Griffith Buck, a professor at Iowa State University, was ahead of his time. He bred 80 roses over many years. I was quick to fall in love with Buck roses because I was living high on a hill with very cold winters. Carefree Beauty was one of the first Buck roses I bought and planted. It tolerated the cold, rarely had trouble with insects or disease, and wasn’t fussy about the soil. I was a new rose gardener and Buck roses were the perfect way to start.
Griffith Buck bred Carefree Beauty in 1977. It is a big bush, and grows in Heath to five feet as well as here in town. It blooms and blooms all summer and is a glorious plant.
‘Carefree Beauty’ was one of the first roses to receive Texas A&M‘s EarthKind designation. This rose is now grown at the Montreal Botanical Garden, Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania, the Chicago Botanic Garden, and the Australian National Botanic Gardens.
The Thomas Affleck rose was bred in the Antique Rose Emporium nursery in Texas. This Texas Pioneer Rose, like Carefree Beauty, is tall and hardy. In my experience it has bloomed into the fall which always seems amazing. I am delighted that it has no thorns. It is disease resistant. Gardeners down south love this rose, but I found it just as hardy and sturdy here in Massachusetts.
There are many other Texas Pioneers roses, which proves that roses are not necessarily delicate flowers. If plants don’t do well in my garden, and there are reasons that soil and weather would not be amenable, then I go on to try something else. But Carefree Beauty and Thomas Affleck will always be in my garden.