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The Subject is… Roses!

Roses - Farmside Landscape & Design

The Subject is… Roses!

Roses are one of the most beloved flowers, with over 150 species and literally thousands of hybrids, these blooms come in nearly every color imaginable – from frosty white to velvety black and every color in between, not to mention a variety of shapes. Most roses have “thorns,” which are technically “prickles” – outgrowths of the layer of tissue on the stem, unlike true thorns, which are modified stems. Rose prickles are typically hook shaped which helps the rose to hang onto other vegetation when growing. Some species like Rosa Rugosa, which naturally grow along coastal sand dunes, have densely packed straight prickles that function both as a deterrent to grazing animals and to trap wind-blown sand to reduce erosion and protect roots.


Let’s take a look at some of the types of roses:


Species roses – also known as wild roses are thousands of years old, and can be found growing in fields throughout the country. These are rarely sold in nurseries since they can be susceptible to pests and diseases such as black spot, rust and powdery mildew.


Old Garden Roses – These roses existed before the year 1867 as this is the year the first hybrid tea rose, called the “La France,” was developed. They include:


Blush roses; Antique Climbing Roses; Gallica Roses; Damask Roses; Centifolia,or Province Roses; Andrewsii Moss Roses; Alba Maxima Roses; Louis Phillippe China Rose; Etoile de Lyon Tea Rose; Souvenire de la Malmaison Bourbon Roses; Hybrid Perpetual Roses; Sweet Briar Roses; Ayrshire Roses; Laevigata Roses; Sempervirens Roses;


Modern Garden Roses – These are the roses developed since the year 1867 and they include most of the roses you find today in people’s gardens. They usually start blooming in late spring and bloom until the fall, and are usually identified in terms of their flower blooming characteristics:

  • Single bloom – no more than 8 petals
  • Semi-double bloom – 8-20 petals
  • Double bloom – 20 petals
  • Fully double bloom– 30 or more petals


Flower shapes for modern roses include rounded, cupped, quartered-rosette, pompom, open, flat and high-centered. They are sub-grouped into climbers, shrub roses, miniature roses, hybrid tea roses, floribunda roses and grandiflora roses.


Roses are renown for their beautiful fragrance, but as roses are bred more and more for their appearance, many horticulturalists confirm that these hybrids lack the fragrance of old garden and species roses, which rely on their scent to attract pollinators such as bees. If you’re looking for modern roses that are especially fragrant, consider these:

  • English Rose ‘Munstead Wood’
  • Rose ‘Honey Perfume’
  • English Rose ‘Boscobel’
  • English Rose ‘Claire Austin’
  • English Rose ‘The Generous Gardener’
  • Rose ‘Double Delight’
  • Floribunda Rose ‘Scentimental’
  • Climbing Rose ‘America’
  • Rose ‘Buff Beauty’
  • English Rose ‘Graham Thomas’


Some gardeners shy away from roses due to their reputation for disease susceptibility and consequently high maintenance requirements. While this is still true for some of the older variety of roses, there are many cultivars today that have been developed to be truly low maintenance and easy to care for. This is particularly true of shrub roses, which are remarkably hardy, surviving freezing winters and sweltering summers and are practically maintenance-free.


The Oso Easy® series of roses from Proven Winners is a great place to start your search for easy care shrub roses. They’re known for their disease resistance, don’t require any spraying (bonus points for eco-friendliness!) or pruning, and have a compact growth habit making them great additions to mixed borders and beds, and even walkways.


Varieties in the series include Peachy Cream, whose flower emerges in a beautiful peach, lightening to a soft cream and Paprika which starts out as a brilliant orange that quiets to a rich coral with a golden sun center. Another newer rose in the offering from Proven Winners is Candy Oh! from their Oso Happy® series. Developed in Minnesota so it can handle the harshest of winters, Candy Oh! features large sprays of candy-apple red flowers that bloom from summer until frost. Its dense, mounding habit makes it perfect for mass plantings.


Roses do require at least 5-6 hours of direct sun each day, and avoid planting them under eaves or gutters so they’re not damaged by falling water. Need more info on which roses to add to your landscape? Contact us here at Farmside Landscape & Design – we’re here to help you make the most of your outdoor living space.