Will I like this rose in my garden?
Earlier in the year, the question was posed: Will this rose grow in my garden? this is the promised follow up post — Will I like this rose in my garden?
After you have determined where the rose will be located, here are a few rose qualities to consider before purchasing that rose:
- Color — There are many different rose colors. What color interests you, or will “look good” in a particular location of your garden? The factors that influence rose color selection range from simply liking the color to enhancing the landscape with color. If the only color you like is a deep red, you simply may not be happy with a purple or pink rose. How important is color for your preference and for the garden location? Most of my roses have been selected according to color. I have been searching for a truly yellow rose that will bloom frequently throughout the year. After trying several disappointments, I discovered the “Nacogdoches Yellow” — a found rose that has the perfect yellow color (for my preferences) and blooms repeatedly. New roses are sometimes” found”, described, and then become available to consumers.
- Scent — roses range from no scent to strongly scented. If flower scent is important, how often will the rose be in bloom? Some roses bloom once a year, others almost continuously. My personal favorite is the Chrysler Imperial, one of the strongest scented rose in my garden so I have a wonderfully-scented garden whenever that rose is in bloom!
- Bloom Frequency. Some roses bloom only once a year, for a short time, while others bloom almost year around (in USDA zones 8 and 9, my area). I have an heirloom rose–grown from a cutting of a grandmother’s rose bush–that blooms only in Spring and for only 4 to 5 weeks. That is probably not a rose I would have bought, however, it has special significance so it is maintained along a fence to accommodate the 12 foot canes, and to display the rare blooms for anyone who passes (great conversation piece, that rose!). Blooming takes energy from the plant, so a brilliant flush of blooms is often followed by some dormancy (depending on the varieties). Most of my other roses bloom at least twice a year, a few of them year around (except during late December and January—when most of the garden is asleep from winter). I have selected roses for blooming frequency, even though the colors were not particularly my favorites. It’s wonderful to have a rose—of any color—willing to bloom when the others are dormant!
- Rose Hips. Not all roses produce hips, or seed pods. The hips are edible and often used for rose-hip jelly (rose hips have high vitamin C content.) The hips bring additional color to the rose bush after the blooms have faded.
- Thorniness. Nearly thorn-less roses do exist; however, ALL roses have thorns. An extremely thorny rose may not be suitable for an area often visited by people and pets. Little Pinky is a nearly thorn-less rose, but there are still occasional thorns to keep in mind (I seem to find them when I’m pruning roses in the Spring). If thorns are a “deal-breaker”, then there are other options for bloom-filled shrubs (e.g., Rose of Sharon, Camillia, Hibiscus, etc. — before purchasing, check if the plant will grow in your geographic area).
- Growth Habit and Size. Select the site in your garden and then select roses according to space available in that site. Shrub style roses range from small-container sized roses growing no more than 18 inches in diameter, to those growing 7 feet in diameter;. Climbers range from 4 or 5 foot canes to 12 to 15 foot canes.
- Leaf Color. Although the leaves mature out to green, that color may be a bluish green or a bright yellowish-green, and the new leave can range from bright green to bronze to maroon. Do you have a preference? For me, roses that have either bronze or maroon (purplish) colored new leaves add to the rose beauty — but the plain green new leaves do not distract from it. So, this is purely a matter of preference, but something to consider. Roses simultaneously colored by new leaves, mature leaves, and rose flowers can be quite striking!