One of my favorite catalogues is the annual Weeks Roses catalogue with its lush photographs and colorful descriptions. Another feature I like about this catalogue is that the descriptions include the parentage of each rose. This year Weeks introduced 7 new 2016 roses, and it’s hard to decide which ones to add to my rose “Wish List.”
Mike and I were given Smokin’ Hot last year and it is already planted in our garden. From its first bloom I was convinced that it would remain. Smokin’ Hot, a hybrid tea hybridized by Weeks’ Research Director Christian Bedard, has wonderful saturated dark orange blooms with a white reverse and very good hybrid tea form. It is moderately fragrant with blooms 3½ – 4″ with 25 – 30 petals.
A second hybrid tea is Pretty Lady Rose (see photo above), NOT to be confused with Pretty Lady, a light pink floribunda hybridized by British hybridizer, Len Scrivens. Pretty Lady Rose, also hybridized by Christian Bedard, is the 2nd in a series of roses inspired by the British television series, Downton Abbey. (The first is Anna’s Promise, an apricot blend grandiflora introduced by Tom Carruth in 2014.) Pretty Lady Rose is dark pink and produces old-fashioned, ruffled flowers about 4-5″ in diameter with 45-65 petals. If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, you may want to consider both of these roses.
Another of Bedard’s introductions is Miss Congeniality, a white grandiflora with pink edges. It is described as medium tall, upright and bushy with moderate fragrance. Its 3½-4″ flowers of 25-35 petals grow in small clusters. I noticed that Rosa soulieana is listed in Miss Congeniality’s parentage, a species rose that Tom Carruth often used in his hybridizing program and Blueberry Hill, a favorite of ours that we’ve been growing for years. At first glance, the Weeks’ photo of Miss Congeniality reminds of Cherry Parfait, but I will have to wait until Miss Congeniality is growing in our garden to make further comparison.
Many of you may be familiar with Tom Carruth’s Home Run, a red single, extremely disease resistant rose introduced in 2006. In 2011 Carruth and Bedard introduced Pink Home Run, a pink sport of Home Run and just as bullet proof. Now Weeks introduces Carruth’s Watercolors Home Run, the 3rd in the trio of landscape roses. Watercolors Home Run blooms in clusters of flowers that have yellow-gold centers with pink on the outer edges. Its parentage includes the highly disease resistant Baby Love and Rainbow Knock Out. It is hardy to Zone 4, a bonus to those who garden in northern New England.
Another Tom Carruth’s 2016 introduction is the miniature rose Cutie Pie. I’ve already added this one to my Wish List. It is a peach and yellow blend “blushed with dark pink.” It has 2½-3″ high centered blooms of 25-30 petals. It looks like a smaller version of Day Breaker with less peach in its petals. Unlike Day Breaker, it is a small, compact plant that is perfect for a small area in the garden or to grow in a pot and I can picture it growing on my patio.
Two groundcover roses round out Weeks 2016 introductions: Rainbow Happy Trails by Carruth and Sunshine Happy Trails by Bedard. As the names indicate, Rainbow Happy Trails is yellow-gold with a dark pink to light red blush and Sunshine Happy Trails is a medium yellow to gold color. While Rainbow Happy Trails has a cupped bloom of 20-30 petals, Sunshine Happy Trails has 15-20 petals. Both have low and spreading growth habits and would be perfect to plant around our flag pole.
Since we have a limited amount of available space in our rose gardens, it’s always a challenge to decide which roses to replace in order to add new varieties. With all the new varieties that are introduced each year, it’s always easy — too easy — to add to my Rose Wish List.
You can visit Weeks Roses at www.weeksroses.com for more information about their new introductions. All photos are courtesy Weeks Roses.