We gardeners are often looking for those plants that can give some structure and beauty and color to the yard but don’t grow as large as a tree. The wonderful Aggie Superstar group called “Woody Shrubs” might have just what you are looking for among its choices. These are plants chosen by horticulturists all over Texas for their drought-tolerance, lack of disease issues and beauty, among other things.
They have given us three rose options to try. Consider the popular Belinda’s Dream Rose, “Marie Daly” Rose, Grandma’s Yellow Rose or the “Knock Out” Rose. Two other plants in this category are the Lowery’s Legacy Cenizo and the beautiful Texas Lilac Vitex, which will be covered in next week’s The Examiner.
Belinda’s Dream Rose is an Earthkind rose that is very resistant to blackspot and root-knot nematodes. Its huge blooms on this luscious shrub thrive in our heat. Just a stroll by the flowers will give you a whiff of their fruity scent. They have the classic hybrid tea rose form that is unusual for shrub roses. You will love the way they grow upright and bushy.
The “Marie Daly” Rose is what you want to choose if you are looking for an easy care shrub rose with few thorns. It is very fragrant with doubly good-looking double pink blooms. Successive flushes of bloom will please you spring to frost. This rose was developed for Texas. It is the new version of its renowned antique rose cousin “Marie Pavie’.
Grandma’s Yellow Rose was inspired by a yellow rose found in Sabinal, Texas. The “Sabinal” is a beautiful rose, but it was difficult to root. The Aggie Superstar designation required more. Another yellow rose was found in Nacogdoches. It was named “Sarah Jones,” as it was found growing and blooming at a retired school teacher’s home by the same name. Another option was a yellow rose found growing in San Antonio called “Brady,” but it too was difficult to root. After many years of research, the final Grandma’s Rose will make you blush as its blooms turn form deep yellow to pale yellow as they mature.
The Knock Out Rose is probably the most well known of the Texas Superstar rose options. They are popular with some but some “real” rose enthusiasts don’t consider them a true gem. You will enjoy blooms from spring until frost with this easy-to-grow option. They are definitely disease resistant. The breeder of this rose, Bill Radler, is thought to have revolutionized the way we think of roses with the Knock Out. It is said that this rose singlehandedly brought rose genetics from the 20th into the 21st century. The most widely sold rose in North America, it is certainly an option for anyone wanting a low maintenance, winter-hardy, heat-tolerant bloomer. Happy growing.
Joette is an avid gardener and prides herself on staying up-to-date on the latest gardening activities and tips. To share your gardening news with Joette, call (409) 832-1400 or fax her at (409) 832-6222. Her e-mail is joreger [at] msn [dot] com.