A Rose for My Garden
This is my site Written by Geoff on June 1, 1999 – 7:51 pm

This month’s Yard Talk is on a subject we have been trying to avoid, Rose Gardening. We have been avoiding this subject not because of any dislike for roses, as we have many in our gardens, but because it is such a bold topic. We probably receive more questions on roses than any other plant. The number one question we receive is, “What variety of rose should we grow in our gardens?” Closely followed by, “How does the various varieties differ?” Trying to answer these is really kind of mind boggling, but here goes knowing we will leave out some. 

Roses are generally broken down into two groups Modern Roses and Old Roses. Old Roses are those that existed before 1867 when the first Hybrid Tea “La France” was bred, and Modern after this event. Old Roses are usually once blooming, disease resistant, and require less maintenance than Modern Roses. The following are some Old Roses:

  • Gallica Roses
  • Alba Roses
  • Damask Roses
  • Centifolia Roses
  • Tea Roses
  • Damask Perpetual Roses
  • Noisette Roses
  • Hybrid China Roses
  • Hybrid Perpetual Roses
  • Rugosa Roses
  • Mossy Remontant Roses
  • Polyantha Roses
  • Pernetiana Roses
  • Old Hybrid Tea Roses
  • Hemispherica Roses
  • Setigera Roses
  • Pimpinellifolia Roses
  • Sempervirens Roses
  • Bourban Roses
  • Boursault Roses
  • China Roses
  • Agathe Roses
  • Foetida Roses
  • Multiflora Roses
  • Turbinata Roses
  • Rubiginosa Roses
  • Wichuraiana Roses

For additional information on many of these Old Roses we recommend visiting Yesterday’s Roses at http://www.Country-Lane.com/yr/

Hybrid Tea Roses were the first Modern Roses and easily the most popular today. As a group, they have high pointed flower buds, are excellent repeat bloomers, and have one flower per stem. They come in a variety of clear and blended colors that are excellent for cutting. This is the rose most often found in the Floral Shops and what usually comes to mind when roses are mentioned. They are also the hardest of the Modern roses to grow, subject to many garden pests and diseases, and are only hardy to Zone 5 with protection. 

The next Modern Rose to find their way into the garden was the Floribundas, a cross between the Hybrid Tea Rose and the Polyanthas Rose. Floribundas are a hardy, bushy rose, which usually produces clusters of flowers. The blooms are clear or blended colors like the Hybrid Tea although generally smaller in size. They are at their best when planted in mass. Although they are more hardy then the Hybrid Teas they still require protection in Zone 5

The Grandiflora Rose is a cross between Floribundas and Hybrid Tea Roses. They are more hardy then either of their parents, much taller, with the flowers being much larger, and born in clusters. Like their parents, the blooms are available in a wide range of clear and blended colors. Their hardiness makes them the best suited for the novice gardener, particularly in the northern regions. 

The newest of the Modern roses is the English Rose. These are often referred to as the “David Austin Roses” after the English hybridizer who first bred them in 1969. He has tried to combine the form of the Old Rose with their many petalled cupped shaped blooms with the continuous flowering of the Modern Rose. He also wanted to introduce a wider range of colors, while maintaining the fragrance of the Old Rose. The English Rose is a very hardy rose and not as prone to as many pests or diseases as the other Modern Roses, we have seen it growing above Zone 4

As you can see the varieties of roses available is mind boggling and we have not even touched on climbing, miniatures, or tree roses. The Old Roses and the David Austin Roses are really popular now. Of course how can one beat the beauty of the Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, and the Grandiflora Roses? There are even roses now available which will tolerate the shade garden, for more on this visit Donna’s Roses in Shade at http://www.nbn.com/~holmes/roses.htm. What are our favorite roses? My wife likes the Hybrid Teas, particularly Candy Stripe and Flaming Peace while I like the Floribundas such as Pure Poetry and Impatiens. Whatever variety you choose, you are selecting not only something beautiful but something of historical significance .

Modified: March 8, 2009 at 9:03 am UTC

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