Lots of trial and error, learning the hard way, educating myself, and good sound advice has led me to maintain over a hundred roses, of all sorts of varieties. I have hardy climbers, shrubs, hybrid teas, knock-outs, floribundas, Austin's, and minis. Each one is different, with varied needs, and even more varied rewards. I love them all.
For some reason, I have a new founded desire to stop spending so much money on rose care. I don't want to pay to prevent the powdery mildew. I don't want to try and deter the Japanese Beetles by spending money on Bayer. I want to try and grow these roses with nothing but some simple fertilizers and tender loving care. I say this now, but watch me complain come July.
My intentions are good. For the Japanese Beetles I plan on doing to bucket of soapy water twice a day... walking around the garden after sun up to flick as many of the beetles into the bucket as I can. This method worked okay 4 years ago, but last year the sheer numbers of beetles were astounding, and hours were spent knocking them into buckets only to have more some from thin air. This year, I won't give up. I need a regimen.
Carefree Wonder, a bit droopy in her second year, after some heavy rainfall. I wish they could all be as carefree!
For Powdery Mildew, I have tried preventative chemicals, and washing the foliage, but it is so much work... I think I may just remove the affected foliage and trim back the worse culprits. I have 2 roses in the garden that are covered in PM every year: Scarlet Knight and Fragrant Cloud. Perhaps it is just time to get rid of them? I can't even believe I am saying this.
One great thing about roses? The spring flush is not affected by PM or Beetles. This year there is definately a slug problem, but not too bad. Mostly just hundreds of blooms. Heavenly scented, beautiful, romantic, roses.