Friday, August 26, 2011

Good Morning Queen Bee

'Queen Bee', 8/26/11
 As I think about what I'm planning for the next few blogs (and including yesterday's blog), I'm afraid in danger of spending a little too much time on roses at the expense of offending those readers with broader gardening minds.  But, hey, what can I say?  Deep, deep down, I'm a rose guy and the Fall flush is coming.  Bear with me and I'll try to intersperse a few blogs on something else. 

But today I certainly can't resist showing you the candelabra growth on my young 'Queen Bee' rose, finally opening last night.  I noticed yesterday that it was blooming too late to get a decent shot (or at least what I'll accept as a decent shot, poor though it would be to a professional photographer). So I ran out this morning as the sun rose to catch this glowing red rose at its best, in this case backlit by an eastern sun at 6:30 a.m.  I can't wait for this rose to get some growth on it beyond this first year in the ground, because I've got a hunch that I'm going to be royally pleased with 'Queen Bee' for years to come. 

'Queen Bee' is a 1984 introduction from Dr. Griffith Buck.  She has dark red buds that open to cupped, very double, blood red blooms with a decent fragrance.  You can see from the foliage of this rose that blackspot is not an issue here in Kansas.  Since this is 'Queen Bee's first year in my garden, I can't vouch for her hardiness here yet, but this complex cross of  a seeding of 'Rosali' X 'Music Maker' to another seedling of 'Square Dancer' X 'Tatjana', should be able to do fine in my Kansas Zone 5b climate.  She is, however, the most floriferous of the 6 new Buck roses I planted last Spring, literally blooming her head off all summer. 

I love bright red roses in general and this one is destined to become special to me. 


  1. Prof, Thanks for introducing me to the Buck Roses. Queen Bee looks to have beautiful flowers. If a person were to get two or three Buck Roses which are your favorites and which would your recommend?

  2. yous rose guys are something else.

  3. Oh, that depends a whole lot on what you want out of the rose. My favorites for easy to take care of is Carefree Beauty; 4-5 ft, clear pink, nice round shape, orange winter hips if you don't deadhead, but you wouldn't want it for a cut flower. EarthSong; 4-5 ft bright fuchsia pink, hard to mix with other colors, but better cut form and perfect foliage. My favorite for different flower is Freckles; 3 ft, pink with maroon streaks, good cut form. For a yellow, it is Prairie Harvest; 4 ft, light yellow/tan flowers, good foliage and cut form. For a bright red, right now, I'd have to give the nod to Bright Melody but I don't know how big it gets. For a short bush, unique flower, it would be Golden Princess with its white, red, and yellow tones. For a white with a little blush tone, Prairie Star is hard to beat, good foliage, good cut form. And lots of people rave about Quietness, clear pink, but I haven't grown it long. After that, who knows? I've already left out Winter Sunset, a great orange/bronze but short grower, and I'm toying with how good Folksinger is as a light apricot but haven't grown it long enough yet.

    So, make me pick four favorites for my own garden, it would be Carefree Beauty, Prairie Harvest, Freckles, and Bright Melody in that order. For a public garden, for ease of care, it would be Carefree Beauty, EarthSong, Prairie Harvest, and maybe Quietness, in that order.

  4. Hello! I was wondering if you could update about your Queen Bee rose bush and post photos of the growth habit.

    I am just beginning to get into roses and I love the reds! I'm looking to add it into a mixed garden, so foliage and growth habit are both important to me!

    Thanks in advance!

    1. Sad to say that she, among most of the other Buck roses, is a casualty of the Rose Rosette Disease I'm fighting.


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