Regional Gardening Reports :: National Gardening Association

In the Garden:
Northern & Central Midwest
October, 2003
Regional Report

Share |

My favorite white landscape rose, Pearl Meidiland, is always dressed in finery.

Landscape Roses: An Exciting Addition to the Home Landscape

Roses have traditionally been the standouts in a garden. Sometimes they have attractive foliage (depending on the amount of disease control performed), they always have several breathtaking flowers with or without sweet scents, and they also have an all-too-often need for intensive maintenance.

Now that I've painted a picture of the hybrid tea rose, I want to paint another picture. This picture is of a shrubby plant that may sprawl over the ground, may climb a trellis, or may be a tidy shrub. This rose is covered with glossy foliage with no black spots, and hundreds of often sweet-smelling blossoms. Best of all, it is unassuming enough not to need any maintenance except for occasional aesthetic pruning and once-a-season fertilizing.

Virtues of Landscape Roses
I'm taking about a landscape rose, also called a shrub rose or a modern rose. This relatively new category of roses has been developed over the past couple of decades, and it's causing gardeners to reconsider what a rose really is. Even gardeners who decided never to grow roses again because of the work involved are taking a new look.

These roses have an unlimited variety of uses in the landscape. Gardens with only hybrid tea roses are wonderful where there is a cadre of gardeners to care for them. But the average homeowner has neither the time nor space for this intense use. Let's leave that for the public garden!

Landscape roses make great bedding plants, hedges, ground covers, container plants, trailers along a wall, or climbers on trellises. They can softly drape a window or fence, edge a sidewalk or driveway, frame a deck, or simply add color to a perennial border.

Roses With a Carefree Attitude
Landscape roses are, by nature, bred to be resistant to black spot and powdery mildew, the leaf scourges of the rose plant. Of course, they are not necessarily immune to pest problems, but if you don't have to worry about foliar diseases, then you can spend that energy washing off the occasional aphid. Best of all, landscape roses are also by nature hardy enough not to need winter protection. Most are now grown on their own roots, so even if a particularly severe winter kills back branches, the plant that resprouts in spring is the same plant, not an unattractive rootstock.

So, next time you ponder just what to plant as a ground cover or to edge your garden walkway, consider a landscape rose!

Care to share your gardening thoughts, insights, triumphs, or disappointments with your fellow gardening enthusiasts? Join the lively discussions on our FaceBook page and receive free daily tips!


Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "Osteospermum"