Roses Are Pure Joy
Of course, no one will agree with this article as everyone has their own favorites, but for beginners, these suggestions will not go astray as a starter list for making your own list of the best roses for your garden.
I say your own list as it is really a subjective choice. There are criteria that enumerate the qualities for best roses, such as bud shape, disease resistance, perfume, cut flower life and color.
Nevertheless, the best roses will be the ones that attract YOU – and often regardless of the above criteria. Choose according to your preference for color and shape.
You can use guides like that from AARS which lists the top ten fragrant roses – but make sure you have seen and smelled a rose before you order online. For example, only “Mr Lincoln” of the AARS selection is one I would choose.
What Makes A Perfect Rose?
My choice of best roses is based on
• high perfume
• those that hold petal form from bud to finish.
• I don’t therefore particularly like floribundas which open up quite quickly and drop petals easily.
My Preferences ……. just as a Guide
• Hybrid tea roses rather than floribundas or any other variety, with one or two exceptions – such as ‘Angel Face” and “Freesia” – both of these floribundas have divine fragrance and keep shape better than many other floribundas.
• Tree (standard) roses to bush versions – simply because they are easier to prune. However, I break this rule if a bush rose is better suited to a particular spot
To qualify as a best rose, it must be perfumed – preferably with high fragrance.
There is no need to buy roses without fragrance, or even little fragrance. You won’t miss out on colors – as there are more than enough in the fragrant range.
In fact, if you like white roses there is absolutely no need to go for the ubiquitous “Iceberg” – which has no perfume and its petals open too soon. “Pascali” has perfume and is a much better bloom – in bud form and open.
The best white rose is John Paul II – it is highly fragrant and retains its hybrid tea shape well.
Color - this too is a subjective choice. Fragrant roses come in most colors and variations.
Multi color roses, when the transition from one shade to another is subtle, – such as with “Just Joey” – are also a delight to the eye and nose.
My favorite roses are the mauve (lavender) such as:
• Blue Moon
• Sweetness Grandiflora
• Barbara Streisand
• Stainless Steel
• Fragrant Plum
The deep red roses make a strong visual statement, especially the climbers when trained over an arch or the porch. Recommended:
• Chrysler Imperial
• Veteran’s Honor
• Ronald Reagan
Other good roses
• ‘Memorial Day’
• ‘Yves Piaget’
• ‘Royal Sunset’ (climber)
• ‘Dolly Parton’
• ‘Fourth of July’ (climber)
• ‘Outta the Blue’ (lavender)
• English rose ‘Gertrude Jekyll’
Some of these roses are suggestions from Pat Welsh, well-known and expert gardener in Southern California. I recommend a visit to her site for some excellent advice.
You might also like to consider the range of English roses from David Austin. The site has options for different countries, so you can get information that is more pertinent to your region or area. There are also excellent tips on rose care and winterization.
Roses Give and Forgive
Roses are easy to grow and can stand a lot of neglect – though they do perform best if you give them some loving care.
• Good soil and mulching
• Feeding when coming into flower (as the buds form)
• Keeping them clear of ‘black spot’ and aphids particularly.
• reasonable watering
Roses do well in many zones, but it is important to consult your nursery as to which can be grown successfully in your area.
Likewise, with diseases and pests. Some roses are more susceptible to black spot, mildew, rust, spider mite and so on than others.
The area you are in is also a factor. For example, roses grown in dryer climates have different reactions to the climate than the same ones in more moist climates.
What may be disease resistant in one area does not always apply to another. For example, ‘Abraham Lincoln is subject to mildew and blackspot, but not necessarily in some drier areas, such as where I live.
More on blackspot treatment – on this page CLICK HERE
If you want roses for cut flowers – always check with the nursery for this quality – not all roses are born equal when it comes to vase life. Many floribundas, for example, open too quickly and all you get is petals all over the floor. (add sugar to the water to help extend vase life)
Also try to choose ones with perfume – to get that added benefit in your vase of flowers.
An interesting article on so-called ‘black’ roses (which are really deep red)
Click here to go there
In conclusion, no matter what is written here, the best roses for your garden are those that YOU like.