Saturday, September 7, 2013

Quiet, Demure, and Uninspiring

I've kept mum (pun intended) for quite a while about 'Quietness', one of the "post-Griffith-Buck" introduced roses that were reportedly bred by Griffith Buck, and I suppose I should finally say something about it.  It's not that I haven't noticed the rose in my garden or watched its every bloom develop and open, my silence simply stems from a lack of enthusiasm.  I just don't know yet how I feel about 'Quietness'.  I can tell you that I'm not stark raving mad, avid, or agog about it at the present time.  Perhaps all the Internet hype about this rose had me expecting more. 

'Quietness' was introduced in 2003 by Roses Unlimited, and she quickly gained acclaim as a show rose and garden performer.  I have to agree that Quietness' is a good rose and that she is a good cutting rose for the house.  She is the light blush pink of a new baby's cheeks and very full of petals, a double rose of some 40+petals that is also blessed with a strong perfume.  I don't know the proper term for the petal shape, but I would call it a "bi-lobed" petal, with almost, but not quite, a fringed rim.   The blooms start out in classic Hybrid Tea form, open full, and are quite large, almost 4" inches in diameter.  Blooms are often, as pictured here, borne in clusters and may be seen in several stages on a cluster.  All these are carried on a healthy bush more Hybrid Tea-form to me than shrublike.  Leaves are moderately resistant to blackspot for me, with <25% loss this year for me (as always, without spray).  This rose grows tall, 4-5 feet, but is not terribly wide in my garden at present.  Overall, I'd say she is lighter pink, slightly smaller, and more double-flowered, but otherwise resembles 'Queen Elizabeth'.  Is that an endorsement or a slight?

Esteemed rosarian Paul Zimmerman, writing from South Carolina, raves about 'Quietness', saying she is the easiest keeper in the garden of one of his friends, and "If you are looking for a stunning, soft pink, non stop blooming, smell-o-rama experience, than Quietness is the rose for you."  In an even more impressive endorsement, Peggy Rockerfeller Rose Garden curator Peter Kukielski  and his staff at the New York Botanical Gardens rated 845 roses for 3 years for hardiness and disease resistance and the winner was 'Quietness'(!), just ahead of 'Home Run' and 27 spots ahead of 'Knock Out'!   So perhaps, my specimen just isn't quite old enough to shine yet, or perhaps 'Quietness' does better in other climates such as the Atlantic seaboard, than it does in the MidWest.  If the latter is true and she performed adequately but not spectacularly in Dr. Buck's Iowa State proving grounds, that could explain why Dr. Buck didn't release the rose during his lifetime.  Right now, based on my experience this year growing a number of young Griffith Buck roses and as I noted earlier, I'd have given the best-newcomer nod to 'Chorale', another light pink, and for me, more rapidly repeating, Buck rose.

Update 09/27/2013;  Okay, I take some of it back.  Looking at 'Quietness' again, I realize that I overestimated its blackspot and that it actually has practically none and has retained all its foliage while 'Chorale' has lost about half its foliage.  I stand by the observation that 'Chorale' repeats its bloom faster.

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