‘Top Ten’ Roses for 2020

Rose shopping time! January is a good time to start ordering your roses from the spring rose catalogs online or that you receive in the mail. In CA, you can see below that the Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society started pruning their roses the week of December 30th already! Remember when you order from the online rose sellers they will ship your roses based on your USDA plant hardiness zone. You can look up your plant hardiness zone at www.plantmaps.com. Enter your zip code and the chart assists you in determining the safest date to plant your roses after the last ‘killing frost.’

Goose Girl in Snow
Goose Girl in Snow

The Plan

My new plan has been very simple. There are new and better roses bred and on the market each year. Many new roses are sustainable, easy care, and disease resistant. Some are introducing new exciting and blended colors. So through attrition I will be replacing lost roses with the new & better roses each year until I have an entirely sustainable rose garden. What I am most excited about being in Illinois zone 6a-b is winter resistance because roses are a big investment of the heart, time & money.

Here in Santa Clarita, California, we started pruning our roses this week even though the weather is very cold (but not…

Posted by Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society on Monday, December 30, 2019

What Makes A Great Rose

  • Minimal Care
  • Disease resistance
  • Healthy beautiful foliage
  • Fragrance
  • Winter hardy
  • Color – no fade


‘Savannah’ winner of Biltmore Rose Trials

A very hardy and disease-resistant, salmon, hybrid tea rose with extraordinary fragrance. This compact bush produces numerous, single, very double blooms. Foliage is abundant and dark green. Bred by Kordes Roses it’s the winner of the Biltmore Rose Trials

‘Oso Easy Double Red’

‘Oso Easy Double Red’ bred by Alain Meilland of Meilland International

Highly disease resistant. Floriferous, easy-growing, and with an abundance of bright red, doubled blooms, Oso Easy Double Red® is a favorite among growers and gardeners alike. This seedling from Double Knock Out® maintains a nice rounded habit and has excellent disease resistance. Bred by Meilland Roses it’s a winner in ever way, available by Proven Winners! See my video on Gaga’s Garden Facebook Page at this link:


This is Oso Easy 'Double Red' by Meilland International Alain Meillan, Matthias Meilland Father has created a rose that is absolutely heavenly. #MeillandRoses #DoubleRed

Posted by Gagas Garden on Friday, June 7, 2019

‘Earth Song’

‘Earth Song’ Buck Rose !975

Earth Song Grandiflora (Buck, 1975). A gorgeous rose with cupped deep pink blossoms and leathery green foliage. Dr Buck bred roses to withstand the extremes of Iowa’s frigid winters and broiling summers. Earth Song is a reliable performer in any garden, reaching a height of 6 feet and blooming all summer. You will love this rose.

‘Frida Kahlo’

‘Krida Kahlo’ “I Paint Flowers So They Will Not Die’

“I paint flowers so they will not die” Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo once said “I paint flowers so they will not die.” Like the roses she immortalized Frida Kahlo is a lively and colorful reminder of her enduring spirit. The scarlet red and gold striped flowers of ‘Frida Kahlo’ are one of a kind in the rose world.
The ‘Frida Kahlo’ rose bred by Christian Bedard is a swirl of colors that intensifies as the flowers age, adding a red blush as the final touch. Like any painting needs a good stand, the flowers are set in small clusters on a healthy disease resistant plant with clean glossy leaves. This rose is a magnificent plant.

‘Easy Spirit’

‘Easy Spirit’ Spray, creamy beautiful disease resistant non-stop bloomer

Easy Spirit™ Classy white large flowers with a cream base. The upright compact plant with clean glossy green foliage is the ideal backdrop to the non-burning & long-lasting cream flowers. Very disease resistant and long lasting with a quick bloom repeat cycle. Whether you’ve liked white roses in the past you can’t help but love this ever-blooming fragrant beauty as it lights up every garden with its continuous blooming.

‘Cape Diamond’

‘Cape Diamond’ among the most disease resistant rose there is blooming after the rains

Old-fashioned pure-pink flowers exude a sweet spicy perfume. Lots of rugosa-like grey-green foliage provides the perfect contrast for this showy bloomer. The vigorous plant can be grown as a large spreading shrub or eventually trained as a climber. Bred in Canada & proven perfectly adapted for harsh winter. One of the most disease resistant roses in the rose world period. Sustainable to zone 3 (Canada), fragrant, winter hardy, the perfect rose.

‘Top Gun’

‘Top Gun’ In Gaga’s Garden | Resistant To Rose Rosette Disease Bred by Tom Carruth Roses

The Best of the Best. ‘Top Gun’ has proven RESISTANCE’ to major rose diseases. Just this fact alone makes this rose a good for the landscape. With the added resistance to Rose Rosette Disease, it’s truly the Best of the Best. In multiple years of trials throughout the Eastern United States, Top Gun came out standing proud untouched by Rose Rosette where most other varieties showed symptoms of infection. The top-ranked variety is also a high performer when it comes to bloom production. The rounded bushy well-behaved plant produces vigorous stems ending with clusters of long-lasting dark red flowers.

‘Francis Meilland’

‘Francis Meilland’ In The Garden

‘Francis Meilland’ won the Biltmore Rose Trials ‘Best Hybrid Tea in 2015. Description. ‘Francis Meilland’ is a tall upright Hybrid tea rose, 5 to 7 ft (150-210 cm) in height with a 2 to 3 ft (60-91 cm) spread. … The rose has a strong, citrus fragrance, and can bloom in flushes from spring through fall. ‘Francis Meilland’ is a disease resistant plant with dark, semi-glossy green foliage.

‘Miracle On The Hudson’

‘Miracle On The Hudson’ Wins Three Categories at 2014 Biltmore International Rose Trials International

Winner of ‘Best of Show’ of the 2014 Biltmore Rose Trials, named for the famed flight rescued by Captain Sully Sullenberger on the Hudson River; this rose was bred by Robert Neal Rippetoe. It swept the 2014 Biltmore Rose Trials also winning ‘Best Shrub’, & ‘Best Oversll’ category. It’s a wonderful landscape rose. Showy & floriferous you will love it!

‘Easy On The Eyes’

'Easy On The Eyes'
‘Easy On The Eyes’ is part of the Weeks Roses Easy To Love® Collection

Easy on the Eyes ™ … Hulthemia shrub Rose new entry in the “Easy to Love” collection from Weeks Roses, Easy on the Eyes features blossoms of medium pink with a purple heart and cream reverse that fade to lavender with a deep smoky purple eye. This rose is divine.

Roses To Fall In Love With Hulthemias

'Easy On The Eyes'
‘Easy On The Eyes’ is part of the Weeks Roses Easy To Love® Collection

What Is A Hulthemia Rose?

Taxonomists A. Rehder to accommodate Wild Roses divided Genus Rosa into four subgenera; three very small and anomalous, namely ‘Hulthemia’, Hesperrhodos and Platyrhodon and one major Eurosa containing roses proper (see illustration). As much as this sounds a bit like dinosaur names ‘Duckbill Platypus’ and others, it’s simply a way to classify and detail Plantae vs. Genus Rosa species.


According to Luis T. Desarmo’s book Principals Of Exhibiting & Judging Roses An Illustrated Approach” the Hulthemia “subgenera was subsequently disqualified from belonging to the rose family because of its solitary leaves attached to the stem rather than the compound structure of all other rose leaf sets (mainly 3,5,7,9, etc.) Classified now as a shrub the roses we see now coming from this sub-class are perfectly suited for landscape roses and minimal care rose gardens. If you like the beauty and originality of the look of the ‘Hulthemias’ rose breeder Jim Sproul has been posting incredible results that he’s getting with his ‘Hulthemia’ seedlings.


The difference in Eurosa versus Hulthemias is that they have smooth hips, and are divided in ten sections, three can be regarded as very small and of little importance as far as the garden is concerned. Chromosome count in the cell nucleus provides a major a principal subdivision:

  • Diploids | Wild Roses | 14 chromosomes: 2 sets of 7
  • Tetraploids | Roses | 28 chromosomes | 4 sets of 7
  • Hexaploid | Roses | 42 chromosomes | 6 sets of 7
  • Octaploid | Roses | 56 chromosomes 8 sets of 7 (only a few have 8)
  • Triploids | Pentaloids | are odd-numbered sets of chromosomes | lack fertility and don’t survive in nature.

No-Spray Roses

Matthias Meilland

Matthais Meilland Recently Commented on his Team’s presentation in China about no-spray roses

Promoting zero spray roses in China. No pesticide, no fungicide roses but with great blooming from spring to frost are key to the future of the rose market. Well done team !! Matthias Meilland

‘Easy On The Eyes’ Shrub In Bloom

To Show A 'Easy On The Eyes' Shrub In Bloom
‘Easy On The Eyes’ Shrub In Bloom

Description of ‘Easy On The Eyes’

Decades of hybridizing to enlarge the magenta purple eye to its current size has resulted in an extremely novel color combination with the lavender pink flower coloration. It’s floriferous, disease resistant, lovely dark green foliage and has a citrus like spicy fragrance. It’s a medium size round shaped bush and it’s just a lovely addition to the garden setting or could be planted alone. It was hybridized by Tom Carruth.

This image gives you a close-up view of details of the 'Eye' of 'Easy On The Eyes'
‘Easy On The Eyes’ Individual Flower

This image gives you a close-up view of details of the ‘Eye’ of ‘Easy On The Eyes’

‘In Your Eyes’

‘In Your Eyes’

‘In Your Eyes’ Description

Christian Bedard created this cross from a shrubrose and a Persian hulthemia. Once considered its own genus as described above, the Persian Rose is a tough desert rose native with a distinctivehalo around the center of the bloom, a characteristic passed on to ‘In Your Eyes’. It’s diamond tough, disease resistant and wildly prolific. It blooms in big clusters of pastel shades. The flowers start out cream-yellow with a red eye and matures to lavendar with a putple eyebut as eash bloom appears the clusters become multi-coloredfrom spring to fall.

  • 6-8 feet tall
  • Hardiness zone 5-9
  • Flowering Dates Late Spring through Fall
  • Winter Care mulch around the base
  • Flower color red, yellow, purple, pink
  • Pruning, prune to preferred shape
‘In Your Eyes’
‘In Your Eyes’ Changing Color
'In Your Eyes' Heart Shaped Bloom
‘In Your Eyes’ Heart Shaped Bloom
‘Easy On The Eyes’ Cluster

Why Hulthemias?

So Why Hulthemias? Because they are the optional no-spray minimal care rose. Many of my rosarian friends may argue that I started out this article saying that in fact they aren’t a rose. Perhaps, but Hulthemias provide an beautiful option for the gardener who is looking for absolutely minimal care, color, fragrance disease resistance and best of all no-spray.

Hulthemias Are Growing On Me

And they can grow on you too, give one or two a try. I think shrubs are happiest in threes. Happy Rose Growing.

‘Deanna Krause’ Rose debuts as Calendar Girl 2020

My photo of ‘Deanna Krause’ bred by Ray Ponton introduced by Antique Rose Emporium in 2005 given to me to grow in my garden by Dr. David Zlesak

“He who would have beautiful roses in his garden must first have beautiful roses in his heart” Rev. Dean Hole !870

American Rose Society 2020 Calendar

American Rose Society Calendars make perfect Christmas gifts for doctors’ offices, school teachers, the mail carrier or anyone that loves a calendar. I give calendars to the my physician’s assistant, the doctor and the list keeps growing. Everyone runs their lives on their phone now but families need a physical calendar for them to plan things together. A hard copy of a calendar in a central location in the home or office can be a clearing house for the group to announce where members will be. And if we are going to put up a calendar let it be beautiful. Here’s my rose photo that is featured in the American Rose Society Calendar. This year It’s ‘Deanna Krause’. Last year I forgot to submit any photos, and my doctor’s office was a little disappointed but I still bought the calendar and they hung it up!

‘Deanna Krause’ Beautiful Gentle Striations
Doctor’s office with 2019 Calendar Beautiful Sara

Gorgeous Trail Of ‘Deanna Krause’

‘Deanna Krause’ Ribbon of Beauty

Who Is ‘Deanna Krause’

Deanna Krause is a member of the largest, most impressive rose society in the United States, the Houston Rose Society. The President of the Society is Renee Cummins who maintains a 5 star Facebook Rating by her professionalism and outstanding response to people. It is also home of the famous Texas Rose Rustlers of whom ‘Deanna Krause’ and Ray Ponton rose breeder is a member. Ray bred this rose and named it for member Texas Rose Rustler member ‘Deanna Krause’. It’s a hardy rose that is self sustaining. Dr. David Zlesak of Minneapolis sent to me. I did a search and it’s for sale at ‘Deanna Krause’ Antique Rose Emporium. Brenham, Texas. I planted it as a tiny wisp and it just took of. I love to have roses with a story named for real members that do so much for roses.

‘Deanna Krause’ Color Variations
“More Color Variations’ ‘Deanna Krause’

My ‘Ingrid Bergman’ American Rose Society Calendar 2015 November Page

‘Ingrid Bergman’ Calendar Girl Rose

The next posting I will enter all the roses I have had in the American Rose Society Calendar but I wanted to pay tribute to ‘Deanna Krause’ and close with ‘Ingrid Bergman’ since she was Ms. November a few years ago. So get your calendars and give them away as gifts but don’t forget to keep one for your bulletin board. Warm Wishes and be sure to get enough calendars that you have one for your self.

Tips For Winterizing Your Roses As They Fall Into Winter

Fall Scene in the Rose Garden

I think I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree ~ Joyce Kilmer

'Ten Tips For Winterizing Your Roses
Oso Easy ‘Paprika’ on a Fall Leaf

Fall is a time for reflection. Time seems to slow down. Even the clock falls back. This autumn in Illinois the leaves are beginning to take on reflective hues that seem to dance and play in a slow waltz as the inevitable drift toward winter. The whole process of fall color is fairly well understood, yet so complex the reason for it is less clear.

Our country lane at sunset in the fall
Our Illinois country lane at sunset in the fall

Suddenly this year as the days got cooler, vibrant colors of gold, yellow, purple, red and brown began to emerge. The shimmering light of sunrise and sunset lit the forests as if they were bathed in liquid gold.

Rock Path Garden, Tall Grasses
Rock Path Garden, Tall Grasses Kissed with Golden Sunshine

Most everyone thinks cool weather or frost cause the leaves to change color. Temperature can affect the autumn color and its intensity, but temperature is only one of many factors that play a part in painting the woods in glorious color.

Fall Leaves | Blue Skys | Lil Red Barn
Fall Leaves | Blue Skys | Lil Red Barn

This year we had a growing season with ample moisture that is so far followed by a dry, cool, sunny autumn that has been marked by warm days and cool but frost-less nights that is providing perfect weather conditions for the brightest fall colors. Lack of wind and rain prolonged the brilliant displays until the recent strong storms across Illinois. This article includes a pictorial of the beauty of the autumn this fall.

'Weeping' Rose and Leaves
‘Weeping’ Rose and Leaves called Oh My in Weeks Catalog | Dad’s Day by ARS classification

Fall Into Winter

With winter just around the corner here’s a simple and concise “Winterizing Your Roses Tips” from Witherspoon Roses. Witherspoon Rose is the rose supplier that I ordered grade 1 bare root roses from for the 3rd stage of the rose garden.  I wrote about and included pictures of these roses all this season as a first year garden.

October Rose Garden
View of Witherspoon Roses, St. Patrick in the forefront

Some of the most spectacular include Love Song, Dick Clark, and Legend, just to name a few, which are all Weeks Roses and first year roses in this garden.

Top 10 Tips for Winterizing Your Roses



 Re-printed Courtesy of Mary Alice Pike, Witherspoon Rose

The blooming season comes to a close in autumn. During this dormant stage, take care of important gardening tasks, to ensure your next spring is as breathtaking as you always dreamed!

1.      Plants should be reduced in height (waist high) to prevent breakage from winter winds.  Climbers remain tall but should be secured to the trellis or fence.  Cut leggy branches from Tree roses to produce a rounded shape.

2.      This is a good time to apply lime as needed to obtain a pH of around 6 to 6.5. (The local Agricultural Extension Agency is a great resource for soil testing & evaluation)

3.      Mulch should be mounded around the base of rose plants to protect from winter freezes.

4.      Timed irrigation systems should be shut down for the winter.

5.      Container grown plants should be moved closer to the house to protect against winter winds. Extreme climates would require more drastic measures.

6.      Check the health of your plants and place an order for fresh bareroot roses to arrive  January through mid-April.  Replace plants that are spindly or reduced to less than 3 healthy canes (pencil diameter).

7.      Dilute Lime-Sulfur with water and spray over entire bed including the ground.  This is very important to rid your garden of pests and black spot spores that would harbor over the winter.

8.      Transplanting roses can be done successfully during this dormant stage.  Carefully prepare the new spot 16″ deep, enriched with cow manure and soil conditioner.  Placing spade 10″ from base of plant dig straight down into the bed in a circle around the plant, trying not to cut roots.  Lift the plant with the shovel and carry it directly to the new spot.  Fill in soil and cover the plant with a mound of mulch.  Water 3-5 gal.

9.      Make plans for new rose beds or additions.  Autumn is the perfect time to prepare the soil for winter or spring plantings as the soil has time to set and stabilize.  Turn over the soil 16″ deep and apply proper soil amendments to produce a light loamy mixture.  (Or call a professional rose specialist)

10. Clean, sharpen and oil shears and pruners to prepare for spring pruning.


Correct Safe Removal Of Rose Rosette Disease

Rose Rosette Disease Safe Removal

‘Double Knock Out®’ Rose, inducted into the World Federation of Rose Societies Hall of Fame is my husband’s favorite rose. He requested, when we moved back to Illinois, that I plant one right outside of his pool room. Last year it was infected with Rose Rosette Disease, a tiny mite that originated from the multi-flora wild rose. The microscopic mite is so tiny it’s all but invisible to the naked eye. All or shall we say any rose can be susceptible that’s why we must remain vigilant watching for infection in our gardens and remove any infected plants immediately. carefully. It can be transmitted by the wind. Signs of it are a witches broom growth reddish type growth beginning at the top of your plant. A sure sign is lots of thorns. As of yet there are no cures but some roses are resistant like ‘Top Gun’, and some of the ‘Rosa Rugosas’.

‘Top Gun’ Resistant To Rose Rosette Disease

‘Top Gun’ In Gaga’s Garden | Resistant To Rose Rosette Disease Bred by Tom Carruth Roses

‘Double Knock Out’ with RRD

Posted by Susan Fox on Friday, October 4, 2019

Last year my rose apprentice Drew Carroll and I thought we had completely removed this bush but undoubtedly we had not. It came back clean from the root and after I came back from the Biltmore Rose Trials the strange growth appeared again so we were wrong. I went to leading RRD expert Dr. Mark Windham’s class at the Southern Il. University Extension Class at Decatur, IL to a packed class of the Master Gardeners and the Stephen F. Decatur American Rose Society and this is exactly how he instructs removal of Rose Rosette Disease safely and effectively.

How To Remove A Rose With Rose Rosette Disease

Posted by Susan Fox on Friday, October 4, 2019