|John Paul II|
White roses were famous for lacking fragrance. That makes sense. If the quest is to make the rose as white as possible, the perfume is going to be secondary. One catalog said, "The only fragrance is in the imagination of the gardener."
However, John Paul II is said to be especially fragrant - and a perfect white rose.
Some have complained that Peace is no longer as yellow as it used to be - "from over-propagation." That seems to ignore the way roses are multiplied. They do not have babies. Instead, the stems are rooted in water and turned into new Peace roses. They all came from one perfect Rose developed in Germany before WWII.
One wise gardener pointed out that Peace was developed and grown in an era when manure was the fertilizer used for roses. The chemical fertilizers do have the ability to give roses what they need.
A rose gardener complained that her organic friends were getting much better roses than she did with all the proper "rose fertilizers." In other words, she had no concept of soil biology and the delivery of nutrition and water to rose roots. Therefore, her roses were fading during the summer, in spite of repeated applications of bagged, dry, inorganic chemical fertilizer.
One rose website even suggested adding extra fertilizer for a bush that was more demanding of food. Nevertheless, many rose gardens are smarter than that.
During our first year of rose gardening here, we added no fertilizer at all and had constant blooms, including the KnockOut roses, which constantly bloom. Underneath the roses, between the upper part and the roots, was a layer of newspapers covered by wooden mulch (Jackson Mulch). The roses were surrounded by lawn and topsoil that rotted under the mulch layer, feeding the creatures that live in the top 12 inches. We only added a lot of red wigglers from Uncle Jim's Worm Farm.
Hard work - buy about 2,000. Place them on top of the soil. They know what to do. They dig themselves in at once and begin to feed and multiply.
I did put a little sprinkling of Epsom Salts on the rosebed when it rained - very little.
The keys are:
- Organic matter that the fungi, bacteria, nematodes, and earthworms use to feed the roots.
- Regular watering when needed.
- Regular pruning - which means cutting roses for yourself and friends.