Decisions, decisions…

So now that I’ve finalized plans for the arbor in the backyard, I’mfaced with a choice of which rose to plant. I’ve spent way moretime on this than is probably healthy, getting all kinds of input frommy friends at Gardenweb’s AntiqueRoses Forum, and now I’ve narrowed it down to a list of ten. I guess Istill have a lot of time to choose… But I thought maybe a list ofcharacteristics, with pictures, might help me prioritize them in myhead. (Pardon some of the inane comments: they’re taken directly out ofwebsites, snippets here and snippets there, with very little editing).So here they are, in alphabetical order:

Abraham Darby: apricot yellow, cupped, full petalled blooms; strong; fruity scent; repeat flowering; climbing habit; (Austin 1985) Beautiful. Spreading growth forms a 5′ shrub or the flexiible canes can be easily trained to 8-10′ on a low fence. One of the great Austin English roses. The cupped and quartered blossoms overflow with peach, gold and apricot tones; this rose is almost never out of bloom. The fragrant blooms nod down, making a perfect rose to train on a short wall or fence. This rose proved its worth in last summer’s drought, where it continued to bloom through November without any supplemental water or food.Somewhat disease resistant. Winter hardy to at least Zone 5. One of the top three roses in my garden for beauty of bloom and ease of culture.
Awakening (pale pink) – “bloom machine”. disease resistant. a beauty; pale pink, fully double; quartered form of “New Dawn”; 10ft X 8ft; continuous bloomer; fragrant (sweet scent); long flowering period; excellent foliage; (Beales 1992) . soft pink, vigorous climber that blooms freely throughout the summer. Awakening will easily cover an arbor, as it rapidly grows to a height of 10-15 feet. Fragrance of apples.
Buff Beauty: (hybrid musk) pale apricot and yellow blooms in shape of powder puffs; double; to 8 ft.; fragrant; withstands bad weather well; dark shiny leaves; healthy plants. Reblooming. Blooms heavily in spring, sporadically in summer, with another flush in fall. Grows 5 to 7 feet as a shrub or 8 to 12 feet as a climber.
Cecile Brunner – maybe too big? Will heap itself over an arbor and cover it in mounds of tiny pale pink “sweetheart” roses.
Compassion (pink/orange blend) – fragrance, disease resistant. salmon pink tinted with apricot orange; medium-sized, HT form; 36 petals; strong bushy grower; very fragrant; the most popular climbing rose in England; great repeater. It’s a sweet smelling rose with big blooms of salmon-pink shaded with apricot. some stems have one flower, while others have huge clusters.
Darlow’s Enigma. Monster amount of bloom, no blackspot, and humongous growth. Grows exceptionally well in zone 4 even in partial shade. Exceptionally heady fragrance! Purest white, semi-double blooms that open flat to show golden centers, produced in clusters that are so wonderfully fragrant with rich, sweet perfume that, when conditions are right, you can smell from 10 feet away. All this on a vigorous, upright plant with dark green, glossy foliage. Very disease-resistant. The plant without bloom is beautiful, but it is never without bloom.The perfume is both lightly sweet and penetrating, drifting on misty mornings clear up to the front porch some fifteen feet away. 6-12′
Don Juan (bright velvet red) – Carefree. large, double, dark velvety red; 35 petals; strong fragrance; glossy dark green foliage; good subject for growing on walls and as pillars. Dramatic, crimson flowers with velvety, ruffled petals and an intoxicating damask scent.
GINGER SYLLABUB – apricot, cupped. old-fashioned, quartered form; to 9ft; very fragrant; “amber ginger flowers exuding wave after wave of perfume. A vigorous grower”.
GLOIRE de DIJON (Old Glory Rose) – buff yellow, tinted with pink & gold; cupped blooms open flat; large; full and globular; qartered petals; blooms early and continues; Noisette rose; very fragrant; (Jacoto 1853) Shade tolerant. the scent is outstanding, and it produces several flushes of bloom from early May until December. 12 x 8. Early flourishing and the whole season flourishes for a long time. Strong smell. Hardy.
Madame Alfred Carriere – a lot of BS in MD. great & very disease resistant, but both of mine grow more like tall spreading shrubs than climbers. white, tinted with flesh pink with yellowish base; large, cupped blooms; very strong grower; continuous bloomer; disease resistant; to 12 ft.; Noisette; fragrant; light pale-green foliage. Some roses deserve to be called great. This is one of them. A noisette climber that is constantly blooming and very vigorous.
New Dawn: light cameo pink; double; ever-blooming; sweet fragrance; outstanding quality; H. Wich.; 20ft; glossy, dark green foliage; it was elected to the World Rose Hall of Fame in 1997.
PENNY LANE – honey-champagne colour blushes to pearlized pink with age; old-fasioned blooms with ruffled, informal petals; repeats well in fall; very fragrant; flexible stems; vigorous grower, ideal for pillars, pergolas, arches or on walls and fences; dark green, shiny foliage.
WESTERLAND – bright apricot orange; cupped, double with ruffled look; 20 petals; very fragrant; repeat-flowering; vigorous, upright grower; dark green foliage; The fragrance is light and quite delightful.

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