Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Meet 'New Dawn'

If you haven't already met 'New Dawn' you are in for a treat. I planted her early last year along with two other roses on the west side of our pergola in a narrow, six-foot long bed. It quickly became apparent that I'll be moving the other two roses. 'New Dawn' is taking up every bit of room, and she's still a baby. The first year she just "settled in." Now she's about to go wild, sending out thick, healthy canes in every direction.

I had been trying to train the canes up, but finally decided it was not going to work. The vigorous growth demanded space. I fanned the canes out and re-tied them. You could practically hear the plant sigh with happiness. Ahhh.

Dozens of fragrant blooms have already opened from head to toe along the length of the canes, with scads of fat buds in the wings, waiting their turn to burst into bloom. Each blossom has that old fashioned character that I so love in a rose. The petals unfurl like fresh linens billowing on a summer breeze. They are a soft, delicate pink, and the foliage is a dark, glossy green that is the perfect background for the blooms.

Hardy to zone 4, 'New Dawn' does fine in my Ohio garden with minimal winterizing. This spring I had to trim off a few dead ends, but nothing more. The foliage doesn't seem to mind the wind that whips around my yard more often than not.

Friends of ours who live in town have two 'New Dawn' roses growing up and over an arbor. Granted, townies have more protection from the elements than we do here in the country, but their roses scrambled up and over the arbor in short order, and the canes reach to the heavens as though seeking foothold there. Although our friends attack their plants with loppers each year, trying to keep the rampant growth from burying their arbor, I think our rustic pergola can withstand whatever 'New Dawn' dishes out. Twenty-foot canes would be welcome here as I want some shade for my patio.

This is the first year for me to experience the spring flush of bloom for 'New Dawn' in my garden; I am interested to see what the rest of the summer holds. It seems to me that our friends have little bloom after the first flush. An internet search leads me to believe that this is a common occurrence. I'm hoping that the great amount of sunshine here, plus diligent deadheading, will encourage quick and plentiful rebloom.

Notes: 'New Dawn' was introduced in 1930, a sport of 'Dr. W. Van Fleet'. It was the first ever patented plant in the U.S. In 1997, 'New Dawn' was named as one of the world's favorite roses and was inducted into the Rose Hall of Fame by the World Federation of Rose Societies ( New Dawn Photos by JulenaJo.


  1. Hi Julena~~ I'm always seeing 'New Dawn' in magazine photos but I've never been up close and personal with it. Here's to continuous bloom. I read once that the best fertilizer you can give a rose is WATER. So with copious and diligent watering I'm hoping for continuous color on my roses too.

  2. Yours roses are wonderful! I love the soft shade of New Dawn. And the red/white! Do you spray your roses? I've been having trouble with aphids and my roses are least the foliage :(

  3. Lynn, I don't usually spray, but I have found that if I treat the roses to a systemic product called Bayer Advanced All-In-One Rose & Flower Care it makes a world of difference. You just mix it up and pour it at the base of the rose every 6 weeks or so. Insects pretty much leave the roses alone and the diseases are kept at bay. I still get some black spot most years though, and Japanese Beetles are a scourge that need to be picked off by hand. I don't apply 3-in-1 to the KnockOut roses or the rugosas unless they seem to need it. Feeding and, as Grace said, watering are the key to healthy roses. Also a lot of air circulation. No watering at night. Moisture on the leaves=trouble.

    Grace, if you have space for it, I'd highly recommend 'New Dawn.' Everyone who sees it loves it.

    Thanks to you both for writing!