Rose Cuttings – October, 2007

Gardens throughout Texas are in glorious bloom right now. After the hot and very dry summer that extended right into the first of October, I am amazed at how the garden can recover so quickly with just a little rain and cool weather. Our display gardens in Brenham (Independence) and San Antonio are no exception. Fall blooming roses are awe-inspiring, often rivaling their own spring bloom.

One group of roses that I prefer in fall as opposed to spring are the hybrid musks. They grow to be large spreading, even cascading giants that, by autumn, support fountains of blooms. They may be used as shrubs, mannerly climbers, pillars or hedges. The colors are beautiful pastels and blends, the fragrance is outstanding, and the foliage is handsome and disease-resistant. Some varieties also have the added bonus of large displays of rose hips. Pruning is needed only for shaping or to remove non-vigorous wood. While most roses require direct, full sun daily, hybrid musks uncharacteristically don’t require as much sun, although will still need 4 hours of direct sun a day.

Here are some of the best, as they can tolerate our dry summer spells and are more heat- and cold-resistant than many other roses.

Penelope, 1924: The most popular Pemberton musk. Vigorous and large-leaved, having corymbs of very pale salmon-pink flowers of strong aroma, followed in winter by a crop of unusual pink hips.

Buff Beauty, 1939: A spreading bush of about 6 feet with an unbelievable flush of 2-inch blooms of muted apricot.

Ballerina, 1937: Small, single flowers of light pink with white eyes, occurring in large clusters throughout the growing season: Excellent for mass planting.

Felicia, 1928: Fully double flowers of apricot-pink fading to cream grace this medium-sized shrub or pillar rose. Felicia is very generous with her blooms and has one of the most intense fragrances in its class.

Nur Mahal, 1923: The bright crimson, semi-double flowers in clusters make for a real eye-catcher. Can be a chunky, self-supporting shrub, or the long canes can be trained as a pillar.

Skyrocket (Wilhelm), 1934: We have found this rose growing in numerous places in Texas and the South. Huge clusters of true red flowers cover a husky plant that can reach 5 feet.

If you want to learn more about these roses or others, along with fall gardening, come to the Antique Rose Emporium in Brenham (Independence), Nov. 4-6. We will be hosting our 18th Annual Fall Festival of Roses, a free, three-day event of entertaining and educational gardening presentations by local and nationally known speakers in their field. Visit our Web site at for additional information.

About the author: Mike Shoup is the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium. Visit their Brenham and San Antonio display gardens for endless ideas on landscaping with roses, and to order roses online, visit their Web site:

Posted by Neil Sperry
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