I can hear you…and you’re absolutely right! Every time a new rose opens for the first time, it’s instantly declared “My New Favorite Rose”…until the next one opens, but this time it’s true! I’ve been wanting a climbing rose for the trellis over the south bench (that my dad built for me decades ago, and that I STILL haven’t repainted this summer!) since the potager was built. Finally I found one called “Polka” from High Country Roses and planted it this spring. This week, the first bloom opened, a perfect “tea rose” type bud that opened slowly over 3 days. The soft apricot color is perfect. The size is wonderful. I can’t wait to see it fully grown up the trellis and hopefully arching over the top, filled with luscious blooms.
Today, it is fully opened. So ruffly and full in that blowsy, opulent “old rose” style, nearly 5″ across and absolutely perfect, with a light rose scent. So, until a new contender comes along (or “Pumpkin Patch” proves to be a more abundant bloomer) it IS my favorite rose.
Now, here’s the puzzlement…I’ve been observing all my roses this entire season. Some of them, like “Polka,” “Bliss,” and “Pearlie Mae” have been entirely ignored by the Japanese beetles, while only a few feet away, the “Crazy Love” and “Adobe Sunset” blooms are devoured immediately, sometimes while still in a tight bud. I adore “Crazy Love” but every day I find 4-6 beetles in each flower. It seems to be a beetle magnet.
It can’t be location, because they are in close proximity. They are all in a similar color range…soft oranges and apricots, although “Bliss” is more yellow than apricot. That leaves scent, and maybe my nose is too old to detect a difference. I know it’s definitely scent that lures hundreds of beetles to my yellow bucket trap, so that’s probably the reason. Or, maybe it’s flavor? Maybe “Crazy Love” is the banana split, the fresh apple pie of roses? Things like this intrigue me.
Do you find Japanese beetles on all of your roses? Do they seem to prefer some over others? Do you have any that they ignore? There could be a whole new marketing tool here waiting to be discovered! I know that if I decide to add more roses, I’ll definitely add more of those that the beetles ignore, rather than those they love!