‘Above and Beyond’ is an apricot large-flowered-climber. It’s as big as a baby elephant! So I wanted you to see it get corralled. Securing it was like tying up a bucking bronco with thorns! Isn’t it simply amazing? hybridized by Dr. David Zlesak, its:
Memory lane is strewn with magnificent roses in central Illinois this summer.
Dew glistening on petals of roses appears as ice crystals when lit by the first rays of dawn.
Illinois crops and vegetable gardens are bountiful with enough rain to sustain the corn and soybeans until harvest. Every day reminds me of why I love Illinois summers.
The stages of adding Illinois rose gardens continue. Last fall we planted Dr. David Zlezakâ€™s test roses and Proven Winners winter hardy Oso EasyÂ® Series of Roses. The fall of 2013 is the first time weâ€™ve ever planted roses in the fall.
Last winter then went on to be the 3rd coldest winter in Illinois recorded history. The roses that survived can truly be considered winter hardy. This year has been one of the most beautiful years Iâ€™ve seen for the rose garden bloom cycles. Iâ€™ve chosen some beautiful pictures to share with you.
Starting over is always a challenge. Yet who could imagine starting first with the floribunda rose garden in 2011 we could have come this far with the stages of the rose gardens. Here are the gardens that we have added since grandfathering our Texas Rose Garden of over 200 roses in 2011 and moving back to Illinois.
Floribunda Rose Garden Spring 2012
Elevated Hybrid Tea Garden Spring 2013
Vegetable Garden Summer 2013
Walkway Grandiflora, HT Summer 2013
Dr. Zlezak â€˜Oso Happyâ€™ Rose Garden Fall 2013
Dr. David Zlezak sent ageratum that he has been breeding for over a decade and I planted them as companion plantings around the rose garden. I thought you would especially enjoy seeing it next to â€˜Europeanaâ€™.
My family is coming to visit from Texas with all four kids, their black Labrador and two cats. Watch for pictures of boating action. I plan on teaching the kids how to deadhead roses. All righty then I have a plan for keeping them out of trouble.
Fall of 2013 was the first time I planted roses in the fall.
Stunningly naÃ¯ve of what winter had in store for us I now call the surviving roses the â€˜Ice Princesses.â€™ I usually buy roses in the spring and plant them well after any chance of a late hard freeze. Shoppers, visualize this. Itâ€™s a beautiful September afternoon. You enter the store through the garden center. What do you see? Racks and racks of Â½ price plants, right? And a few straggly, pathetic rose bushes. Ohâ€¦ you think to yourself we can save them, right? If not weâ€™ve only lost a few dollars. In the fall any plants left at the end of season are on sale everywhere. We are all tempted by retailers clearing out the garden center inventory getting ready for Christmas. Its true, retailers jump right over Halloween and Thanksgiving to put up Christmas practically as soon as they sell all the plants! It is a good time to buy and plant plants at a very reasonable price and the weather is beautiful. I planted what my husband thought were dead sticks. I told him, â€œno, they are perennials, they will come back.â€ They are growing out there as I write this. I shall have to ask Nancy Wallace (follow her on twitter @SassyNancy) or @HousePlantGuru what they are as soon as they bloom. But I only paid one dollar for perennials that usually cost 8.99! Â And I planted them on a glorious fall day. See itâ€™s a good strategy.
Here’s how I came to plant my first roses ever in the fall of what was going to be the 3rd worst winter on record: Last year I was invited to Minneapolis to speak to the Twin Cities Rose Club. This rose club is a very active and wonderful group with good leadership. Norma Booty, is the president and all of the board are very supportive. Lots of you know Jack Falker who is also a member and writes under the pen name of the Minnesota Rose Gardener, (follow him on twitter @MNRoseGardener)Writer, friend and editor for The American Rose Magazine, Elena Williams, The Transplanted GardenerÂ (follow her on twitter @ElenaWill) came from the area as well.Â So last year I was invited to Minneapolis to speak to the Twin Cities Rose Club at their officersâ€™ installation banquet. Chance had it that I was seated at the same dinner table with Dr. David Zlesak who attended my talk about how I learned to grow roses in Texas after initially learning how to grown them in the frozen tundra of Northern Illinois. He is one of the most charming and delightful people you can imagine. He is also making a tremendous contribution to the world of creating winter hardy and disease resistant roses. Dr. Zlezak has done more in the area of testing roses for winter hardiness than any one I personally know. Dr. Zlezak is an Assistant Professor of Horticulture at the University of WI and a rose hybridizer of disease resistant roses. His broad range of research has resulted in a body of work that will continue to make its mark on the world of roses today and in the future.
When I returned home I received a parcel with roses from Dr. Zlesakâ€™s personal test rose garden. Thus began my foray into the world of fall rose planting. These roses are simply called:
Then I also received and planted the roses Dr. Zlezak developed for Proven Winners called â€˜Oso Happyâ€™ series of roses. Â These roses were planted in the fall just prior to the Winter 2013-2014, which was the 3rd coldest on record in parts of the Midwest, according to the government’s official monthly climate report released mid-March 2014.
Oso HappyÂ® Roses Ice Queens
Here are the â€˜Oso Happyâ€™ Roses that survived the 3rd coldest winter ever on record in zone 6a, S. Central Illinois planted in the fall surviving their first winter in the ground. They are some roses that you can definitely put on your list of first year roses, very winter hardy roses. Â I will be posting pictures of blooms throughout the growing season of these roses in the Dr. David Zlezak and the ‘Oso Happy’ Winter Rose Garden.You can click the Proven Winner link for retailers and Independent Garden Centers that sell these amazing little darling shrubs that are so amazingly winter hardy.
Series One: Oso HappyÂ® roses
All bred by David Zlesak:
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso HappyÂ® Candy Oh!
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso HappyÂ® Petit Pink
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso HappyÂ® Smoothie
Series Two: Oso EasyÂ® roses Varieties bred by Chris Warner, UK: Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso EasyÂ® Fragrant Spreader Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso EasyÂ® Honey Bun Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso EasyÂ® Italian Ice Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso EasyÂ® Lemon Zest Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso EasyÂ® Mango Salsa Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso EasyÂ® Paprika Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso EasyÂ® Pink Cupcake
Varieties bred by the late Colin Horner, UK: Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso EasyÂ® Peachy Cream Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso EasyÂ® Strawberry Crush
Varieties developed by Meilland, France Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso EasyÂ® Cherry Pie Â·Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Oso EasyÂ® Double Red (new to retail 2015)*
*Thank-you to Shannon Springer of Proven Winners for providing this information
NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center said that the period from December 2013 through February 2014 was theÂ 34thÂ coldest such period for the contiguous 48 states as a whole since modern records began in 1895.
Wisconsin,Â Michigan,Â Minnesota, Iowa,Â Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri registered a top 10 coldest winter. Seventeen other states from Washington state to the northern Gulf Coast to New York were colder than average.
The first two months of 2014 were among the top three coldest on record in the following cities:
Green Bay, Wisc. (second coldest)
La Crosse, Wisc. (third coldest)
Rockford, Ill. (third coldest)
Detroit (third coldest)
Dubuque, Iowa (third coldest)
Waterloo, Iowa (third coldest)
Some Like It Hot, I Like It Cool, It’s Better Gardening Weather
â€œThe tints of autumn…a mighty flower garden blossoming under the spell of the enchanter, frost.â€
â€• John Greenleaf Whittier
Beveridge D. Fergussonâ€™s Scottish Proverbs circa 1641 proclaimed, â€œAn open confession is good for the soul.â€ I openly confess I have never planted a rose bush in the fall. I accept absolution and shall proceed with the task at hand. Its never too late to teach an old rosarian new tricks. Now why do you suppose I havenâ€™t planted a rose bush in the fall, hmmm? All the books say you may plant your roses in the spring or the fall. And I bet you noticed the rose retailers and the mail order houses had great fall sales right? They need to move that inventory, they don’t want to store plants for the winter now do they? As long as we are in the confession mode I shall tell you. I didn’t want to. Growing up in the frozen tundra on the beautiful N. shore of Lake Michigan permanently affected me. The tingle of near frostbite comes to mind, drying gloves and boots all day on heat registers and the smell of smoldering wool in school wafting from the window sill. I didn’t have the heart to plant a hardy, healthy plant, wait for a season and see if it survives the winter. Thatâ€™s it.
Roses Can Be Planted in The Fall
With that said letâ€™s pause for a moment and reflect upon how limited the thinking I have just out-lined is! People who love roses and read this Web site live all over the world and many donâ€™t have seasons or the seasons are reversed. Â For instance one of my readers and Twitter followers LeeHarth, @greatgagagodis from Australia. I am devoted to Lee, he takes beautiful pictures of Oz, what they call â€œthe land down under.â€ How many people have their very own personal â€œgreat gaga god?â€ I digress. Therefore we are about to embark on an adventure together. I love adventures, donâ€™t you?! And individual case studies are invaluable educational tools. So come along with me on a magical, mystical, mystery rose adventure tour. Also my dear friend Brenda Haas of BG Garden, creator of gardenchat sent me a tweet and asked me to share some fall leave pictures this week for her flipboard magazine. She included some of the most beautiful fall pictures from her garden and all over the country so Iâ€™ve included the link for you to enjoy. Iâ€™ve posted the fall color shots from around the garden so you can see how these gardens look as the Dr. Zlesak Rose Garden is planted. Thank-you Bren for being an inspiration to so many gardeners.
Winter Hardy, Disease Resistant Roses
Â Dr. Zlesak Rose Garden Planted in The Fall
When I was invited to be a guest speaker in Minneapolis I had the pleasure of visiting with Dr. Zlesak who tests and is developing winter hardy and disease resistant roses. I mentioned in my last post that he developed an extremely popular rose called the Oso Happy Roses available at Spring Meadow Nurseries. These roses are disease resistant and winter hardy.I did not expect, nor did Dr. Zlesak mention that he would be sending me some roses. When I returned home a box of roses arrived from him practically as soon as I got back. I emailed him and asked him:
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Have the roses been in a greenhouse?
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Should I plant them now? In the fall?
Â·Â Â Â Â Â Are they hardened off and ready to survive the winter?
Dr. Zlesak said the roses had been in the ground in Minneapolis and it would be best if I planted them now. I thought â€œthis is so exciting.â€ Here is the plan. You may or may not remember, in outlining OUI Theory, Mr. Fox thought â€œouiâ€ were limiting the number of roses in the new Illinois rose gardens â€œouiâ€ were planting. Preposterous.
Introducing The Dr. Zlesak Rose Garden
Planted in the fall
Arrived through the mail
Planted directly in the ground
Organic soil amendments added to sandy loam only
‘ZleEltonStrack’ ~ Dr. Zlesakâ€™snew hardy apricot colored climber coming out in 2015 (maybe a limited release in 2014). Â It gets large and has one strong early bloom and then some stray repeat much like ‘William Baffin’Â
Marie Daly ~ the pink sport of the polyantha ‘Marie Pavie’
Plaisantarie ~ A delightful Lens hybrid that is a cross of a hybrid musk and ‘Mutabilis’. It has some color transitions and a habit of the hybrid musk.Â
Weâ€™ll watch the Dr. Zlesak Rose Garden go into dormancy. Then in the spring Iâ€™ll be taking pictures and you will see how disease resistant and beautiful they are in full bloom in the spring.
About David Zlezak
“Dr. David Zlesak is using hardy species roses with modern shrub roses to try and generate roses with greater disease resistance, winter hardiness and diversity of flower color. Focusing on roses that are adapted to the Northern climate, David finds it rewarding and exciting to see new seedlings develop and work towards his breeding goals. He bred the Oso Happy Series of roses released by Spring Meadow Nursery. Dr. David Zlesak’s passion and enthusiasm for roses, as well as his broad range of research, has resulted in a body of work that will definitely make its mark on the world of roses today and in the future. From helping Dr. Lockhart from the University of Minnesota characterize new rose viruses, to overseaing the Northern Earth-Kind Rose Trials, to breeding his own roses and his research on controling blackspot, Dr. Zlezak’s varied efforts are all leading to one goal: a world of disease resistant beautiful roses!” American Rose Society American Rose Annual Nov/Dec 2012