A rose is a rose is a rose -June 2018

Choosing the right varieties for your rose garden

by: Hilary Newell

photography by: Nicole Harnishfeger

Roses can present a very confusing picture: Tea rose vs. grandiflora, climbing rose vs. rambling rose, not to mention all the heirloom varieties, new hybrids and the other various brands. How ever is one to tell which rose is the best for one’s garden?

Here’s some information about several different groups of roses to help inform your choice when you decide to incorporate roses into your landscape.

Old garden roses are roses that were bred pre-1867. Known for strong fragrance, disease-resistance and general cold hardiness, these roses generally bloom once per summer. Old-fashioned names like Gallica, Damask, Moss or Bourbon are all included in this group.

Modern garden roses are those that were bred after 1867. They have a larger bloom size, are less hardy and not as resistant to disease, but the upside is they have a much longer period of bloom than their predecessors.

Hybrid tea roses are probably the most recognized of the modern roses, and they have a reputation for being high-maintenance. They are a very popular cut flower and if left to open in the garden, some varieties’ blooms will reach five inches in diameter. The cute little roses you find in four-inch pots are just miniaturized hybrid teas. They’re often sold as houseplants, but I have seen them used very effectively in containers. If they are kept well-fertilized, they will continue to bloom.

David Austin roses, also known as English roses, have gained in popularity over the last decade or so. David Austin started breeding this line of roses more than 50 years ago in an attempt to develop a line with the best features of old garden and modern roses. Most of them have the rosette or double form with a wonderful fragrance like old roses, but with the wider color range available with modern roses.

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