Roses That Are Too Happy: 'Easy Going'

Rosa 'Easy Going':

Rosa 'Easy Going'

Consider these cuttings.  The top cutting is from 'Easy Going' (Harkness, 1998), and the bottom cutting is from 'Day Breaker':

The 'Easy Going' cane grew about 28" (71 cm) before producing another flower.  The 'Day Breaker' cane grew about 3" (7 cm).  Which one do you think repeats faster?  You would be right in thinking 'Day Breaker'.  'Day Breaker' is in fact the quickest repeat in my garden.  The next flush begins before the last is complete, and this plant never grows too tall.  It puts energy into bloom rather than a lot of growth.  For quick repeat I think it outdoes even 'Iceberg'.  (Rust is another story.) 

'Day Breaker':
Rosa 'Day Breaker'

In contrast, 'Easy Going' grows a lot between flushes here in a California garden.  It must be noted:  it grows fast, so that despite all the new growth 'Easy Going' has relatively fast repeat, about 4 to 5 weeks, faster than average.  However because of all that growth, it gets tall.  Really tall, 12' (3.6 meters) by Autumn, starting from a pruned-back height in January of about 30".   It is most beautiful in the first flush of spring. 

Rosa 'Easy Going'

At that time the plant is compact, so the flowers are close together on the plant, forming a perfect bouquet.  As the plant grows (and grows, and grows) over the summer, it widens out, so even with the same number of flowers in subsequent flushes, the plant is so large the flowers are scattered across a wide field of green, and thus the impact of the flowers is lost.  By summer's end, without hard-deadheading (removing 3' after every flush), the flowers cannot be seen except from a second-story window.

'Day Breaker' remains that perfect bouquet all year (except for the rust) because it doesn't grow so much. 

Rosa 'Day Breaker'

This year I decided to try an experiment, cutting 'Easy Going' down to 30" after every flush.  I was trying to see if I could get that perfect spring-flush bouquet more than once a year.  My results were disappointing.  'Easy Going' responded by growing more between flushes of bloom, and repeat was a lot slower.  The experiment is a failure, I think.

Now it should be noted that 'Easy Going' is in full sun nearly all day long.  If it was partially shaded,  I would expect a longer interval between blooms and somewhat lankier growth.  'Easy Going' does not have that excuse.  So I've just about decided to remove it and try a different variety.  'Easy Going' might be a more satisfying rose in a shorter growing season or cooler conditions.  Black Spot resistance is listed as superior.  This rose is from the UK, where cool summers reign and it probably doesn't grow to tree-like heights there.  Surprisingly, 'Day Breaker' is a UK rose also (Fryer 2003).   It didn't get the "grow-like-crazy-if-you-are-in California" gene.  Incidentally, this gene is directly adjacent to the "dont-bloom-if-its-time-for-a-garden-tour" gene.  Or so I suspect.

Botanica's Roses: Over 1,000 Pages & over 2,000 Plants Listed (Botanica)


  1. Hoover, you are so right about Day Breaker;coincidentally I just did as post about it couple days ago on my blog. The only rose I have that's close in the repeat dept is Molineaux. In fact, the only this I don't like about DB is the way the color breaks as the flowers age-solution is early deadheading-hate to do it, but as you observe, there are always still flowers !


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