History of Garden Party Roses:
The hybrid tea rose Garden Party was first bred in 1959 in the United States by Herbert Swim. Swim is a well known rose breeder out of California who specializes in varieties of roses that are tolerant of warmer regions. This rose was created by crossing the Charlotte Armstrong rose with the hybrid tea Peace rose. The result is a soft white rose that have white centers and often very slight pink edges. The blooms will average just under 5 inches in diameter and will have a very mild fragrance.
Garden Party roses will grow anywhere from 3 feet to almost 7 feet tall, with about a 2 foot width at full maturity. The blooms will be of a great size and will be somewhat full, having up to 40 petals each. Like most hybrid tea roses, this rose is also a repeat bloomer. Like many of Swim’s other creations, the rose Garden Party is more tolerant of warmer temperatures and it will do very well in zones 7 and warmer. This rose is especially vulnerable to mildew.
Growing Garden Party Roses:
Growing the rose Garden Party is not all that difficult and if you have any experience growing hybrid tea roses, you will find very little is different about this variety. The biggest decision you will make in the life of your roses is where around your garden to grow them. Roses need a lot of sun light if you want them to give you their best performance. As a general rule of thumb, you should select a location that gets no less than 6 to 8 hours each day of direct sun light.
You also should try and find a spot for your Garden Party roses that gets good exposure to the natural air currents through your garden. Sheltered areas tend to stay damp for longer periods of time and they also promote mold and mildew. Airflow around your roses is critical towards keeping the leaves dry and healthy. You should also be sure that the soil you are planting your rose Garden Party in drains well. This will help prevent the roots from staying damp for too long and will keep away a variety of issues that many growers face when growing roses.
Planting Garden Party Roses:
Getting your rose Garden Party into the ground is a rather simple endeavor and most people can get the job done easily with just a few basic hand tools. If you picked up your rose from a local nursery, then chances are they already had it planted in a container and probably ready to bloom. For these all you have to do is dig your hole at least twice the diameter of the container and equally as deep. This will keep the bud union at its original depth, while giving you plenty of room around the roots for your soil mix.
Now if you bought your Garden Party roses online, then there is a very good chance that they were shipped to you as bareroot plants. You should first soak these overnight in a bucket of room temperature water prior to planting day, to rehydrate the roots. Then dig your hole as wide as the longest roots that are on the plant, and deep enough to allow you to set the plant atop a mound of soil while keeping the bud union no more than an inch or two below the surface.
Once you have your rose Garden Party set in place atop the mound, spread the roots out in all directions and then back fill the hole about halfway to start, using your soil mix. Take your garden hose and water the loose soil heavily until it flows around the roots like mud, then go ahead and back fill the hole the remainder of the way. Give the soil one more deep watering and be sure to top off any settling that may occur. This planting method should ensure that no air pockets have formed around the roots.
If your weather is unusually hot or dry around planting time, you may want to mound up some fresh mulch around the exposed canes of the plant. This will help prevent them from drying out while new growth is forming, at which time you can remove the mound.
Caring for Garden Party Roses:
Taking care of the rose Garden Party is pretty straight forward, and once again, if you have any prior experience growing hybrid tea roses, then you probably already have the knowledge needed. You will need to supply enough water to your roses without overwatering them. For most mild climates this is about one deep watering every week. If you live in a hot or dry region, then you may need to check on your roses every couple of days.
You should also give your Garden Party roses a dose of a granular, all-purpose fertilizer in the early spring to give then a good jump on the season. Like most hybrid tea roses, this is a repeat bloomer so it will benefit greatly from a few additional feedings over the course of the season. Typically I will give my roses their second feeding immediately following the first big bloom. I will then give them a third feeding sometime around the middle of the summer to encourage additional blooms. Your rose Garden Party should do nicely on this schedule as well.
Pruning Garden Party Roses:
You should always prune your rose Garden Party in the very early spring before the leaves start to form. Start by removing all the dead and discolored canes from the plant, and set these aside. Next, prune back all overlapping lateral canes so the leaves do not compete for sun light once fully opened. Lastly, give the remaining canes a cut back by about one third of their current height to promote new growth.
This is also the time to clean up around the base of your Garden Party roses and get rid of all the dead leaves and debris that always seem to collect there. Throw away all of this material in the trash along with your cuttings. Never let decaying matter lay around your roses as it can quickly turn into a breeding ground for various pests and diseases. Lastly, give your rose Garden Party a fresh new layer of mulch to start off the growing season.
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