A far-ranging collection of essays on gardening and life, meant solely to relieve this gardener’s daily frustrations and lamentations over gardening in general and particularly gardening in Kansas. Though I am an old gardener, I am but a young blogger (apologies to Thomas Jefferson).
Readers of this blog already know that I'm partial to many of the roses bred by the late Griffith Buck. It's a sure thing that Professor Buck created a number of marvelous and hardy roses specifically for the Midwest climate, but many of them remain unknown to rosarians in other areas where roses grow easily and large.
The most well-known and best of these roses has to be the aptly named 'Carefree Beauty'. Here in the Flint Hills, 'Carefree Beauty' also has to be in the running for the title of Most Perfect Rose. This clear pink stunner blooms continually and it's resistant to blackspot, drought, and wind. It's so resistant to blackspot that in a survey by the Montreal Botanical Garden it was found to have only a 0-5% infection rate. The only time I've ever seen 'Carefree Beauty' look under the weather was during the ice storm of three winters ago, when a one-half inch coating of ice broke off several canes and generally made a ragged mess of one of my two specimens.
'Carefree Beauty' grows about 4 feet tall in my garden and it's a rose that is not prone to send out new canes, but often has a central "stalk" that just widens and spreads over time. I've rarely seen it without a bloom and the early bloom, as in the picture at the left, will knock your socks off. Rated hardy to Zone 4b, it is completely hardy with no die-back in my Zone 5 garden. It even adds winter interest with a nice display of globular orange hips.
'Carefree Beauty', released in 1977, has received its accolades from many sources. This shrub rose was one of the first named to the Texas A&M EarthKind program (http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/roses) and long before that recognition it was a popular rose propagated by the Texas Rose Rustlers with the study name 'Katy Road Pink'. It's also been recommended by the University of Minnesota and as a solidly hardy rose and it was one of 24 roses that "passed the test" in Longwood Garden's Ten-Year Rose Trials (http://longwoodgardens.org/docs/educationalresources/roses.pdf). 'Carefree Beauty' is truly a rose for any garden and any gardener.