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'Sally Holmes' rose Reviews & Comments
Discussion id : 36-929
most recent 7 JUN SHOW ALL
Initial post 3 JUN 09 by Jeff Britt
I planted Sally Holmes to grow along a stretch of fence near the bottom of my garden that is partially shaded by a big walnut tree. She has been a stalwart performer from the get-go. SH has NO disease problems, even in the cool and damp summers of San Francisco and even though she only gets partial sun. The plant has grown to be very large -- spanning 12 feet of fence and growing 8 feet tall. I prune her back by a third or so every year, but have pruned much harder than that twice to bring her back in bounds. If left unpruned, she'd be as big as a barn. The canes are quite stiff, so I would not recommend her to train over an arch or pergola. I get four flushed of bloom each year, each of them magnificent. Today SH is in her full glory and you can barely see any leaves since the flowers are covering the entire plant. Because we have cool days and nights, the buds open a soft coral pink and the flowers slowly fade to apricot then white. The trusses of blooms are enormous, with anywhere from 8 to 35+ buds.
You can't beat Sally Holmes -- tough, vigorous, disease-free, free-flowering and downright beautiful. I just think she's better treated as a big shrub, not a traditional climber.
Reply #1 of 7 posted 3 JUN 09 by Robert Neil Rippetoe
Jeff, I was up in your area a few weeks ago for Celebration of Old Roses in El Cerrito.

Sally Holmes seemed to be everywhere in Santa Cruz where I was staying and looked spectacular. I'm sorry to say that while it did well here it never looked anything like it does there.
Reply #2 of 7 posted 5 JUN 09 by Jeff Britt
I have to say that the best looking Sally Holmes I've seen have been in cool, coastal California and in England. The cooler days and nights give the pale coral pink color to the flowers which adds charm to the blooms. I don't particularly like the bone-white flowers I see where the weather is warmer, particularly combined with the dirty gray stamens that come as the flowers age. For me in the cool of San Francisco, though, it's just beautiful. There have to be some compensations for putting up with weeks of cloudy and wet weather in July and August!
Reply #3 of 7 posted 5 JUN 09 by Robert Neil Rippetoe
I concur. There is a reason roses bred in the British Isles look best in the Pacific North West. It's the same approximate latitude and growing conditions.

Sally Holmes as in the case of many others is out of her element in much of the U.S.
Reply #4 of 7 posted 6 JUN 09 by Margaret Furness
Gardening in a mediterranean climate, zone 9b, for a while I had 'Sally Holmes', 'Windrush' and '65 Roses' (charity rose for the local Cystic Fibrosis foundation) in a row. Windrush had the fastest repeat-bloom cycle of the three, and 65 Roses had the best scent. Sally Holmes is wonderful here in spring, wins prizes in single & shrub categories in rose shows, but is less attractive later.
I later replaced them with own-root plants; Windrush is sulking, but Sally Holmes is growing vigorously.
Reply #5 of 7 posted 5 JUN by mamabotanica
How's sally doing now? I just planted her in my zone 10 garden (ordered from armstrong a month ago and despite canceling the order got a call that she was in so I went ahead). Hoping she's happy in her eastern facing corner with afternoon shade. I would love to know if your own root Sally Holmes fared better for you.
Reply #6 of 7 posted 5 JUN by Margaret Furness
Sally Holmes thrived on its own roots, in slightly acid soil above clay, without pruning. But I have far too many roses, and it was one I culled because the later stages of its bloom were ugly.
Reply #7 of 7 posted 7 JUN by mamabotanica
Thanks for the update! I hope it holds up better for me as I am eager to use those lovely blooms in bouquets.
Discussion id : 76-102
most recent 17 JAN 14 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 17 JAN 14 by kysusan
My three Sally Holmes roses survived pretty bad growing conditions in 7b, shade, hard clay soil, and recently severe cold (5 deg F). After 15 years, she's still going.

One feature not mentioned, she has the longest vase life of any rose I've enjoyed. Cut as the buds just show some color; some will be tight. As blossoms age in the vase, take hold of spent blossoms by the head and bend back sharply to snap the head right off. Couldn't be easier. The tight buds will open for many days. ARS 8.9
Discussion id : 27-671
most recent 9 OCT 12 SHOW ALL
Initial post 22 JUN 08 by Unregistered Guest
How well does Sally tolerate shade?
Reply #1 of 2 posted 7 SEP 08 by Judith C.
Better late than never perhaps ... Well, I would say. Mine is in the shade of some tall trees, no problem.
Reply #2 of 2 posted 9 OCT 12 by mtspace
I grew it in zone 6b in a spot where it probably never got more than six hours of sunlight per day, and it grew marvelously. Furthermore, I don't recall ever having a problem with the flowers drying out before they dropped. It was shady enough there that all my hybrid tea roses failed completely; and one hybrid perpetual took three years to reach knee height. SH hit five feet in her first year and looked glorious in bloom twice a year for years thereafter.
Discussion id : 52-235
most recent 13 FEB 11 HIDE POSTS
Initial post 13 FEB 11 by paul_zone5ct
I actually got rid of this rose because it hung onto its dying flowers instead of dropping them cleanly. Consequently, when a truss would bloom it would look great for a few days then look ragged because interspersed with the fresh flowers were brown ragged ones making it very difficult to deadhead. Anyone else have this problem?
Reply #1 of 1 posted 13 FEB 11 by billy teabag
Yes. And I eventually took it out too.
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