2014 Rose Introductions: Weeks Roses

This week on the Rose Chat Radio podcast, the delightful Karen Kemp-Docksteader, sales and marketing manager for Weeks Roses, joined us to chat about some wonderful new rose introductions for 2014! Podcast link.

Coretta Scott King
Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King Grandiflora Rose
Named for the wife of Dr. Martin Luther King, this rose is not only lovely but very disease resistant. Chris, (The Redneck Rosarian) had an early release of this rose and it has performed beautifully for him this entire summer!

Good as Gold
Good as Gold

Good as Gold Hybrid Tea
A very unusual gold color! Karen said it is stunning in the field and she can hardly pass by it without stopping. This rose is known as a blooming machine!

You’re The One

You’re the One Miniature Rose
Karen pointed out to us that “miniature” does not refer to the growth habit of this rose but rather the blooms are miniature. Isn’t it just so cute! Perfect rose show form!

Jump for Joy
Jump for Joy

Jump for Joy Floribunda
Like its parent, Julia Child, this rose is known for disease resistance and beautiful foliage. This is another blooming machine that will fit well into any landscape.

Happy Go Lucky
Happy Go Lucky

Happy Go Lucky Grandiflora
This beauty has the multi-petaled old rose form with a lovely tea fragrance. I find yellow roses hard to resist so this may quickly go on my wish list!


Karen shared with us that it is confirmed there is to be a new line of Downton Abbey Roses. Starting with the first in the series, Anna’s Promise.

Look at this beauty…

Anna's Promise
Anna’s Promise
Anna of Downton Abbey
The beautiful Anna of Downton Abbey

We look forward to having Karen back to talk more about this new line of roses! 🙂


Harvest at Weeks Roses begins next week, so follow along with the progress of their work in the fields of roses on their Facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/WeeksRosesCA

Now back to working on my wish list for 2014. How about you, what’s on your garden wish list?

A Rose A Day: Pink Flamingo

Pink Flamingo Grandiflora was an impulse purchase for me. The blooms sent me into “rose fever” and I just couldn’t refuse. The tag said hardy to Zone 6 and I am in Zone 5b so during a hard winter, I most likely will lose her but for now she is fun to have.




IMG_2065 IMG_2069

The blooms are amazing … large with thick, fragrant petals — some are more pink and some are more peach. Exquisite form. A huge standout in the garden when she is blooming and that is saying a lot since she has some very beautiful neighbors like Julia Child and the Grande Dame!


I’ve been counting down the days until spring since Christmas. When spring “finally” get here, it will be time to roll up our sleeves and get busy.

I am often asked what I do in the spring to “all those roses.” So here are some tips that I follow for getting my roses off to a good start.


For late March or early April planting, I buy bare root roses from online vendors. (Click here for a list of rose companies.) When they arrive they are “bare roots” wrapped in wet newspaper and plastic. Very humble beginnings for a plant that will be so lovely later!

Bare roots soaking in Moo Poo Tea...
Bare roots soaking in Moo Poo Tea…

I immediately unpack them and soak them in a bucket of Moo Poo tea for 24 hours before planting. Click here for a great video on planting bare root roses by Guinivere of Roses of Yesterday and Today.

IMG_7516Grafted Roses: Most hybrid teas, floribunda and grandifloras are grafted roses.

That means that a rose is created by being grafted onto strong, hardy root stock creating a “bud union.” Plant the bud union (knobby part just above the roots) 2-3” below the soil line.

Own Root Roses: Roses that have not been grafted but started from cuttings, so there is no bud union to protect–plant as you would any other shrub.

Soil: We ask roses to bloom for us all summer, year after year, so it is best to give them a good start by planting them in good soil. Dig a hole deeper and wider than your roots. To the soil you remove, add compost and a quality grade of top soil. Your roses will appreciate more nutrients and better drainage! My soil is mostly clay so we dig very deep and very wide! (I usually go about 18″ X 18″). It is always a good idea to have your soil tested. See your county extension office for a soil kit test or they can be purchased at most any garden center.


It can be difficult to know when winter is really over and it is time to prune, so I let the forsythia tell me. When the forsythia is blooming, I start pruning.

Gene Boerner Floribunda

Hybrid Teas: These are going to get the most severe pruning. I shape, cut out any dead wood and remove the canes that cross the middle to create more air circulation in the center of the plant which can help control fungal disease. You also want to remove any spinally canes (smaller than a #2 pencil). They will rarely produce bloom and will just rob nutrients.

When I am finished pruning a HT, I am left with 4 – 5 of the strongest canes about 12 – 15″ from the ground. This changes in the case of a extremely cold winter. There have been times when I have had to prune close to the ground. Boy it is hard to trim that much but it worksI They don’t need to be working thru weak or dead wood. So just remove it!

Floribundas: I take a lighter hand at pruning Floribundas but do still remove the diseased, damaged canes and those that cross through the center of the plant.

Old Garden Roses: To me bigger is better as far as old garden roses are concerned, most of them preform at their peak when allowed to grow. So, I do very little pruning. I just thin out old wood, remove any dead wood and spindly canes or anything that is need to retain your size and shape.

David Austin English Roses: Very little pruning is required as they don’t appreciate a lot of cutting, just remove dead wood and give them a light shaping.

Sunny Yellow Knockout

Shrub/Landscape Roses: These are so easy… Just shape to fit your space.

I have several Knockout and Drift roses and I usually trim them back about 1/2 their size to rejuvennate them and increase bloom production. They can be pruned to about 12″ high if you are controlling their size as some of them get quite tall!

Clean up is vital to a healthy rose garden. Many diseases live over in even the most harsh winter, so disposed of your clippings and remove the spent leaves. I can hear Ted Mills, The Rose Doc, say… “Keep your rose beds hospital clean.” 🙂

One more thing about pruning — don’t scrimp on pruners. A sharp quality pair of pruners is a a very good friend to rosarians. If you need a source, check out The Rose Gardener. My friend Wendy can fix you up with some amazing Barnels!


When roses begin to have leaves it is time to fertilizer. Don’t fertilize too early and stimulate growth that could be lost in a late frost. Most any rose fertilizer will do — There are many organic and synthetic fertilizers to choose from but do read labels carefully–too much of a good thing can be harmful and we want to keep our soil as healthy as possible! I use a combination of Moo Poo Tea and Mills Magic on my roses.


Once fertilizer has been applied you will want to give your roses a deep watering to get those nutrients down to where they can do some good. A good rule of thumb is to water at the base of the plant, as wet rose leaves are more susceptible to fungal diseases (e.g. Black Spot & Powdery Mildew.).


This is one of my favorite parts. Mulch is so good for your roses (2-3″) … retains moisture, helps to keep down weeds and gives the garden that fresh, finished look!

One thing to remember when applying mulch … when mulch breaks down, it uses nitrogen in the process, so it is good to add a layer of compost on top of the soil before you add the mulch layer so the nitrogen in the soil can be used by the rose. If you are working in an established bed and last year’s mulch is still there, leave it… it becomes your “compost layer.” Win. Win.

IMG_5686My favorite tip is always to visit your roses daily or as often as you can to enjoy their beauty and to get to know them. Getting to know them can be key in early detection of any pest or disease.

And, when you have beautiful roses outside, who can stay in!

Gold Medal and Miss All-American Beauty

Saturday we found ourselves at Dammann’s Garden Center. Dammann’s is a wonderful place that just happens to carry an extensive line of roses! Sadly, not many garden centers in my area carry roses.

I found 2 beauties—Gold Medal and Miss All-American Beauty … AND, they were on sale! I gave them a shot of moopoo as soon as we got home and now they are nestled in with their neighbors. If we get the expected rain tonight, that will be just perfect.

Gold Medal…

  • Gorgeous yellow grandiflora (I already have one.)
  • Resistant to Black Spot & Mildew
  • Blooms on new wood; prune early to promote new growth
Gold Medal Grandiflora

Miss All-American Beauty complete with 3 stages of bloom…

  • Deep pink Hybrid Tea
  • Resistant to Black Spot & Mildew
  • “The original name for this hot pink diva was ‘Maria Callas.’ Although it was bred by Meilland in France it was named for the famous American opera singer.” -Dave’s Garden
Miss All American Beauty / Star Roses

Dammann’s has plenty more roses if you are in the market!