).

    Munstead Wood and Lady of Shalott--both regularly had one or two blooms on them, but no burst of blooms after May. Love the colors on both of them.

    Braveheart and Our Lady of Guadalupe--these shrubs always have a half dozen blooms or more, but the bushes were both severely pruned nearly to the ground after the brutal winter and have never fully recovered. They just haven't taken off--especially Guadalupe who is only about a foot tall now. Fortunately, the red, red blooms of Braveheart are gorgeous!

    Peter Mayle and Red Intuition seem to be my best hybrid teas this year. Although they have rest cycles, they still managed to put out several blooms regularly while the other HTs weren't doing much of anything.

    The Fairy--this polyantha is really beginning to take off. Still small, but has been perhaps the best bloomer all summer.

    Home Run--forms a short border out in front between my neighbor's property and mine. Usually puts out a good bloom--but then one --and only one--of the plants suddenly started dying and looks pretty much totally gone now. I have no idea what that is all about. Had some problems like that with a couple plants the previous summer also.

    So, mixed feelings--some plants persisted through the July-August heat and into the Fall, but others mysteriously quit blooming and in several cases just gave up the ghost. Is a puzzlement!


  • 9 years ago

    I would nominate 3 little bands that arrived in spring and just want to bloom.

    Archduke Joseph-he is busy growing and blooming, keeping me busy hunting blooms til I gave up. But many blooms are vegetative guessing that has to do with growing like mad as well.

    G. Nabonnand-still less than a foot tall but growing sideways. Seems to always have buds hidden.

    Cl Yellow Sweetheart-until the past week or so not a hint of mildew or any other issue and also a great hider of buds. Also growing well.

    Of the others, Belinda's Dream and Don Juan keep on going.

    Also, the Sweet Chariots I got from Kitty are doing wonderfully and are full of sweet blooms. I am going to start a bunch of them to pay it forward and share as well.

  • 9 years ago

    I cut this rose to the ground this spring, and spring back it did, it still has blooms on it and its almost Nov......Jens Munk.....My 2014 winner for best performance by a rose....

  • 9 years ago

    My 17 year old Stanwell Perpetual has been the best this year as so often before. Never without flowers from early June till today and hopefully longer still if the weather stays reasonably mild, 16C today (60F). Not an exciting rose perhaps but so reliable and truly perpetual. It's in the front garden so I can see it from the kitchen window.

  • 9 years ago

    What a beautiful Stanwell Perpetual!

    Best survivor of drought: Crepuscule, which went without irrigation for over a year and managed to survive and even bloom on the 5" of rain we got last season.

    Most improved: Cinco de Mayo, which I rescued off the Lowes Death Rack back in '12. Horrible in '12, Horrible in '13, vastly better this year. Next year, a possible "leap".

    Ever-reliable SDLM, Belinda's Dream, Easy Does It keep on keeping on. SDLM on multiflora was over 6' tall this year and bloomed beautifully through the heat--it even seemed to like heat better than not.

  • 9 years ago

    Seeing the beautiful picture of Stanwell Perpetual, I wonder why I never thought of growing it here. I believe it's supposed to do well in the heat and doesn't need huge amounts of water.

    Elizabeth of Goshen is quite lovely. I seem to recall I saw it somewhere, perhaps at the Chamblee's web site. Cynthia, how much sun does this rose get in your garden? I have one spot that was too shady for Bonica and I wonder if this rose would do well there.


  • 9 years ago

    Almost all my OGRs were planted this year, so I will spek about my Austins.
    St.Swithun: this rose really surprised me. She started to bloom in June, now is near November and there are still two or three blooms on her. She has never stopped blooming.
    Wedgwood rose: same story
    Heritage: this year we have rain all the time. And it clearly suits her.
    Lady Emma Hamilton

  • 9 years ago

    Welcome, Soncna! It sounds like you have some nice Austins in your yard that do well for you in Slovenia. We'll look forward to hearing more pictures and stories from your yard as the roses grow up more.

    Ingrid, Elizabeth of Goshen is under some limbed up pine trees with no more than filtered sun most of the day and maybe 2-3 hours of direct sun on a good day. To give you an idea, the hostas and other shade lovers are perfectly happy nearby. Unfortunately for you, these are shade conditions under which hostas are happy - which means plenty of water. I can't imagine a hosta doing anything in your extremely dry conditions but turning up its toes and shrieking into oblivion. Maybe that's why Bonica wasn't happy in your shade, since coincidentally my Bonica is under the same pines with an equivalent low sun condition. I'm relatively sure that roses that get plenty of water can survive and even thrive under other harsh conditions (like low light) far better than a lovingly tended rose with best possible soil (like your roses) but low to no natural water. I would have thought the pine trees would suck out the available water in the soil, but with all the pine needles composting away through the years this soil is lovely - dark, fluffy and nicely water retentive.

    Since you asked about Bonica (well, you didn't but I'll take any opportunity), I'll post a comparison picture of her under similar low light conditions (notice the hosta to the bottom left and lamium at the feet). I'm also cheating with June pictures because things are finally starting to shut down for the year after we got a good frost.


  • 9 years ago

    My best performer this year was Little White Pet, which is not surprising since it's the most established and gets the sunniest spot. I might be moving it and putting something pink in its place, though.

    I've really been craving color lately. I planted a Lofty Lady marigold next to it and have been pleasantly surprised by how much it bloomed. Lots of big fluffy yellow flowers.. It was too tall and flopped, but I'm thinking some dwarf French marigolds for that spot.

    I want a pink rose like Marie Daly or Romaggi Plot Bourbon surrounded by dwarf orange calendula or orange and bronze marigolds. Orange and pink?? What is this, the sixties?

  • 9 years ago

    Westside Road Cream Tea is my favorite rose this year, tied with Susan Louise, for fragrance, beauty of bloom and bush, and abundant performance.

    Le Pactole "The Goldmine" Noisette/Tea comes in third, for if it has a scent it has eluded me, so far.
    I do adore it, for its' feminine ruffly petals that remind me of lace, and how its' golden base blends into its' cream hue. Lots of roses, quick re-bloom with no deadheading, very pert and pretty leaves with small dark green leaflets. A plant I would admire for its leaves even if it had no flowers.

    'Susan Louise' Gigantea Hybrid bred from Belle Portugaise.
    This is a rose that is not often in commerce so I was delighted to find one available this year at the Old Rose Celebration, and for only 5 bucks!!! O.M.G. my eyes are tearing up, my heart was so touched when the vendor told me he would sell it to me for a fifth of the tag cost.
    I love it not only for the blossoms but for what the plant brings to a landscape: its a mountain of a rosebush. I've seen it grown as a 25 foot long climber on a four foot tall fence, covered with large fragrant roses that because of their thin stems nod their faces outwards so one sees the prettiest part of the rose.
    I've also admired it grown as a self supporting bush, with the lower canes removed so it has one thick trunk-like cane, forming a sillouette that appears like a 20 foot tall apple tree. A gorgeous plant that is covered with abundant foliage and lovely fragrant pink and cream roses the size of dessert plates, a rosebush that provides a vision of beauty for 12 months of the year, for it is evergreen, and very nearly truly ever-blooming. This is a rosebush that dependably produces roses on Valentines Day, May Day, Junteenth, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. It is A Rose for All Seasons.
    Gee I feel like I'm writing ad copy.
    I thought it might take me half a decade or more to find a plant and I can't wait until it grows to be like a rose tree in my front yard, with big roses dangling from the canopy like some magical plant from a fairy tale.

    'Glendora' a.k.a. Portland from Glendora
    I'm aghast to think I almost got rid of this when it was a young plant for the blooms shattered so quickly in our hot summers.
    But I found out this year that If I dead headed it right after a flush it would produce an entire extra bloom cycle each year.
    -I'm glad I kept it for it has a good and strong damask type scent.
    -and even the sepals are adorable.


  • 9 years ago

    I love your list Lux. I wish you had photos. My Glendora is new and the other 3 are on my wish list. (Westside was ordered by cancelled by nursery..sigh)

  • 9 years ago

    Portland of Glendora had such a strong scent for me that I couldn't keep the flowers indoors, it was just too much. This was in another garden and I didn't get another because mine were rather gangly plants, but they weren't well-cared for either. The flowers did shatter rather dramatically, all at once.

    Lux, I wonder whether Susan Louise would do well here in the heat, not that I have room for a plant of that size. Your description was so evocative and poetic that I wanted it immediately. I don't know whether pictures of it ever capture its true charm.


  • 9 years ago

    Cynthia, I completely agree about the value of Bonica but I thought that it would be too modern here or I would have mentioned it among my favourites. Much as I love old roses I would never be without Bonica in spite of its lack of scent. I met Matthias Meilland, the cadet of the Meilland family, in Finland in July and couldn't help mentioning what a wonderful rose the firm had created. I have six plants plus the climbing variety (climbing on the gutter) planted together. My daughter who is no gardener and with little interest in other plants than tomatoes took a picture of it in September.

  • 9 years ago

    Hmm, I wonder if Bonica does better in cold climates because mine is a failure. I decided to get rid of it and cut it down to nothing in order to make that easier, but then had a change of heart and replanted it in a different spot. I'll be curious to see whether that helps. It's bravely putting out new growth but time will tell whether it finally decides to bloom. To me it doesn't look out of place with the older roses and when I saw it in full bloom at the nursery I couldn't resist. I took it home and it's been in a snit ever since.


  • 9 years ago

    Ingrid, what a fun topic! With all the lovely pictures and descriptions, my wish list is growing out of control!

    This was a rebuilding year for me. Many of my roses are new or may as well be new, having died to the ground after last winter. So with that in mind, one of my best is amber flower carpet, a rose that is always in bloom and is healthy as a weed. For me, it could easily go 4 ft. tall if I let it and is wider than tall, so not so much a "carpet". This is a landscape rose not made for cutting so the blooms don't last as long as some, but it's almost always in bloom. Not sure if this is true everywhere but here the deer don't like it as much as some of my others. My second performer, Prairie Sunrise, a Buck rose, doesn't bloom with the wild abandon of AFC but it is very nice with a reasonably good repeat. The blooms are heavenly if you like apricot roses. They are my favorite and this one is a winner; large and full with a wonderful fragrance. For me, this is a very healthy rose that seems to laugh at weather ups and downs here. It came through a rough winter with cold temps and not much snow with nary a complaint and sails through heat, humidity and drought here with very little attention from me.

    Cynthia, I am also interested in your Elizabeth of Goshen. It's hard to understand why she isn't more popular if she looks like that in less than perfect conditions. I am supposed to be getting a start of her next spring. She'll be in a pot for awhile, of course, but will eventually be planted in the front bed. How big can I expect her to get? Not that it would necessarily be the same here, but does she have any special needs or problems? Your photo makes her look like a stunner!

  • 9 years ago

    ..this Bonica is one of my favourite roses, it does so well here in England I couldn't be without it... what I also like is that the foliage in Spring is just so glossy and burnished and when the flower buds are almost ready it gets smothered in greenfly by the million yet it takes no notice and grows right through them...

    I find that despite what people say about lack of scent, I detect a light fresh scent which I think suits the flowers... I have to hose off some greenfly to cut flowers for the vase otherwise I leave it alone... disease free and just wonderful...

    mariannese, I'm so pleased to hear that you met a member of the Meilland family and that you passed on your feelings regarding this rose...I would have done the same I think.

  • 9 years ago

    My five best performers of the more established roses I have are

    Mutabilis - despite the fact it grows sideways
    Ms Tillier
    Crepescule - which narrowly missed the chop as the summer blooms burn, but the winter and spring ones are so lovely - and generous - I didn't have the heart
    Marie van Houtte - love the way this rose drapes over a low wall, and blooms her head off in shade
    Alister Clark - for his many, cheerful pink pom-poms

    Anna Olivier has been a disappointment this spring as most of the blooms have drooped and burnt on the outer petals. Is this lack of water?

    Of the new ones, I think I'm going to love Le Vesuve, though I am wondering if it is Le Vesuve, as the blooms are a pale, fleshy pink.

  • 9 years ago

    I'm with Lux as far as Westside Road Cream Tea and Le Pactole go -- very good performers in a nasty drought year. WRCT currently has a flush going nearly as good as in spring -- beautiful, full, large blooms. Le Pactole is a rose I wasn't overly impressed with until this year, probably 5 or 6 years in the ground, when suddenly not only was it pretty much always in bloom, but the blooms themselves have become much more substantial and beautiful. It does have a mild tea scent, to my nose, but nothing overwhelming. It is also a handsome shrub.

    Crepuscule is, as Campanula and hoovb aver, as tough as nails here, too. I lost my first spectacular plant to oak root fungus; the replacement got a truly challenging site up in the "wilderness" part of the yard (all that was available) where it has languished for the past three years but it has now amazingly caught hold this terrible year and has put on a good bunch of growth and blooms.

    Bonica was ridiculously floriferous for me in Massachusetts, to the point that the whole shrub would keel over from the weight of the blooms, though I haven't tried it here.

    Lady Ann Kidwell was never out of bloom this summer, nor Etoile de Lyon, Secret Garden Musk Climber, or Souvenir de Pierre Notting, though overall fewer blooms due to less water.

  • 9 years ago

    My Antique (OGR) roses did very well this year. Compte de Chambrod went crazy all spring, summer and fall. Sidone was right there with her. Pink Pet missed her spring flush but has kept the bush covered summer and fall. My Rugosa's have been big and constant. And my Green Rose has been constant all season.

  • 9 years ago

    Sorry to be away for a bit and get behind on the discussion. I'm so glad there are so many Bonica fans out there! I sometimes feel it doesn't get as much respect as deserved, since it's not flashy enough to get attention as a modern, and too new to be technically an OGR (though I agree Ingrid that it fits quite well among the OGRs with its lovely open style). Catspa - the reason mine doesn't keel over from the blooms is the handy fence that ended up next to this bush - not remotely planned of course, since Bonica considerably preceded the fence, but still a very handy thing.

    Malorena and Mariannese - your pictures are a great testament to why we love this rose, and anything that can tempt a non-gardener to take photos of a rose is something to be proud of (and of course, your daughter is a source of joy and pride in herself). Mariannese, I agree that it was sweet as well as a terrific opportunity to meet a keeper of the Meilland tradition and complement a rose that has more than stood the test of time. I agree with your sentiments and I'm glad you got the chance to share them (did he agree?).

    Kes - my Elizabeth of Goshen gets no more than 3 feet or maybe 3.5 feet in a season, but undoubtedly she'd be a bit taller with more sun or a longer growing season. Even during last summer's explosion of blooms with all that surviving cane, I don't remember her getting particularly large. As for problems, the main disease in my part of the world is blackspot, and we don't get it anything like as bad as you do on the East coast, since we tend to be dry here in the Plains. Even during our heavy rains in the last few months this fall, plenty of other plants started to blackspot quite a bit and I don't remember EofG being particularly bothered. That doesn't mean she wouldn't in your zone - witness the difference in Austin rose health between our zones - but I think she has a better chance than the average Austin at doing well for you. No guarantees of course, but I'm glad you have the chance to try and I suspect it'll do nicely for you.

    And bellegallica, there's nothing remotely to hesitate about for your plans for those pink and orange schemes. Nothing 60's about it - Marie Daly is such an understated pink that she needs a few gaudy marigolds to wake her up a bit. Put a few purple salvias to tie them together and you have a photo opportunity waiting to happen, not to mention bee paradise. Go ahead - do it and post us some pictures!


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