(Taken from the magazine Roses and Romantic Garden Flowers by Country Almanac, Copyright 2001 by Harris Publications, Inc.)



My Love Affair with Roses


    Roses are the ultimate flowersoft, alluringly colorful, intriguingly doubled, and wonderfully fragrant.  We love other flowerssuch as lysianthus and ranunculousfor being rose-like.  We even love pictures of roses and roses made of silk.
    When I became temporary owner of a small, late 18th century farmhouse in central New Hampshire and began gardening on my own turf, I was delighted to see that I had inherited at least a couple of roses.  It was fun to wonder how long they might have been growing there by the well and near the southeast corner of the house.  At least fifty years, maybe a hundred years, maybe two hundred?
    Certainly these are Old Garden Roses.


    Early one July I picked roses from each old bush and used Taylor's Pocket Guide to Antique Roses to identify them.  I counted the petals and compared pictures.  It was thrilling to figure out that the palest pink one by the well is probably "Celsiana," named after a French rose breeder named Cels.  Some people call it the "quintessential damask" rose.  It's a small rose with an intense fragrance, real "attar of roses" scent.
    The rose near the house is a darker pink in color, and my conclusion is that it's probably Rosa gallica officinalis, the so-called "Apothecary Rose."  It's a rose with a long, romantic history, first imported to France by a crusader in the thirteenth century and widely grown since, made into preserves, syrups and powders by generations of apothecaries.  (Roses have great medicinal value.)  It's fragrant, too, and really pretty.
    I love both my inherited old-fashioned roses, but I've certainly added to the population over the years.  I've set aside the sunniest corner of the front yard, the favored space that gets both eastern and southern light and there I plant and replant the hardiest roses I can find.  Don't forget that I garden in a high hollow, in Zone 4.  Growing anything here but green beans and daylilies takes some luck and planning.


    I should try the Canadian Explorer Series (see "Rugged Roses") or take a cutting from the rose that smothers my neighbor Steve's barn.  Maybe I should wrap them in burlap for the winter?
    You—you'll do much better with roses.  You'll write me to brag, maybe with a few hints and tips.  Meanwhile, let me tell you about my friend Emily's garden in coastal California.  She has more than 200 roses of more than 100 kinds.  I love visiting the rose heaven she's created, and I love picking and deadheading them.  It's such an excess of luxury, an ecstasy of roses.  Emily would agree with me:  You can never have too many roses. ~ Cynthia Van Hazinga

Picture Perfect Roses for 2002

The new roses are hardy and more disease-resistant.

And the winners are..."Love & Peace" and "Starry Night".
Two outstanding roses take center stage in 2002, receiving the coveted All-America Rose Selections (AARS) award, known as the "Oscar" of roses.
    The first 2002 AARS winning rose is "Love & Peace", a classic hybrid tea, the most beloved of all roses, treasured for its long stems bearing striking individual blooms.
    "Starry Night", the other 2002 AARS winner, a landscape shrub, is the wellspring of inspiration to landscape gardeners.
    Together, "Love & Peace" and "Starry Night" create a picture perfect opportunity nestled within a garden.
    "These new award-winning roses promise to be real show stoppers," says AARS President Charlie Huecker.  "They also offer excellent disease resistance qualities and easy maintenance."

"Love & Peace" will mesmerize garden enthusiasts with its fruity scent and looks.  What would you expect with a father like the legendary "Peace"?
    The high center, spiral formed blooms of "Love & Peace" open to reveal five-inch, breath-taking large flowers of golden yellow edged with pink.  Each flower has a minimum petal count of 40, surrounded by dark green glossy foliage.
    This classic upright, disease-resistant, hybrid tea grows to 4-5 feet by 3 feet.  "Love and Peace" is perfect for framing a formal rose garden or creating a striking feature within a landscape.  Bring a cut flower indoors to sweeten any room.
    Jerry Twomey and Ping Lim hybridized "Love & Peace" with a combination of "Peace" and an unknown seedling.  This is Lim's first AARS winner.  Twomey has hybridized several past AARS winners including "All That Jazz" and "Sheer Elegance".  Bailey Nurseries is introducing "Love & Peace".

"Starry Night"  Taking top honors with its large clusters of pure white flowers, "Starry Night", a landscape shrub, has you seeing stars all day and into the night.  The medium green glossy foliage enhances the five-petal flower, which is 2 1/2-3 inches in diameter.
    Growing 3 feet by 3 feet in cool climates and 6 feet by 6 feet in mild to warm climates, this spreading disease-resistant landscape shrub is perfect for large plantings, borders and ground cover.  Its pure white sparkling flowers, which resemble a dogwood flower, provide you with a constellation of blooms throughout the season.
    Pierre Orard from Feyzin, France hybridized "Starry Night" with the combination of "Anisley Dickson" and Rosa wichurianna.  This is his first AARS winner.  Edmunds' Roses is introducing "Starry Night" in the United States.
    Look for these show stopping, picture perfect AARS varieties during the 2002 planting season, through selected catalogs and retail garden stores.

What Is An All-America Rose Selection?

by Patti Tobin

    All-America Rose Selections is a non-profit association dedicated to garden rose research and promotion.  Each year, outstanding roses are selected by All-America Rose Selections (AARS) and sold at retail with special AARS tags.  The tag, a symbol of excellence from AARS to rose gardeners everywhere, originated in 1938 when a group of rose producers and introducers formed AARS to test new rose varieties and determine which, if any, could be recommended to the public as exceptional.
    Since that time the AARS testing program has evolved into a sophisticated process, with a network of official test gardens throughout the U.S.  These gardens, which represent a wide range of climates, maintain standards specified by AARS to insure that roses undergoing testing receive the care normally provided by an average
—not necessarily expert—home gardener.
    Each year, rose producers submit specimens to the gardens for a two-year testing program, during which time the roses are known only by the numbers assigned to them by AARS officials.  A judge
—usually a college horticulture professor or the supervisor of a large public garden—is assigned to each test garden.
    During the evaluation period, roses are graded on a numerical scoring system on opening and finishing color, fragrance, disease resistance, vigor, growth habit, foliage, flower production, bud and flower form, stem and over-all value.  The scoring system has been developed based on consumer demand for beautiful, easy-to-grow roses.
    Scores are compiled and compared with the other roses of the same test period and with the standards established by AARS.  This testing procedure has encouraged the rose industry to improve the vitality, strength, and beauty of roses through the years.  In the process, AARS has brought to the forefront some of the classic roses of all time, including "Peace," "Tropicana," "Mister Lincoln" and "Queen Elizabeth."


Coral Charmer

Imagine a ground cover of easy-care roses—available this spring!

    This spring, a new rose of impeccable pedigree makes its U.S. national debut when Anthony Tesselaar International introduces Flower Carpet Coral, fifth in its popular series of Flower Carpet easy-care groundcover roses.

Tough Flowers, Delicate Color

    Flower Carpet Coral, Rose var. "Noala," shares the attributes of its Flower Carpet cousins, including natural resistance to common rose diseases, a long bloom season, and glossy green foliage and colorful eye-catching flowers.
    Flower Carpet Coral blooms in profusion from spring through fall with coral-pink single flowers with antique-gold stamens.  Its petals don't fade in the sun - on the contrary, they darken over time to a deep reddish-coral that looks bright and fresh for the life of the flower.  The blossoms are arrayed in exceptionally large flower clusters of 20-30 flowers each on average.
    The new rose will be available coast-to-coast where fine plants are sold for a suggested retail price of around $12 to $16.  The fifth Flower Carpet rose will also be the fifth rose to be sold in the distinctive Flower Carpet pink pot.  All Flower Carpet roses are sold as a complete, easy-care package, with a planting and care booklet-style label and a complimentary sachet of timed-release rose food attached.

The Magic Carpet Story Continues

    Flower Carpet Coral is an easy-care, long-blooming groundcover rose that produces a vigorous bush and glossy dark green foliage.  It stands 24- to 32-inches tall, with a spread of about three feet.  Its parentage is Rosa "Repandia F1 seedling" x "Red Summer".
    Throughout the season, Flower Carpet Coral maintains its fresh look unmarred by spent blossoms as its petals fall cleanly away once flowers have peaked.
    It is hardy in U.S.D.A. Zones 5-10.  In colder areas, winter protection is suggested the first winter, with continued winter protection advised in zones 6 and below.
    The plant establishes itself quickly and is quick to flower.  Its long bloom season extends from late spring through fall.

Honor Our Heroes With 3 New Roses

All three memorial roses will be available this summer in fine garden centers and nurseries.

    Honor, remembrance and dignity are watchwords of our culture and three elegant new roses have been chosen to represent these qualities.  These three new roses from Conard Pyle are dedicated to the highest military honors:  the Bronze Star, the Silver Star and to the memory of World War II.
    The first, called the "World War II Memorial Rose" ("Wezgrey") is a hybrid tea with large, stately blossoms of soft white with gray and a tinge of lavender.  It has a high-centered bud opening to a four to five inch flower with 26 to 30 petals and a strong, sweet fragrance.  It's a well-balanced plant that grows to four or five feet tall with deep burgundy new growth that matures to a semi-glossy rich green.  The "Memorial Rose" was the most popular choice for a rose to be planted in the White House Rose Garden, according to a recent poll.
    The rose called "Bronze Star" ("Wezaprt") is a striking hybrid tea with large, glistening and veined copper-orange blossoms fading to apricot.  Its scent is strong and spicy and it grows four or five feet tall, also.  It's known for medium-green foliage, which makes a perfect background for the shining bronze blooms.
    The "Silver Star" ("Wezlavn") is a rare lavender grandiflora with strong repeat bloom, plant vigor and exceptional disease resistance.  At a compact four to five feet tall, the "Silver Star" has all the best qualities of modern roses.  It's free flowering and has prolific blossoms with the delicacy and the medium-to-large qualities of a hybrid tea, and can be grown as a specimen rose, or just as well, as an attractive hedge, screen or background plant.

How Roses Look Best!

Roses can be the key to transforming any space into an inviting passageway.  This is one beauty you should take advantage of.

    Roses are almost too good to be true, when it comes to planning or improving a landscape.  Roses can be small or tall, can climb trees, form hedges, fill vases, show off among perennials or run riot over a trellis.  They delight all our senses:  blazing with beauty, they rustle at a touch and fill the air with a cloud of sweetness.
    Some of the best roses for landscaping are old roses, even ancient ones, which tend to be huge and hardy, relatively carefree and long lived.  But the roster of old roses is being expanded tremendously by the new shrub and landscape roses being introduced today in response for today's gardeners' demand for low-maintenance, easy-to-grow plants.
    Some of the best of the new no-fuss landscape roses are those in the Flower Carpet series, which bloom in pink, white, coral and appleblossom.  These wonderful roses have resistance to plant diseases and produce masses of flowers for a period of up to 10 months a year
—showing off shiny green foliage even in winter in many parts of the country.

Using Roses in the Landscape

    Versatile roses can be used as hedges, groundcovers, bushes, borders, trees and vines.  Landscaping roses may range from low-growing ground covers to tall climbers.  Toughness and prolific bloom is what they have in common, both admirable traits.

Roses to Bank On

    Low-growing roses are a beautiful and low maintenance way to border a lawn or cover a slope, even a steep one.  These roses can create broad, romantic sweeps of color while they attract few pests, need little or no pruning, and seldom suffer blight or black spot.  Sometimes called "landscape roses," ground cover roses are characterized by low, spreading growth, extreme cold hardiness, and repeat, or recurrent, bloom.  Extending their long, flowery canes over a slope or lawn, they create the illusion of a blanket of bloom.  Choose roses which tend to be wider than tall, such as two-foot "White Meidiland" or "Red Meidiland" or some in the Flower Carpet series, dubbed the "eco rose" by their breeder, Werner Noack.
    Roses like Floribundas or other shrubby roses can make a pretty but impenetrable hedge between neighboring lawns.  They're especially pretty underplanted with silvery-leaved dianthus or fragrant lavender.
    "Max Graf," a 1919 semiprostrate creeper with a heritage of Rosa rugosa can cover a slope along garden steps.  After they flower, they produce brilliant orange hips on crinkly foliage.
    Roses grown in hedges can create a garden room, which makes best use of their perfume.  Space roses more closely together than is usually advised for a thicker hedge, or plant them in two rows and stagger the back row to fill any gaps.

Create a Bower for Summer Fun

    Using a trellis, chains between posts, wooden arches or old-fashioned arbors, you can grow roses to create a secluded bower of beauty.  Imagine a tunnel of roses!  Why not create one?
    An old-fashioned rambler such as "Dorothy Perkins" can scale an arbor or conceal a bench just big enough for two.  Small flowered ramblers are mildew-prone in less breezy areas.  Choose vigorous, repeat-bloomers instead.
    The famous red beauty "Blaze" is a good example of a climbing rose that can stretch across arbors or arches to span a slim terrace and provide a canopy of summer bloom.
    Other great roses for arches and pergolas include:  "Albertine," "Appleblossom," "Climbing Iceberg," "Lavender Lassie" and "Cecile Brunner."

Grow Roses along Paths

    Landscape roses are ideal for bordering an oft-used path.  Shade-tolerant "Rosy Cushion" or "Pearl Meidiland" look lovely as they provide camouflage for manhole covers or other eyesores, and concrete and asphalt driveways gain welcome softness when banked in low-maintenance roses such as the pavement series from Germany.  Prolific single flowered "Betty Prior" might be grown in raised beds for good drainage and underplanted with Johnny-jump-ups.  "The Fairy" or "Modern Blush" would work well planted in groups of three, and shorter hedge roses, such as "Gourmet Popcorn," "Duchess of Portland" and "Rosa Mundi" will grow into a fabulous hedge along a sunny path.
    Repeating the rose variety streamlines the look and is a breeze to maintain since all the plants require the same care.  If you choose a mix of roses, choose shrubs in complementary colors and with the same growth habits.

Roses Can Stand Alone

    Roses, also, of course, have their own special place in the garden.  Grown in patterns or among other flowering plants or shrubs they add color and glory to even the simplest gardens.
    Modern shrub roses, including hybrid teas, grandifloras, polyanthas and floribundas have casual growth habits and abundant flowers.  Use them in mixed borders or with perennials.  "Dainty Bess," a hybrid tea with single pink blooms, is an old-rose lookalike.  Floribundas and shrubs such as "Carefree Wonder," "Iceberg," "Nevada" and "Sea Foam" are other fine choices.

(Hybrid Perpetual rose "Reine de Violettes" blooms fully double in a luscious lilac and purple and is virtually thornless.  Possibly the most beautiful of the very hardy Canadian roses, "John Davis" is a wonderful climber which sports double blooms of rich candy-pink.  Climbing "Iceberg" is a pristine dazzler.  "Lamarque" is an antique and very vigorous climber.  Pink "Simplicity" is a shrub rose that produces large pink blossoms in great quantity all season long.  Intriguing "Veilchenblau" changes color—from magenta to lilac, then gray, as blossoms age.  "Flower Carpet" is one of the sturdiest shrub roses today, blooming on and on with minimal care.  Climbing "Blaze" is a wonderful vigorous red, red rose.  Three ways to use roses:  in a raised bed, as a colorful border along a stepping-stone path, and to add height and presence to a pretty gateway, spanned by a classic rose arbor.)

Use Roses as Garlands

    Whether peeking through a picket fence or scaling a solid wooden one, roses are pure charm.  Truss climbers with pliable garden twine that won't break or cut into the stems as the canes bend in the wind.
    Try a June-bloomer like "American Pillar" on a white-painted picket fence; it's a climber that can be trained horizontally as well as vertically and produces great clusters of blossoms.
    On a driveway fence, tie a Hybrid Perpetual such as "Waldfee" to horizontal slats to encourage up-reaching branches and enjoy the spicy-scented blooms.  "Joseph's Coat" has been called the most strikingly colorful of all climbers.  One of the few yellow climbers, "Golden Showers," is a smash rambling along a tennis court screen or up a weathered barn, and climbing giants such as hybrid "Kordesii" and disease-resistant "William Baffin" will climb at least 10 feet high.

Roses Can Grow Just About Anywhere. . .

    Nobody said roses are no-care plants—if such a plant exists!  In fact, roses require a bit more tender loving care than other perennials and ornamentals.  But if you give roses what they need—and their needs are really rather simple—they'll thrive, and give you back far more than you've given them.  To put it succinctly:  roses require sun, water, good drainage, feeding and a bit of pruning.
    One secret to growing strong and healthy roses is to be sure that their roots are not in competition with those of nearby landscape plants.  Although roses may not demand a location that receives full sun throughout the entire day, they require at least six hours of direct sunlight to best assure a sufficient number of healthy and colorful blooms!
    In addition to elimination root competition and assuring enough sun, roses also need soils with adequate drainage.  Roses planted in areas where they are in constant battle with "wet feet" will neither thrive nor flourish regardless of how much pampering we give them.  In addition to their dislike for poorly drained soils, avoid low-lying portions of the landscape as such areas that tend to have an insufficient air flow, and all too often encourage the formation of frost pockets.  Roses planted in such depressions will have to contend with cooler temperatures lingering later into the spring and arriving earlier in the fall than if the plants were placed on higher ground.
    Planting roses in an exposed area can bring with it yet another set of problems, as the drying winds prevalent during the long and frigid months of winter will quickly desiccate and damage the tender canes if they are not protected!

Let's Talk About Roses!

Take time to pick the one that's just right for you.

    "A rose is a rose is a rose," wrote Gertrude Stein, but actually there are nearly 50 classifications of roses in the United States today.  Once you learn about the various rose classifications and their different uses in gardening and landscaping, you're sure to discard any notion that roses demand a fussy, formal setting unto themselves.  In fact, roses add a dramatic touch to virtually any landscape.
    All-America Rose Selections, a nonprofit association of rose growers and producers, is dedicated to developing and promoting exceptional new varieties for the home gardener.  Over its more than 50-year history, AARS has bestowed its award of excellence to roses in many of the most popular classes.

Modern Roses:  Refers to roses introduced since 1867 when the first Hybrid Tea was created.  Usually refers to Hybrid Tea, Floribunda, or Grandiflora roses.
    Hybrid Teas (abbrev. HT) are classic one-to-a-stem roses with a fragrance described by many as similar to that of fresh tea leaves.  Easily the most popular of all rose varieties today, hybrid teas can be used just about anywhere in the landscape and they make wonderful cuttings.
    Hybrid Teas as a group have large flowers with a high-pointed bud.  They are excellent repeat bloomers, often blooming almost continually.  They bloom one flower per stem on long, sturdy stems, making them excellent for cutting.  Hybrid Teas come in a large variety of colors.  Hybrid Teas are upright shrubs.  The rose "La France," bred in 1867, is classified as the first Hybrid Tea rose.
    Floribundas (abbrev. FB or FL) flower in clusters, usually low to the ground, making them perfect for edging a walk, surrounding a mailbox, or creating a low hedge.  They are among the easiest roses to grow and, therefore, are a favorite of many.
    Floribundas were created about 1909 by crossing the Polyanthas with Hybrid Teas.  They produce flowers in clusters, not singly like the Hybrid Teas.  Floribundas are usually shorter plants than Hybrid Teas and tend to produce more flowers and smaller flowers than Hybrid Teas on shorter stems.  Although Hybrid Teas provide excellent cut flowers, Floribundas are well suited as good landscape plants providing lots of color.  Many Floribundas are not very fragrant.
    The versatile grandiflora is among the newest of all rose classes and combines the traits of hybrid teas and floribundas.  It features multiple blooms on one stem and well-formed blossoms.  Most grandifloras are tall growers and make majestic background plantings.
    With the trend toward smaller yards or no yard at all for many urban dwellers, miniature roses are quickly gaining in popularity.  Miniature roses stand only 6 inches to 2 feet tall, yet produce perfectly formed miniature leaves and blooms.  Miniatures can be grown anyplace around the house—indoors or out, in natural or artificial light—all year long.  They grow best in pots about 6 inches wide by 8 inches deep, but their tiny size also makes them ideal for limited space gardens, border plantings and for filling small spaces at the feet of larger plants.  Miniature roses tend to be quite hardy and can be grown in containers.

Climbing Roses are characterized by long, arching canes that can be attached to trellises, arbors, posts or fences.  Use them to cover walls of the house or garage, frame a window or door, screen out an unwanted view, or conceal an unsightly wall or stump.

Landscape or Shrub Roses include ground cover roses, which grow close to the ground, and shrub roses, which grow broadly upright with gracefully arching canes.  Shrub roses are ideal for hedges as well as background and mass plantings and they produce bright red fruit that attracts birds throughout the fall and winter.
    Their special appeal for urban gardeners is due to their tolerance of difficult growing conditions, winter hardiness and disease resistance.  Many offer the added appeal of an "old rose" look, with blooms similar in form to Gallicas, Damasks and Bourbons.  One example would be "Therese Bugnet," which has large pink repeat blooms, ruffled like old tapestry.  On the other end of the bloom scale would be Rosa rubrifolia, a single pink bloom followed up with red hips.  Some Shrub roses bloom only once per season; even so, they deserve a place in today's garden.
    The charm of a Shrub rose growing along walls or as hedges is undeniable.  They do require room to spread, although some trimming during the growing season can keep them within bounds.  As a group, Shrub roses shouldn't be overlooked.

Old Roses are those developed prior to 1867 and include many different plant and flower forms.  Sometimes called Old Roses, Old-fashioned Roses or Antique Roses, these are the varieties of roses that existed before 1867 when the first Hybrid Tea was introduced.  Some of the classes of Old Roses are the Albas, Bourbons, Boursaults, Centifolias, Chinas, Damasks, Gallicas, Hybrid Perpetuals, Mosses, Noisettes, Portlands and Tea roses.  Some of the Ramblers and Rugosas are considered Old Roses.
    As a group, Old Roses tend to be once blooming, even though some are repeat bloomers.  They tend to be more disease resistant and require less maintenance than the Hybrid Teas, which accounts for some of their popularity.  There are exceptions to this, especially the China and Tea roses.  The China and Tea roses are tender and disease prone, but are very important because they provide the repeat blooming genes to many classes of roses (notably Hybrid Teas).

Tree Roses do not constitute a rose classification, but refer instead to any rose, which has been bud-grafted onto a small tree trunk.  Miniatures, floribundas, hybrid teas and climbers may all appear as tree roses.  Tree roses add the dimension of height and dignity to the landscape and make superb accents when framing a gate, bench, steps or entrance.

English Roses (abbrev. ER).  This new group of roses, often called David Austin Roses, was introduced in 1969 by David Austin of England.  These roses are an attempt to combine the best traits of both Old Roses and Modern Roses.  David Austin has attempted to produce roses with the classic flower forms and fragrance of the Old Roses on plants that repeat bloom.


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