Answer: In general, roses do best if planted in a spot with full sun all day, soil that is evenly moist yet well drained (not a soggy spot) and with protection from sweeping winter winds. A summer mulch about three inches thick is also helpful in keeping the soil evenly moist and holding down weeds. Typically roses are fertilized each spring and again in early summer, use a slow release granular fertilizer such as 10-10-10 per the label directions along with a top dressing of compost.
In your area, you would want to select a variety that is considered winter hardy to zone 6 or colder and you would routinely mulch heavily in late fall to protect the plant during the winter. Certain roses such as many hybrid teas would also require additional winter protection to survive your cold winter weather. Since foliage diseases are rampant in humid summer weather such as you experience, you would also want to select a variety with good disease resistance.
If you are new to roses and having trouble, you might try one of the new lower maintenance landscape shrub roses such as Knock Out. I hope this helps you trouble shoot.
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