Creating a Dream Rose Garden with 5 Great Roses

The enduring allure of growing roses and five extraordinary varieties to plant in your rose garden

There is something truly magical about roses that has captivated gardeners for centuries. The sight of a rose in full bloom, with its silky petals and heady fragrance, never fails to lift the spirit and gladden the heart. In my own garden, I find that tending to my roses provides some of the deepest joys and satisfactions that horticulture has to offer.

One of the wonderful things about roses is their incredible diversity. With so many types to choose from, there is a perfect rose for every garden setting, from stately hybrid teas in a formal border to carefree shrub roses tumbling over a fence. No matter your soil, climate or gardening style, you can find a rose that will thrive under your care.

First things first, there are three main types of roses: Old Garden Roses, Wild Roses, and Modern Roses, and many types of varietals within them.

Old Garden Roses, also known as heirloom roses, are a diverse group of roses that were in cultivation before 1867. They include roses that were bred in Europe and Asia and are known for their fragrance, disease resistance, and overall hardiness.

Wild Roses are the species of roses that are found growing naturally in the wild. They are typically simple, single-petaled flowers with a delicate fragrance, and they come in a range of colors. Wild Roses are important because they serve as the genetic foundation for many of the modern rose varieties that we have today.

Modern Roses are the result of hybridization and breeding efforts that began in the late 19th century. They are typically classified into several groups based on their characteristics, such as Hybrid Tea roses, Floribunda roses, and Grandiflora roses. Modern Roses are known for their larger, more complex blooms, their ability to repeat bloom, and their disease resistance. They come in a wide range of colors and are a popular choice for both gardeners and commercial growers alike.

While it’s impossible for me to choose a single favorite, there are a few varieties that I find myself turning to again and again for their exceptional beauty, fragrance and performance. At the top of the list is ‘Peace‘, that beloved hybrid tea with creamy yellow flowers delicately flushed with pink. It’s a rose that symbolizes hope and unity.

For sheer romance, it’s hard to beat the old garden rose ‘La Park‘, with its sumptuous double blooms in the softest shade of apricot. And the aptly named floribunda ‘Sweetness‘ fills the garden with its clear pink flowers and powerful perfume all summer long.

I’m also very fond of ‘Cinnamon Girl‘, a modern shrub rose with unusual dusky orange blossoms that fade to the loveliest antique peach. It’s the perfect choice for a relaxed, cottage-style planting. And for sheer toughness and vigor, you can’t do better than the species ‘Rose Rugosa’, with its neatly pleated foliage and simple flowers in pink or white.

There are more than a dozen subtypes of Old Garden Roses, Wild Roses, and Modern Roses, but we have selected nine for our free Rose Garden Planting Chart, in the subtypes of Hybrid Tea, Floribunda, Climbing, Shrub, Grandiflora, Miniature, Groundcover, Alba, and Hedge. Technically some, like climbing roses, can be classified as another type of rose, like a Floribunda, but they’re so distinctly different in growing habits, we’ve separated them for this purpose.

We also chose many different colors, from pale yellow to white, deep red, plum, and variegated coral. There are no similar roses in this list, except that they all require the same growing conditions: full sun, and moist, loamy, well-drained soil. That means if you have the right conditions, you could plant every single variety of rose in our Rose Garden Planting Chart! So, which variety is right for you?

In the end, the joy of roses lies not just in their undisputed beauty, but in the act of nurturing them, coaxing out their full potential as they unfurl their petals to the sun. Caring for roses connects us to the generations of gardeners who came before, each one seduced by some new variety, some wonderful new color or form. By growing roses in our own garden, we join that ageless community and surround ourselves with the living embodiment of nature’s most exquisite gifts.

What are your favorite roses to plant? Leave a comment below and let me know!

  • Gardener F.

    My favorite roses are Jacques Cartier, Le Pactole, and La Belle Sultane , all heirloom roses, and the species Rosa fedtschenkoana..


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