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Garden Star: 'About Face' Grandiflora Rose

by Cliff Sharples (chief cultivator)

This is one of those roses that just works and performs all season long!


From Rags to Riches

This is one of those hard-luck stories, where the underdog perseveres and flourishes! My wife and I bought 3 'About Face' Grandiflora roses when we first bought our house over 6 years ago. The orange blossom with a tinge of pink called to us from the rows of rose bushes at a local nursery. Never mind that we hadn't yet planned out the gardens for our house, or had any beds prepped... like a teen in a mall with her parents' credit card, the urge to collect sometimes proves overwhelming.

Probably not unlike a pair of Imelda Marcos' shoes, these roses were left in our yard for 3 years in their nursery pots. They looked like dead sticks for much of the year, but with construction and hardscaping projects going on for a couple of years, the nursery "trash" was left unattended. We finally had a sunny spot that needed a backdrop of a medium high plant, and we remembered our poor roses, which had a couple of green leaves on some scraggly stems. Eternal optimists, we planted them.


3 years later, they are thriving! This season, we enjoyed a summer of blooms, which will most likely go into the fall. We're not the babying type when it comes to most of our plants (unless you're one of the storied banana trees), and they seem to be doing great. 



The blooms make great cut flowers (just watch the thorns). My favorite arrangement is to take rose blooms and float them in an old Vietnamese cooking pot. Here's some 'About Face' roses swimming with a couple of David Austin beauties.



This spring I found a couple of tree peonies I had stuck in a mulch pile behind my garden shed a few years back to save them from the Bobcat's blade. They looked almost as bad as the roses, but they are now in a prominent spot in our garden, hoping for the same magic as their rose cousins!


Roses, grandiflora, orange roses, fragrant flowers


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marcydiané commented on 06/01/12
That is such a beautiful rose and I&#x27;m quite partial to the color. I know my favorite rose place is here in Spokane where they grow roses on their own roots which makes them far more reliable for our cold winters. <br/> <br/>
M L commented on 09/05/10