I have several rose bushes in my garden, but I do not use petroleum-based poisons to care for them. I do use Safer products which contain Pyrethrum from the Chrysanthemum, or Neem from the Azadirachta indica (mahogany family), and other organic substances. Safer products include “pesticides” and ‘herbicides.”
One of my favorite roses, year after year is the Cecile Brunner climbing rose, that is now in full bloom. Sounds early, but the spring has been so warm, she thinks it is May or June. OMG, it will be May next week. I have had Cecile for many years and she is quite large. Her roots lie under my porch and her head spreads over the roof of the porch and the several trellises that support her. Year after year we have added trellises until now there are no less than five holding up her long canes. My Cecile is the pink rose you see below (photos from last year). Her perfume makes sitting on the back porch a lovely experience at this time of year.
Cecile sports a tiny rose, but oh how to describe her scent. She is the mother of the tea roses the florists sell, but the tea roses have lost their scent. To build bigger blooms, the hybridzers gave up on scent. The small pink blooms viewed en masse make a beautiful spectacle a block away. Neighbors who drive up the street behind our house comment on her beauty.
My Cecile is eaten by aphids which feed the baby birds, and she has had Black Spot some years, and powdery mildew other years, but I do not spray her often, and if I do it is to use the Safer products. Over the years she has grown stronger. She is no wilting violet. As our summers give way to California type weather, the roses prosper.
We have a Lady Banks or Banksia rose in the front yard, and as for the Cecile Brunner rose, we have added trellises over the years to support her ever-expanding canes. We also whack on the canes to keep them from overrunning the yard. Banksia is named for the wife of the former director of Kew Gardens in London. and she is a pretty shade of pale yellow with tiny flowers which bloom en masse. The largest Bansksia rose grows in Texas and sprawls over an acre of trellises. Banksia is immune to Black Spot and Mildew, and the insects cannot faze her. The only downside to Banksia is that she has no scent…none. Every fall I find several bird nests in her canes. Below are photos of my Banksia rose (click to enlarge):