I am not a rose person. I have never enjoyed getting them in flower bouquets. I thought they were cheesy when my high school boyfriend got them for me every.single.day. And as a gardener, I've always shied away from them because I was afraid they were too high maintenance.
I was right.
When we bought our house, there was a large rose bush that was entangled in an arbor. I ignored it, it bloomed twice each summer, and I thought I'd been wrong about how difficult roses were to maintain.
On a whim a couple of years ago, I bought another rose, Rosa 'Secret'. It has one of the most intensely fragrant scents I've ever smelled in any flower, let alone roses. It's a hybrid tea rose and wouldn't get too large for our small city garden. I planted it in full sun and left it alone to do its thing, thinking it'd be as easy to maintain as the one by the arbor.
But oh god! This rose! If it didn't smell so good, I'd have trashed the thing years ago. Every year it seems that the day its leaves form fully it is immediately plagued with black spot. I think it also has rust. I just removed about a hundred aphids via hose. The stems look like they're about to wither and die.
I don't really want to use chemicals. A neighbor with beautiful roses suggested a systemic granular product, but it seems those protect against bugs and not disease. For now, I'll just cut off the diseased leaves (i.e., all of them) and let it look naked.
My poor ghetto rose. You're ugly on the outside but really sweet if people get close to you: