Crop 028 'Geranium' Hybrid moyesii rose introduced in 1938 hardy in Zones 3b and warmer, Growing at least 6'x5' it blooms for several weeks in late spring to early summer. Propagated and grown on their own roots for retail sale at the Flowering Shrub Farm in Voorheesville, NY as shown in my roseraie page. Click picture for a larger version that can be saved as wallpaper or studied more closely for inventory information (additional links at bottom of page). Mar-17

flower and cuttings

garden and infruit


September 29 & 30, 2006

SARAH: Dear Andrew,

I've read your blurb and I understand that you have limitations. I have tried everywhere--I mean EVERYWHERE--to find Rosa moyesii 'Geranium'--which I am rapidly concluding is a near-impossible task. I really think you're the only bloke who has it in the US.

I would like just one plant, but I live in Illinois. Is there some way that you could get one to me? I have a special place which only this rose can fill in my new courtyard garden (the result of a large old tree falling down in an August storm). I only want to plant what I really love in this new part of my garden, and I would really like to do this now as opposed to in the Spring.

Is there any chance you could help me out? I could mail you a check and arrange for FedEx to pick up. Please could you let me know?

All the best,

ANDY: I responded but dont have an exact copy of what I said. I would have first proposed alternate sources for the Rosa moyesii 'Geranium' request.ed.

SARAH: Thank you for your quick response. I have already contacted Hortico--back and forth five times, and they are completely out as well. I can't say I'm too impressed by their customer service, but they did make some kind of effort (contrary to popular sentiment expressed on Dave's Garden and other such sites).

Unless you have other suggestions, I would definitely like to order one from you next spring. If you could send me one plant as early as possible I would be most appreciative. Our May is very unpredictable in Chicago (it can be very hot and dry) and this Geranium would be going into a strong sun location so I am slightly concerned.

Will Geranium take clay incidentally? I have amended with mushroom compost, a little peat and potash, but there is a big variance in this new area of the garden. On one side I have a mix of red and yellow; on the other, I have river silt and the remains of an old kid's sand pit. There is relatively good drainage throughout--but it's not perfect on the clay portion, obviously.

All the best,


P.S. by the way, I love your photo with Persian Yellow on What a superb combination!!!

ANDY: Rosa moyesii 'Geranium' is more a chosen cultivar of the species then a hybrid. If you've ever seen the species many are dark pink in color. As to availabiliity, I plan to have some next spring, grafted on Rosa multiflora that will come to me bare root but I wont know until it happens. I could possibly forward one of those bare root to you but if you've read my blurb on Garden Web than you know that I like to assure myself completely of the authenticity of what I receive or grow by growing it for a couple years and actually seeing the flower before I sell it. I buy 5 of each variety from many nurseries that graft on multiflora. Then in July of the year that it flowered verifying its authenticity I take semi-mature cuttings, then later in March of the following year take hardwood cuttings and attempt to root them. Over the next several years I grow them into gradually larger and larger sizes until they are large enough for the plant sale. Years later, those that remain, now giants are sometimes sold mail order for what some think is an exorbitant amount until they see just how big they are.

Species Roses are much more forgiving and tolerant of local conditions than hybrids. As such I'm sure your soil will be fine, the most important thing being drainage, sunlight and pH along with your type of plant food. Most Often plantings of any variety I have examined that have failed was due to too much water or to little. I wont give you carte blanche assurance as the insecurity will insure that you do the most. Established plants in clay soils have sent many roots as deep as they may providing pathways into the soil. Often though, in "good quality" garden soils; roots, rock and other debris have been removed, the remainder being mixed into a hemogenous blend that may not drain so well. I like to dig post holes around my newly planted roses to fill with long sticks (that can reach from the surfacing to the bottom of the post hole) and rubble. These then provide egress into the soil for excess moisture, much as the root zone of a newly planted rose (being less compressed than the surrounding soil) can under certain circumstances provide a reservoir in which the rose may drown.

I pot plants in March and April in pro-mix (because its better drained then sand but doesn't lose volume over the years as organic mixes do). I top dress with Espoma Rose Tone and water with a dilute sollution of Peters 10-50-10 (check every two weeks (stopping the Peters after July but continuing with the Rose Tone as its not active in cold soil). When temperature are cold these potted plants with the graft at least 2 inches under soil must be inserted in the ground to avoid the roots freezing for any length of time. I find, however that many plants grow much better in large pots than in the soil (I attribute this to drainage again but many other factors may contribute) as long as they are inserted in the ground again before the roots freeze for more than a day or two. I have also found that roses grow better when they are planted so that a thicket of stems rise from the soil. Its more than just protecting the graft or crown from varmints, the plants thrive when planted deeply producing much more growth and remaining healthier.

This is the extent of my advice on planting and care as it is what I do and have continued to have great success with. Other information elsewhere in my web pages is an attempt to help the uninitiated who wish to plant in ground.

Finally it doesn't cost me anything (much) to answer my emails immediately and it keeps me from being a slave to the phone. I can wander the fields and, returning to my computer once in a while check and respond to email. Only during the Plant Sale do I stay in one place.

I'm a grower. Which means I plant these plants in really large pots and then sell them only when they begin to bloom. If it hasn't bloomed previously its not for sale. I also use the pot in pot method. 7 gallon or 15 gallon potted plants are buried in 45 gallon pots rhat are floored with gravel and surrounded with mulch. Sometimes I carry them through winter in 7 gallon pots surrounded with mulch sitting on the ground.

Generally someone will email me and ask about the availability of a particular plant we say in the catalog we're growing. I email back for the person to subscribe to the picture-newsletter. They email me back and ask to be added to the subscribers list. I go out in the nursery and take pictures of each plant that I'm growing against a white wall so you can see how well branched it is. The new pictures are posted on my web site by overwriting previous pictures I have taken. I send links to the new pictures to all my subscribers. My newest subscriber chooses the inventory number of the plant they want and give me a second choice in case there's some problem, they send me a check for a previously arranged amount that is the sum of the cost of the plant+the packaging+Fed Ex 3 day ground+etc. After the check clears in my bank I send the plant by Fed Ex 3 day ground.