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
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
China, 1752, 3 – 6 feet, zones 6 – 9, fragrant,
medium pink 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
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
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
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
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