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I’m over the Old Tea Roses (I think.)

I can hardly bring myself to admit this, but the lovely old Tea roses don’t like my garden. Oh, they grow fine and are tough, big bushes all right. They seem happy enough to take over my garden, but I am almost ready to take them out and replace them with DA roses. My old Tea and China roses are terrific powdery mildew magnets and contagions. All spring the blooms are distorted and miserable and almost anything nearby gets pm as well. As soon as summer hits, the blooms shrink in size and turned into crispy wads of crumpled tissues and even the leaves look ratty on some of them. I’ve tried several years hoping they would grow out of these problems and look beautiful like they do in California gardens, but this year has been the worst ever. In the meantime, my Austin Rose’s slowly improve every year and give me so much more pleasure! I really hate digging out a huge rose growing in my garden, but here’s the list that doesn’t make the cut for me: Madame Lombard, Duchess de Brabant, Henriette de Snoy, Francizca Kruger, Cramoisi Superior and perhaps even Monsiur Tillier; at least MT doesn’t mildew badly, but the blooms just don’t wow me in my garden and they fry so quickly in the heat. Rosette Delizy was a mistake in my garden and it’s one of my best, so she might stay. Marie Ducher is going to stay as well, for now, at least. And my Florence Bowers Pink Tea is so beautiful that I can’t imagine ever taking her out! Her spring bloom is incredible and she continues to bloom off and on even in this crazy heat wave. But the rest… I think they will have to go. I never expected my DA roses to be some of my best performing rose in my garden, but they are tough and beautiful and give me so much joy. I think I’ll be inviting more of them to my gardens.

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