'Mr. Lincoln' is in its second year in my garden, and doing well. So far, I haven't had any of the diseases or infestations that seem to plague rose growers. I hate to even mention it, as such statements seem to bring it on problems! To date, my rose problems have been climate related. I've tried to find the best watering frequency for the location of my rose bushes, and it's been trial and error. Winds, unseasonably hot weather, lack of moisture and low humidity have taken their toll on the roses in the last couple of months. Both flowers and new growth have been repeatedly shredded. With temperatures soon to be consistently above 100 degrees, I won't see really nice roses again until probably October.
'Queen Elizabeth' is such a pretty rose. It has grown a lot taller than I expected, and it has very long stems, making this rose my best one for cutting. In my rose garden, 'Queen Elizabeth' is second only to 'Red Intrepid' for growth fullness and vigor. Once I made the decision to add roses to my desert garden, I made myself a rule that I would not plant more than ten roses. I now have that. Taking care of these ten rose bushes takes some effort, including carrying buckets of water in between the regular irrigation schedule as temperatures climb. This will continue until October. Although I love the color and fragrance of the roses, I've come to the conclusion that roses really look better in gardens where there is plenty of grass and other greenery, rather than in desert landscapes, where they just don't seem to fit in with their surroundings. However, the bright green foliage and spots of color add welcome relief to my predominately tan, brown, and yellow landscape.
'Don Juan' is a climbing rose I picked up as a bare root late last year. Bare root roses don't establish as well in Arizona as do container roses, so this purchase was an experiment on my part. Growth has been slow, but I was slow at getting it in the ground. I still don't have a support for it, so until I make a decision as to what to use, its production will be hindered since climbing roses really need support and training to to their best.
'Don Juan' rose was at one time the leading dark red crimson flowered climber in the United States, doing well in Zones 6-11. Since it thrives in hot climates, it is recommended for Arizona gardens. This rose has a strong sweet-spicy fragrance and large double blooms. The dark red petals have a velvety quality, and from what I've read, it will produce orange hips in the fall.