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Coastal Roses

It's difficult to limit the list of the best roses for the Oregon south coast to 10 because when roses do well here, they do really well.  When they do poorly, they do really poorly.

Gemini features a creamy white center and outer petals outlined with pink.  It resembles those other white and pink roses, Pristine and Lynn Anderson.  It is a blooming power-house in comparison with either of those roses.  It is often in exhibition form and can grow quite tall.  I have never seen a bit of disease on either of mine.

Elina is one of the best roses for the south coast. With our cooler temperatures, the light yellow color lasts and lasts.  At times my one bush, which is growing on its own roots, has been covered with more than two dozen blooms in various stages.  This rose can often top out at 6 feet in height and more than 4 feet in width.  It is also very disease resistant, sometimes bothered by black spot in the early spring or powdery mildew in the late summer.  The bush shrugs off the disease and keeps on growing.  A regular spray program keeps it looking and growing its best.

Olympiad also shines on the south coast.  Its brilliant red blooms can be seen from quite a distance.  Their substance is such that they last on the bush for a very long time. Olympiad appears to be one of those roses which can take a few years to establish, but when it does, watch out.  It is spectacular.

Livin' Easy can also grow quite large.  My own-root rose last year was easily 4 feet high and 4-feet wide.  It had been moderately pruned and responded with more blooms than I could count.  The bright orange blooms gradually fade to a salmon with yellow centers.  It is also very disease resistant and is rarely troubled by more than a slight case of black spot.

On the south coast Betty Boop truly shows its colors.  In warmer climates, rosarians complain it is colorless and blows too fast.  In our cool summers, the colors are bright, vibrant and sassy, just like the Betty Boop herself.  A single, this rose lasts for days on the bush, gradually fading to a white edged with cherry red.  It can also grow quite large and could be grown as a hedge.

Sheila's Perfume may be more fragrant in warmer climates but its blend of orange, pink, salmon, peach and yellow is spectacular here.  I've seen a dozen blooms open at once and last for days.  Not as disease resistant as others I've mentioned, Sheila's Perfume will recover and continue to grow and produce outstanding blooms for many years.  Mine was heavily infested with downy mildew but survived to tell the tale.

Lavaglut is, unfortunately, difficult to find, which is too bad as no garden should be without at least one.  Its huge clusters of bloom last up to 10 days on the bush.  At times, it is difficult to find the bush under all that bloom!  Another own-root rose, Lavaglut is not big, rarely growing more than 2-feet tall and as wide, but it is a bloom powerhouse.

The real jewels of the south coast garden are the David Austin English roses.  Our climate is so similar to the Austin's home in England, it is too bad the roses are not more widely grown.  They are not hybrid teas, do not grow like hybrid teas, and should not be expected to bloom like hybrid teas. They are truly in a class of their own.

I grow more Austins than any other class of rose and find it difficult to limit my list to three.    These roses require patience to allow them to establish themselves in the garden, but when they do they reward the rosarian with tons of bloom.  They require very little care other than water and a regular fertilizer program.  I do not spray mine beyond the first two or three weeks of early spring.

The three best in my garden are Graham Thomas, Golden Celebration, and Morning Mist. Graham Thomas and Golden Celebration are more widely known and grown.  Morning Mist is a single rose, bright pink, and a huge rose when established.  It grows 8- to 10-feet high and about 5- to 6-feet high.  As far as I know, it is available only from David Austin Roses in Texas but it is one rose that should be in more gardens. It is a true landscape shrub and could easily be grown as part of a shrub border.

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Updated July 02, 2004
Copyright 2004 ARS Pacific Northwest District