Photo courtesy of a_carl76
Listing last updated on 29 Feb 2024.
Des Moines, Iowa 50321
USDA Zone: 5b (-15 to -10 F / -26.1 - 23.4 C)
I am now up to about 700 roses, but that number is always growing and I can't stop myself. My freinds tell me I have a problem, but what do they know. I have completely run out of room and am now trying to find places where I can put potted roses in. I don't shovel prune anything because what if this is the year they actually do well. I'll let nature decide who is worthy or not.
I grow practically anything that is interesting, or not interesting, big, or small, thorny, thornless, and anything inbetween. I like them short, and tall, bushy and climbing, reblooming and not reblooming. My favorite ones are the ones that have colors (so yeah all of them). The classes I grow include hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, miniatures, mini-floras, large flowered climbers, ramblers, shrubs, bourbons, hybrid perpetuals, damasks, polyanthas, rugosas and species (I am sure I missed a few)
I live in Des Moines with a medium sized yard (1/4 acre) and am hopefully going to find more land soon - yes all my babies will come with me. The soil is loamy clay, but I am slowly improving that. Most of the roses are grown on their own roots so I don't have to worry about harsh winter conditions killing the bud unions on my roses. The few budded plants I do have (usually bought this way because they are not available with their own roots) are planted deeper so that the bud union is between 1 and 2 inches below the surface. Usually they become own rooted this way.
My main concern about my roses is winter care. Winters can be quite cold and I spend each fall making sure I put my roses to sleep properly. I have employed several methods using leaves donated by my neighbors. For my tender roses I used to only mound the leaves all around each rose bush. I have since found that using cement curing blankets on the beds insulated them enough to the point where I usually do not have any winter kill. For the ones that are not located in the mass rose beds, I wrap pieces of fiberglass insulation around the base before winter and remove them at the end. I usually only have to remove the exposed parts of the plants.
I have tried to collect as many of the Buck and Brownell roses as I can find. This is mainly because they are what I started with when I first got into growing roses despite being advised not to. The plants were pretty pathetic when I got them, but I had them blooming on great looking plants by summer's end. I am always looking to expand my Buck and Brownell collection so if any of you out there have some of his roses that I don't have, I'm begging you to send them my way.