Last Summer Roses in the Autumn

When I learned that Knockout® Roses were not developed in Texas, I was totally shocked.  I mean, could they be any more perfect for here?

Russian Sage and Knockout® Roses are a great duo.  They complement each other, and both are tough as nails.

Knockout® Roses were bred by William Radler from Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  He actually was working to breed a rose with greater cold weather tolerance. He was trying to eliminate the need for winter protection on roses since they  didn’t always work.  Also, Radler wanted to get rid of the need for pesticides.

The best asset for me is that they are drought tolerant.  Sure, the individual roses are not as compact or full as hybrids, but they are so hardy.  There have even been tests in Texas to see how long they last during summer without water

What an accomplishment.  This guy should be knighted, if we did such a thing in the US.  It was created in 1988.  In 2000, it received the AARS (All American Rose Selection) award.  It has been a best seller every since.

Before I knew about Knockouts, I planted some hybrids eight years ago.  All five are still living with beautiful flowers.  I must admit that the fragrance is stronger in hybrids.   This is a Floribunda (“many-flowering”) Tropicana. A floribunda is a modern cross of hybrid teas with polyantha roses.  They were developed to have lots of blooms with the beauty and color range of hybrids.

This means they are small and dense bushes with clusters of flowers.  They do not produce long stemmed roses but are impressive as cut flowers because of the mass of color.

Grandiflora Mr. Lincoln is a long stemmed rose with fabulous flowers.  The disappointment to me has been that mine don’t last long as cut flowers.

This Double Trouble rose has the most wonderful fragrance and lasts a long time in a vase.  Just to walk by and smell it is a delight.

Oso Easy Paprika Rose or ChewMayTime by Proven Winners is a small rose shrub that has spread out, not grown tall.  I bought two at Home Depot or Lowe’s in 2009.  They produce beautiful apricot colored blooms that cover the bush.  I’ve never seen another one again in this area.

This is a Grandiflora, but I don’t remember the exact name.

Even though we live in a dry area, I think everyone should be able to enjoy roses.  That’s why I’m so grateful to Mr. Radler.   Now we can see Knockout® Roses on practically every town and city corner and in many yards.  They are easy for anyone to grow.  Like all roses, they do need at least six hours a day of full sun.

“Despite the great possibilities for failure, the burdensome work, and the lack of glamour, my hobby became a passion.  Even with successes, it didn’t take me long to realize that growing roses would be more fun if it entailed less work.”   William Radler

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