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For more gardening information read my column in Friday mornings Deseret Morning News
Today is the Valentines holiday and roses and Valentines are almost synonymous. While the garden roses are not yet growing, it is not too early to start thinking about some new ones to help supplement those that are still under the snow
For the past 65 years, the All-America Rose Selections (AARS) committee has tested and introduced new and exciting winners to the rose loving public. They are the national flower and are the most popular flowering shrub in Utah.
Experts select AARS winning roses by judging 15 key gardening characteristics. These include disease resistance, cold hardiness, color, form, flowering effect and season, fragrance, vigor and novelty appeal.
For the 2004 season, crown three AARS Winners with the highest honor. These varieties excelled during two years of thorough testing at rose garden across the country. They are outstanding roses with everything you would expect a prizewinner to be: beautiful, fragrant, disease resistant and easy to maintain.
Day Breaker is a pleasant contrast to roses that have no fragrance. This rose won for its exquisite beauty and for its sharp moderate tea fragrance. For many years, roses were selected for size and color and I consider that a mistake. Fortunately, the public wants and is getting roses that smell like roses.
This rose is an upright, bushy floribunda with bright, multi-shade blooms. The yellow color blends to pink and apricot. The pointed, shapely buds produce spiraled blooms that grow to 4 to 4½ inches in diameter, with 30 to 35 pedals per flower. The leaves are dark, glossy green on a medium height plant.
Day Breaker earns its floribunda classification because if produces brilliantly colorful, long-lasting clusters of flowers. These grow on hardy plants that produce a continuous, long lasting show of blooms.
Day Breaker is being introduced by Edmunds’ Roses of Wilsonville, Ore. Gareth Fryer hybridized this excellent choice.
This year’s second award winning floribunda is a “sweet” honey of a rose. Honey Perfume is a knockout performer. Again, public desire helped create the demand for fragrance and this rose has a great spicy scent.
The exceptionally rich, bright apricot yellow blooms grow in large, open clusters. Another desirable feature is that they have a fast repeat so new flowers quickly replace the fading blossoms. Flowers grow 4 inches in diameter with 25 to 30 petals each on 12 to 14-inch long stems.
Honey Perfume plants grow to about 3½ feet high and 2½ feet wide. They form an upright, well-branched plant that features dark green, glossy foliage.
This is the second classic floribunda winner this year. Another outstanding feature is that it has very good disease resistance. Of particular note to Utah gardeners is that it is resistant powdery mildew, our most serious rose disease. It also is resistant to rust.
Keith Zary an exceptional rose hydridizer, developed Honey Perfume. Jackson and Perkins Wholesale Inc. of Medford, Ore is introducing this fine rose to the country. Memorial Day
The last rose is another showstopper. Unlike the previous two, Memorial Day represent the most popular class of modern roses, the hybrid tea. Like the holiday from which it takes its name, this rose is worth celebrating.
The medium-tall, upright and bushy plant produces very large, full, spiraled blooms with more than 50 petals creating the beauty of each flower., Memorial Day’s blossoms evolve from pointed and ovoid buds, producing clear pink flowers that are accented with a lavender wash.
The showy blooms grow to up to 5 inches in diameter on long stems just right for cutting. The plants produce rich green foliage that further accents the large blossoms. It is a great, easy-to-grow addition for any garden, large or small.
Like the other winners for 2004, fragrance is an outstanding feature. The classic, strong damask rose fragrance from a single Memorial Day rose can fill an entire room with sweet rose perfume. It is a vigorous and productive performer and especially loves hot weather. The heat is particularly useful for unfurling its commemorative rose petals.
Memorial Day is a highly disease resistant selection according to the hybridizer, Tom Carruth. Weeks Wholesale Rose Grower’s of Upland, California is introducing this selection.
Look for Day Breaker, Honey Perfume and Memorial Day at retail garden stores this spring. In addition, selected catalogs are featuring these outstanding performers.