Mid-summer is a good time for me to gauge which roses will truly thrive in my climate. It's the most brutal time of year for roses to endure in the Deep South. We have extreme temperatures, off-the-chart high humidity, sometimes flooding rains, and sometimes long droughts. The conditions are also perfect for that number one enemy of roses - blackspot. Since I don't spray, this is about the best time to get an evaluation of what roses will make the cut for me. One rose that is definitely passing with flying colors is the Griffith Buck rose, Earthsong.
The blooms are this deep pink color and they have a sweet fragrance, though it is not extremely strong. The flowers fade to a lighter pink in the sun, but they still retain attractive coloration. I've seen no insect damage at all to the plant.
Here is a whole bush shot of mine. It doesn't have a full, bushy shape and grows somewhat like a grandiflora. I've determined to start pruning mine like a grandiflora/hybrid tea from this point onward. The leaves are almost completely free of blackspot, though it sometimes gets a very small smattering of the disease. I keep a layer of mulch around it's base and water with a drip irrigator when needed. Once or twice a year I'll put a cup or two of alfalfa pellets around the base of the plant. This is about the only care I give for any of my roses. One of the things I really like about Earthsong is that the blooms don't seem to get smaller in the heat of summer like so many other roses do.
The Griffith Buck roses were bred to take cold, so I like to recommend them to my Northern friends. This is one of Buck's best ones. These are some tough bushes because they take our Southern heat just as well as the Northern freezes. A hardy family of roses and very worthy of consideration as easy to grow options in the landscape. It's so sad to me that these are not readily offered in most area nurseries. I recommend you look at Chamblee's web site to purchase this rose and many other Buck roses.
This last picture was taken back in May at the peak bloom of this rose. I'm including it so you can see what it looks like at its best. The smaller, lighter pink blooms are from an adjacent Super Dorothy rose. Earthsong nearly always blooms in these luscious clusters early in the year.