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).
There has long been a rose out there in the world for all those rose folks who search for a groundcover rose or a rose to cover a hillside, and I'm happy to say that I have grown this marvelous rose for years.
In 1976, the great rose-breeder Ralph Moore introduced 'Red Cascade' as a miniature groundcover rose, and that same year the rose was also awarded the ARS Award of Excellence. 'Red Cascade' has since become one of the most versatile roses for the garden, with various rosarians recommending it be used as a groundcover, a climber, or pruned as a shrub. It blooms, as pictured, in bright red (perhaps with a little touch of orange) sprays of cupped, very double flowers, but I have to admit that the individual one-inch diameter flowers leave me less than inspired when viewed by themselves. This is definitely a rose for the garden, not for the vase. The flowers form almost as hybrid-tea style buds, open cupped and flatten out as they age, but to their credit, the flowers hardly fade from their bright red beginnings. There is, alas, no fragrance that I can detect, although various sources, most of whom I suspect never saw this rose in person, suggest that it has a light scent.
'Red Cascade' first bloom 6/05/11
'Red Cascade' is a cross of a seedling (R. Wichurana X 'Floradora') and 'Magic Dragon' (a previous red climber by Moore). In my Kansas climate, it produces some very long canes, usually running about 6 feet in a season, but occasionally reaching out twelve feet from base. I grow 'Red Cascade' near the edge of an East-facing limestone landscaping wall, where, true to its name, it can cascade down the wall or spread under the shade of an adjacent red peach tree at will. In that spot, it remains about 8 foot by 5 foot wide and it lifts its blooms about a foot into the air. Even there, with primarily morning sunshine, it is disease free and never sees any spray or extra water (and darned little fertilizer). In fact, my 'Red Cascade' has performed as predicted by others and it has rooted twice more in the area where its long canes have arched back in contact with the ground. I must remember to move one of the rooted starts out into the sun to let it really run free.
At least one forum thread had a participant asking about repeat bloom and you can see pictured at right, the second bloom of this rose starting up again less than three weeks after the picture taken above at full bloom. It's early in the second bloom, so if I had waited a few days I'd better represent the almost ever-blooming nature of this rose, but I couldn't resist showing it off as it was this morning against the orange native prairie Asclepias. The three clumps of Asclepias tuberosa all self-seeded around my 'Red Cascade', obviously proving that these plants can think and that they have the artistic sense to display their complimentary color next to a winner of a rose.