Rose ‘Sweet Spot Calypso’ is a very distinctive rose, and is part of a completely new breed called ‘Decorator roses’, and, as such, does not fit into any of the existing categories we are so familiar with. It is not a Hybrid Tea, or a Floribunda or a Patio … but a Decorator rose ! The ‘Sweet Spot’ roses are being hailed as an exciting new development, as they should flower constantly from June to October, and unlike many other roses, they shed their dead petals, leaving the plant looking tidy.
The single blooms are strongly coloured, with variations of tone in each flower. There is a striking ‘eye’ in the centre, made up of a darker red, surrounded by a yellow halo, with prominent stamens of a slightly darker hue.The whole effect is quite dramatic, as the colours are rich, and contrast well with each other. The flowers change shade, as they gradually fade with age.
I was fortunate enough to be asked by Thompson & Morgan if I would trial two of these roses, with the proviso that I would blog honestly about their progress. That was a year ago, and I am only just posting now, as I wanted to know how these roses would perform over time.
I was sent two plants, and the photo shows how they looked straight after they were taken out of their packaging, on arrival. One appeared much more vigorous than the other, was bushier, and had more leaves. The other had some yellowing and dead leaves, and showed barer stem.
I decided that I would grow the roses in different conditions to see how they responded. The smaller one was planted in a container, so that it had no competition from any other plants. It was planted in good quality compost, with a slow release rose fertiliser at its roots. The pot was placed in full sun, facing south east, in a sheltered spot next to the greenhouse.
The other plant looked as if it could cope with being planted out, so I chose an open, sunny spot in a border and planted it in a relatively big hole, complete with compost and rose fertiliser. I ensured that surrounding plants did not crowd the young ‘Sweet Spot’, as this could have hampered growth quite dramatically.
Then, I sat back, watched and waited – I watered when necessary, fertilised again in the spring, and added fresh compost as a top dressing. Sadly, the rose in the pot took a dislike to me, and went into a deep decline. It turned out to be a long and lingering death, whilst I tried every trick I knew to revive it, to no avail. There were no signs of pests or disease, it just failed to thrive, and gradually died off. It just happens sometimes!
Happily the plant in the ground grew and flourished. It had one or two blooms late on in the first summer, which I was pleased about as I didn’t receive it until August.
When spring growth got underway this year, I became aware that other plants were growing larger in the border, and beginning to swamp ‘Sweet Spot Calypso’, so I took the decision to lift it and pot it up, taking as large a root ball as possible, to minimise disturbance.
My rose loved the move to a pot, and began to put on growth quite quickly, growing into a compact little bush, clothed with foliage. The foliage has remained exceptionally healthy all season, and it is still as fresh as it was in spring, particularly when compared to lots of my other roses, which are looking a little ravaged by this point in the season. Even varieties which are essentially very healthy, and disease – free can dip at this time of year, but ‘Sweet Spot Calypso’ has no sign of black spot and is completely pest free. I never use chemicals on any of my roses, so what you see is completely as nature intended!
‘Sweet Spot Calypso’ will never be a large rose, and, as such, is ideal for the front of beds and borders, or containers. Maximum size is given as 50 cm x 50 cm. It does not need complex pruning – a haircut with the shears in late autumn or early spring, taking off approximately half its growth, is deemed to be sufficient.
My rose began to flower in June, and had an initial flush of flowers, and is just gearing up to flower again. It has buds on it now, which should open in a week or so. It has retained its bushy, compact shape, and has shown no tendency to get ‘leggy’, and show bare stems, as many roses do. The entire lengths of the stems are clothed with foliage, which really adds to its appeal.
The flowers are very unusual, and … well … subtle they are not. I guess that people will love them, or hate them. They are light years away from the traditional image of romantic, pastel roses and have a contemporary feel about them, as the colours are strong and contrasting.
On the whole, I like what I see, so far, with Rose ‘Sweet Spot Calypso’. I like the fresh, healthy looking foliage and the compact, bushy habit and I am hoping that the plant flowers more freely as it matures, as promised. So, I have to say, it really hits the spot!
I am the willing servant of my garden and also admit to a severe plant addiction. I love them all, but especially sub tropicals, roses, salvias, dahlias and auriculas. I enjoy propagation (because it makes even more plants!) and I hate weeding. My garden was a field when we first met, all those years ago, and its development has been a long, slow, labour of love. It is still evolving and changing all the time. I have opened for the NGS in the recent past, and I have an RHS Qualification, but, the experience I value has mainly been gained with my hands deep in the soil.