In the Garden:
Southern Coasts
May, 2001
Regional Report

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My 'Cherry Meidiland' rose blooms reliably with only one-half day exposure to our strong sun.

Carefree Roses

I don't like having regularly scheduled activities. If a plant needs a daily or weekly regime to survive, I'll pass on growing it. This means that growing hybrid tea roses is out of the question for me. Bred for their strong stems and exhibition-quality flowers, it's assumed they'll need lots of regular attention to watering, fertilizing, and pest control to survive our conditions. Although I'm in the garden every day, my time goes to a myriad of different tasks, with few repeated more than every few weeks on the same plant. Yet I love roses and want to have them in my garden.

Easy-Care Roses

Luckily, there are more roses than high-maintenance hybrid teas. Many gardeners know of "antique" roses that are closely related to species roses. This makes them tough as nails and easy to grow in our climate. Many are now available for sale. You can also obtain new plants by digging suckers from your friend's or neighbor's established plants.

Easy Modern Roses

Easy-care roses aren't all antiques or wild ones. Some recent landscape roses have been bred for form, fragrance, and repeat flowering. These are becoming more widely available. Besides having interesting flower shapes, colors, and scents, many are disease resistant and can withstand our summer conditions.

My Favorite Roses

Not every antique or landscape rose grows well on the southern coast, and each area has its favorites. After some experimenting and consulting, my collection includes 'Fuschia Meidiland', 'Cherry Meidiland', 'Fairy', 'Climbing Fairy', 'Ballerina', 'Caldwell Pink', 'Cecile Brunner', 'Butterfly Rose', and 'Aloha'.

I grow these in nearly full sun and water them mostly with soaker hoses. I fertilize them consistently with compost and occasionally rose food. I've found that these roses can take pest attacks with minimal damage. I just prune off any damaged leaves and they bounce right back. These are roses that you really can grow in our area.


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