When I bought two new roses in 2006, they were the ones that made me fall in love with roses. Prior to that, I could take them or leave them. They were for people who were 'mature' gardeners, because you know, they're hard to grow! (I've since learned that they really aren't that difficult.) And I never really was wowed by that rose fragrance. It reminded me of a funeral home.
That was the year that Mom took me with her to The Greenhouse Effect to buy some roses and I came home with 'Chihuly'® and 'Hot Cocoa'™. Since they've been in my garden, they have made a rose lover out of me. I even love the smell of roses now. Funny how your tastes change like that.
I made a trip over to The Greenhouse Effect again this year, just to look. Oh, sure. Just to look. Every gardener (and gardener's spouse) knows what that means. More often than not, looking turns into buying, and this trip was no different. The Greenhouse Effect carries Weeks roses and theirs are always big and healthy. Each one costs $25, no matter which one it is, and they're worth every penny.
I nearly bought a dark purple climber, but over in the corner was an unnamed Floribunda that kept luring me back for a second and third look. It reminded me a bit of 'Hot Cocoa'™ in that smoky sort of way, but the color wasn't quite the same. I walked away from it again and looked down through the other roses. There were several that I could have taken home - 'Gentle Giant'™, 'Ink Spots', 'Burgundy Iceberg'™, 'What A Peach'™.
That unnamed one was still on my mind, and being the only one in the place like it, I wondered if it was even for sale. I walked back to the main building and asked Earl about it. He knew just which one I was talking about. He told me when they order their roses from Weeks, there's always two random roses that get sent along with the order and this was one of those. He agreed to sell it to me.
I took both of my roses home and decided to do some investigating on the mystery rose. It had a tag with a Weeks coded number on it (WEKcobeju), so I Googled it and found out it was 'Cinco de Mayo'™, a 2009 AARS Winner.
I also found out that it has 'Topsy Turvy'™ as one of its parents. That's one that I bought last year. Both roses are now planted and blooming away, as is 'Topsy Turvy'™. 'Chihuly'® and 'Hot Cocoa'™ have finished with their first blooming and have small buds starting for the second flush.
Earlier this year, I'd mentioned that I wanted 'Ebb Tide'™ and I had purchased it from Dutch Gardens. It's small, but it's been performing well, producing several blooms despite its size. I love its unique deep purple color and I have yet to take a photograph that accurately depicts that.
The foliage on some of my roses isn't the best this summer, but I figure some years it's going to be like that. Depending on the weather and other factors, the insect pest issues change from year to year. But I've not run into anything that poses a huge threat to the plant, and no powdery mildew, black spot, aphids, or Japanese Beetles. Yet.