'Blue Skies' is a Griffith Buck rose (with the registration name of BUCblu) that I have long desired to grow and, in fact, I have tried and failed to establish it twice before. I can chalk one failure up to an overbearing and smothering nearby Panicum sp., and the other to a poor specimen (a grafted, bagged, $3.00 Grade 2 rose), so I hope that this time, the third time, will really prove a charm.
And, so far at least, so good. This rose is so spectacular that it hurts me. I purchased a band of 'Blue Skies' this Spring from Heirloom Roses and it arrived in excellent condition and now, 2 months later, is a one-foot tall rose "toddler" that has bloomed twice already and is heading rapidly into its third flush. I cannot, of course, speak to its winter hardiness in my zone, but I wasn't going to wait until next Spring to blog about a rose of this perfect-ness.
I have not, in the past, been a real fan of "blue" roses, but I'll make an exception for the pink/mauve/lilac 'Blue Skies'. Released by Dr. Buck in 1983, its parentage, according to Mary Buck, is [(Soir d'Automne x Music Maker) x Solitude] x [(Mainzer Fastnacht x Tom Brown) x Autumn Dusk], a combination that I can't quite get my head around. Whatever the heritage, 'Blue Skies' has, even as a small bush, provided me with a good number of perfect hybrid-tea style buds on long stems. The double blooms have a strong fragrance and it may well be one of the fastest repeat cycle bloomers in my garden. I hate to report a final assessment yet, since it is such a young bush for me, but disease resistance is excellent at present, absolutely not a blemish on the foliage anywhere.
ProfessorRoush doesn't grow many Hybrid Tea-type roses, and Mrs. ProfessorRoush has soft spots for both lilac-colored roses and for Hybrid Tea blooms, so I'm keeping my figures crossed and watching this rose closely. Because, of course, I want smooth sailing at home and 'Blue Skies', nothing but blue skies, from now on.