A Rose For Every Garden
Their intoxicating fragrance, beautiful form and ease of care make roses hard to resist. I grow over 30 varieties of roses in my garden and I love them all. Whether it is an arbor, a mixed flower border or a container, I can always find a suitable rose.
So when people tell me that they don't have the right conditions to grow roses, I always say, 'Oh, but you do!' It is just a matter of selecting the right rose for the situation.
Whatever rose you choose it is important to get the soil right. They will not tolerate poor drainage and heavy clay soil. I this describes your soil, be sure to amend it with plenty of humus. I take two parts existing soil to one part homemade compost to one part well-rotted manure and then I mix it all together in the wheelbarrow to use when planting my new roses.
If you have ever shopped for a rose, you know that there are hundreds to choose from. To help make the selection easier, I've listed my favorite roses according to site-specific or characteristic-specific categories. Many of these are true old-fashioned, but I've also slipped in a few modern varieties.
Large, free flowering roses are produced on an upright shrub throughout the growing season. All the beauty of an hybrid tea with none of the worry.
Shrub, 1992, 3 - 6 feet, zone 5 - 9, fragrant, pink blooms
Very versatile variety that blooms continuously throughout the season. Sweet fragrance and nearly thornless canes make it one of my favorites to enjoy indoors as a cut flower. Another perk is that it is shade tolerant.
Polyantha, 1888, 3 - 4 feet, zones 5 - 9, fragrant, white blooms
This rose is the most carefree rose that I grow. Pale pink appear in spring and then sporadically during the summer.
Climber, 1930, 12 -20 feet, zones 5 - 9, fragrant, pale pink blooms maturing to cream.
I grow Old Blush along my picket fence next to a burgundy barberry and purple iris. It is a heavy bloomer that requires little attention. In the fall it produces a nice display of rose hips.
China, 1752, 3 - 6 feet, zones 6 - 9, fragrant, medium pink blooms
The Knock Out® Rose
If you only try growing one rose, make it The Knock Out Rose. This rose blooms from spring until the first hard autumn freeze. It's disease resistant, cold hardy to zone 5 and does not require special care. Also in the family are The Double Knock Out®, The Pink Knock Out®, The Double Pink Knock Out®, The Rainbow Knock Out®, The Blushing Knock Out® and The Sunny Knock Out®.
Landscape shrub rose, 2000, 3 - 4 feet, zones 5 - 9, single petal bright rose-red blooms
Roses that Tolerate Light Shade
I love apricot roses and this is one of the best. The medium sized blooms borne in clusters perfume the air on warm days.
Hybrid Musk, 1939, 5 - 7 feet, zones 6 - 9, fragrant, apricot blooms
Gruss an Aachen
A favorite for lightly shaded areas. The large blooms appear repeatedly over the summer.
Floribunda, 1909, 3 - 4 feet, zones 6 - 9, fragrant, pink blooms with hints of yellow
I have trained this rose over the door to my chicken house. It receives morning sun, but is shaded in the afternoon yet it blooms profusely sometimes well into December.
Noisette, 1830, 12 - 20 feet, zones 7 - 9, fragrant, pale cream blooms
Mme. Alfred Carriere
This rose is a vigorous climber with showy, super fragrant blooms. In my garden it grows up through a holly hedge into the limbs of a 'Byers White' crape myrtle.
Noisette, 1879, 15 - 20 feet, zones 6 - 9, fragrant, pale pink blooms maturing to white
Roses for Cold Climates
In spring, this rose covers itself with gorgeous apricot gold flowers. It only blooms once, but the size and profusion of the blooms and its carefree nature makes it a rose worth growing.
Shrub, 1956, 10-12 feet, zones 4 - 9, fragrant, once blooming, apricot blooms
Although the blooms suggest the classic cabbage rose, the origins of Fantin-Latour are a mystery. Flat, multi-petaled pink blooms appear amid dark green foliage. The canes are nearly thornless, making this a favorite cut flower.
Centifolia (Cabbage Rose), Unknown Date of Origin, 4 - 6 feet, zones 4 - 9, fragrant, once blooming, light pink
This attractive rose is planted at the corner of my front porch by the steps. Covered in clusters of white, fragrant blooms it offers a spring greeting for guests to my home.
Alba, 1835, 4 - 6 feet, zone 4 - 9, fragrant, once blooming, white blooms
A great rose to plant among your favorite annuals and perennials for a lovely mixed flower border. It produces clusters of petite pink blooms all summer long. An excellent choice for small space gardens and containers.
Polyantha, 1932, 3 - 4 feet, zone 4 - 9, light pink blooms
Roses for Small Spaces
As the name implies, this is a darling of a rose. Fully double, white roses adorn this diminutive shrub. It is perfect for containers or other tight spaces where you want to add blooms and fragrance.
Polyantha, 1879, 2 - 3 feet, zones 5 - 9, fragrant, white blooms.
This rose will reward you with non-stop pink flowers on a compact shrub. It requires little maintenance and will thrive in just about any soil.
Found, Unknown Date of Origin, 3 - 4 feet, zones 6- 9, medium pink
This is a rose that has never let me down. It produces a treasure box of miniature hybrid tea-shaped blooms all summer long. I never have to spray it for black spot or insects and it thrives in partial shade.
Polyantha, 1881, 3 - 4 feet, zones 5 - 9, fragrant, light pink blooms
Clotilde Soupert produces miniature cabbage-like blooms that are a pale cream. I find it to be a nice addition to the flower border and for containers. The fragrance is good and the plant itself it fairly carefree.
Polyantha, 1890, 3 - 4 feet, zones 6 -9, fragrant, white blooms