A Newsletter for our Rose-Loving Community

Edition #3 April 15, 2015

Meet Smokin' Hot™, our new 2016 Introduction. Limited availability from select nurseries and garden centers. Find a nursery or garden center near you »


“Name That Rose” Contest Winners

We are excited to announce the four winners in the "Name That Rose" contest.  Gale Baker, Judy Gay, Steve Alexander and Cynthia Piano all suggested Smokin’ Hot™ as the name for our 2016 introduction. What a perfect description for this exotic dark orange hybrid tea with smoky purple overlay and white petal reverse. It will set your garden on ablaze with color! The four winners all received Felco shears and Hestra garden gloves for their suggested name.

Thanks to all of you for your participation and enthusiasm. We enjoyed everyone’s entries and have saved many for next year’s consideration. Because the response was so wonderful, we are considering doing this again next year. 
Doris Day

Doris Day celebrated her birthday April 3. Also known as America’s Sweetheart, Day provides the quintessential ideal as a role model and national animal activist through the Doris Day Animal League (merged with the Humane Society of the United States in 2006).

You will find the newly introduced Doris Day Rose in your garden centers this spring. This golden beauty is one of our favorites. Its blooms are full of sunshine and sweeten the garden with a wonderful fruit and spice fragrance. Wonderfully floriferous and disease resistant, this rose is suited for mass planting in the land- scape as well as a stand-alone garden feature.

Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King’s birth date is April 27. The rose bearing her name was introduced in 2014.This elegant grandiflora with cream buds frosted in coral pink to orange offers a great display all season long. The blossoms also are outstanding in fresh floral arrangements. Two years ago, rosarian Paul Zimmerman used rose blossoms from our fields at Weeks to create a wreath for King’s grave at the King Center for Nonviolent Social Change. This year Home Depot, in cooperation with the King Foundation, is offering this lovely rose in selected locations in the Southeast. You’ll also find this beauty at local garden centers. To find a list of local retailers, click here.

Weeks on TV!

Last week’s episode of Fox’s hit show Backstrom involved a murder investigation set against the backdrop of the Portland International Rose Test Garden. During the investigation, one of the main characters does some research on a “designer rose hybrid – a rare varietal that has double blooms of velvety plum petals with a scent of spicy clove”. The rose he is describing is identified as our own Ebb Tide floribunda! You can learn more about this “designer rose” right here.

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Garden To Do List

Early spring is the time to clean the winter out of your gardens. Whether you’re planting new roses or maintaining existing ones, your garden area will need some prep work.

● Remove all leaf and limb debris that may have blown into the garden from the fall and winter. This will discourage any disease issues from dormant spores that might be hiding in last year’s plant debris.

● Give your garden a facelift by adding a fresh layer of mulch. In addition to refreshing the appearance of your beds, this will also help with weed control and water retention for the upcoming season.

● If you did not do so in the fall, prune your roses now. Using well-sharpened pruning shears, remove about one-third to one-half of top growth. Begin by removing any dead, broken, weak, or crossing canes. Then prune remaining canes, if possible pruning above an outside eye. This will create an urn shape, which gives your rose a fuller appearance and will encourage good health by keeping the center open and encouraging air flow.

● This is also the ideal time to enhance your garden palette by adding new roses to your garden. Check out our beautiful new roses for 2015 here.

What’s the difference between pruning and deadheading?

● Pruning is an annual task in which you cut your roses way back. This gives them a head start for the new growing season. By removing one-third to one-half of the top growth, including all foliage, you are redirecting the plant’s energy into the strongest canes. You’re also minimizing the chance of disease by removing any dormant spores. In warmer climates, pruning is best done in the winter. In colder climates, fall or spring is the ideal time to prune.

● Deadheading is a task that can be done throughout the growing season, if desired. It is by no means essential for the well-being of your roses. However, removing faded blooms is the best way to keep your roses looking tidy and encouraging new blooms throughout the season. Cut just above the first five-leaflet leaf. Cutting above an outside eye will encourage a fuller looking plant.

How do I prepare my new garden area?

If you are planting a new area, it is wise to turn over all the soil so it may be mixed with garden compost. Some gardeners compost their own; others purchase bulk or bagged composts from their local lawn and garden supplier. Working a 2-4" layer of organic compost in the soil with a fork or rototiller gives the soil a crumbly texture.This allows the roots to quickly spread and take in oxygen, which is essential for the health of your plant.

Some gardeners prefer to add are earthworm castings, mycorrhiza and other amendments that assist in the breakdown of the organic matter and make it easier for the plants to take in nutrients.

You can also obtain other helpful suggestions on soil amendments at your local garden center. Visit weeksroses.com for more information.


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2015 Catalog

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