The Top Recommended Varieties of Roses

Rose (Rosa 'Double Delight')

The large, full, high-centered blooms of Double Delight have inspired photographers and delighted gardeners for almost 40 years. The rose's popularity is also boosted by its strong spicy fragrance. The habit is not one of its strong points, however. It is more inclined than most roses to display the "bare knees" syndrome and it benefits greatly from companion plantings tall enough to obscure its "knees."

Rose (<i>Rosa</i> 'Double Delight')
Rose (Rosa 'Julia Child')

The year before Julia Child was introduced into retail garden centers, I saw a group of 6-8 of them at the Tulsa Rose Gardens. It's a huge test garden, with hundreds of varieties. There's at least 6 of each rose. The group of Julia Childs were all blooming, and totally free of disease. They were the finest group of any roses there, and they couldn't have been more than 2 years old. I was so impressed that I bought 4 for myself as soon as they became available. It does not disappoint. Mine are in with irises with "buttery" or "creamy" names and white or yellow coloring. The combination works, but the most impressive thing is how the roses bloom continually yet get very little water, because I prefer to keep the irises on the dry side.

Rose (<i>Rosa</i> 'Julia Child')
Rose (Rosa 'Mister Lincoln')

Mister Lincoln is a classic red hybrid tea that has been around for a long time. It seems to still be very popular today. I often see it for sale as a milk carton rose in early spring. In fact, mine is a milk carton rose I bought years ago. In my humid climate, Mister Lincoln needs spraying with the systemic fungicide to remain disease free.

Rose (<i>Rosa</i> 'Mister Lincoln')
Rose (Rosa 'Scentimental')

This is the best of the striped roses in my garden. The stripes are always distinct and never bleed.

Rose (<i>Rosa</i> 'Scentimental')
Rose (Rosa 'Peace')

The blend of soft pastel colors in the blooms of the Peace rose will never produce a vivid focal point in the landscape, but it will have a calming effect and a more subtle beauty. The rose has remained popular for about 70 years despite its drawbacks. The shrub itself is likely to have an ungainly habit, and the foliage is highly vulnerable to black spot in most locations. The two Peace roses that have been growing in my garden for the last 30 years, however, regularly produce many large blooms of exhibition quality without the aid of fungicides or any other chemicals.

Rose (<i>Rosa</i> 'Peace')
Rose (Rosa 'Double Knock Out')

I have this in afternoon sun, maybe 4-5 hours of direct sun. It blooms beautifully, right up until a hard freeze in November.

Rose (<i>Rosa</i> 'Double Knock Out')
Rose (Rosa 'Graham Thomas')

This David Austin Rose is a delight, it has long arching stems and benefits from support, but has been in bloom in my garden, non-stop, since early June. It is not only an eye catching bush but is also beautifully scented.

Rose (<i>Rosa</i> 'Graham Thomas')
Rose (Rosa 'New Dawn')

New Dawn, when it gets enough water and good soil, grows quickly and is fairly free of disease. Its high-centered flowers have a light fragrance.

Rose (<i>Rosa</i> 'New Dawn')
Rose (Rosa 'Zephirine Drouhin')

I planted one of these roses at my sister's house. On the north side and with a roof overhang, that area only gets an hour or so of morning sun and is in shade the rest of the day. While it does not flower as abundantly as it would with more sunshine, it does set flower and flourish. Might not do so well with NO sun in full shade, but I would be very comfortable in saying it should be fine planted in a shady area.

Rose (<i>Rosa</i> 'Zephirine Drouhin')
Rose (Rosa 'Abraham Darby')

Abraham Darby, one of the most popular Austin shrubs, is hardier than most Austins, surviving zone 4 winters without any extra protection, and is almost thornless. The blooms start out cupped, like so many other Austin blooms, but they subsequently flatten to an old-fashioned quartered shape. The rose has a tendency to climb up to about 12 feet, but looks best if it's pruned down to 4-6 feet.

Rose (<i>Rosa</i> 'Abraham Darby')

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