Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Distant Drums Brings Back Memories

For years I have grown a wide variety of modern roses.  While this is true, I have never grown any of Dr. Griffith Buck's roses.  Knowing that ProfessorRoush has had good success with them and feeling like I would like to try something new, this spring I added four roses bred by Dr. Griffith Buck.  As a professor at Iowa State, Dr. Buck developed shrub roses with the aim of increasing disease resistance and winter hardiness through the research foundation of the university.  Of the four Buck roses I added this year, Distant Drums is a rose that has been on my interest list for many years. 
Distant Drums is an often discussed roses because of the unique color of its roses.  Maybe I should have said colors because I have seen it referred to as mauve, tan, pink, orange, and yellowish.  Maybe "A Symphony of Color," is the best description I have seen.  I was hoping for more of the mauve coloring but with the summer sun, I have yet to see it.  Instead, the colors have been a rich mixture of pink and buff on flowers of twenty petals.  I think that the shorter days of fall should give me a few flowers with mauve in them.
While not as tall as the other Buck Roses, Distant Drums is still growing nicely. It is roughly two feet tall and is very free flowering.  With the English Rose, The Yeoman as a parent, Distant Drums inherits the unique fragrance of myrrh.  Its flowers are holding up better to the 100+ degree heat than I had expected.  For some reason, I worried about how it would do in the heat, but so far it is just fine.  Below you get an idea of how its softer color can turn out.  So far I am very happy with Distant Drums and I cannot speak its name without the fond memories of hearing the drums of the Pow Wows late into the evenings when we used to live in Pawnee.  Even now I find myself smiling as I remember tucking Anna and Thomas into bed as the drums carried through the summer air and lulled us all to sleep.


  1. Aw, I am remembering my lovely Distant Drums bush which I had many years but lost a couple of winters ago. It was my favorite of the newer roses, so tall and stately and covered with blooms for quite a while. And I really like the myrrh fragrance. Julia Child, another of my roses that is yellow, also has it. But so far it can't touch Distant Drums for abundance of blooms. Enjoy!

  2. Happy to have inspired you to try some of Dr. Buck's roses, but Distant Drums is not one that I've grown yet...I was just never crazy about that muddy-mauve color that it sometimes has. Maybe I'll return the compliment and grow it now, since it has done well for you. Anything that will survive this heat!

  3. its amazing. very nice flowers. look of flowers are so attractive.

  4. If I could only have one rose in my garden, it would be distant drums, and I have grown hundreds of roses over the years. I grow it in the full sun and hot, drying winds of west Texas and have never had one problem with it. It also holds its color without fading, and doesn't get scorched.