Graham Thomas | Autumn Hill NurseryMention growing roses to most gardeners, and they respond with “I would love to but…” .  We love the idea of growing our roses to enjoy, but the fear of failure often holds us back.  We are told time and time again that roses are hard to grow. While it is true growing most roses in our climate takes dedication, it is not the case for all roses.

Learning a new skill takes patience, practice, and dedication. We don’t learn to sew by tackling creating a wedding dress as our first project. Likewise our first attempt at restoring an antique car doesn’t involve a basket case Auburn.  We work up to these seemingly impossible projects by learning the craft with smaller, simpler projects. The same goes for rose gardening.  Let’s start small by introducing just few roses to our garden or landscape.

Before making suggestions on which roses to try; let’s discuss ways to incorporate roses in our existing garden or landscape. Many floribunda roses are bushy in nature maturing to a 4’ x 4’ shrub.  They can easily be substituted for other flowering shrubs in our foundation planting or garden. Think where you might use butterfly bushes or sun-loving hydrangeas. Why not try a few roses instead.  A hedge of roses along the front of a low deck could add color and fragrance.

Suggestion for adding floribunda or shrub roses:

  • A hedge along a low deck or patio
  • Towards the back of a perennial bed
  • A sunny island in the front yard along with some evergreen bushes or perennials
  • A hedge across the back of the driveway
  • Part of a mixed border along a fence in the back yard

 Suggestions for adding climbing roses:

  • Both sides of an arbor leading to the back yard
  • Trailing along a wrought iron or wood rail fence
  • A large free-standing trellis or obelisk in the perennial a garden
  • Climbing up the lattice below a deck

If you feel like now is the time to learn a new gardening craft, here are some easier-to-grow roses we recommend.

Floribunda and shrubs roses

Chihuly      Earth Angel    Easy Spirit     Julia Child

Jump for Joy     Liv’n Easy     Plum Perfect Sunbelt 

Rock & Roll   Sunsprite

Climbing roses

Cape Diamond   Colette   Don Juan

Joseph’s Coat    Kiss Me Kate    New Dawn  

You can find photos and descriptions of these roses on our website. We will gladly spend time with you one on one discussing which roses may be right for you. We would love to help you get you started successfully growing roses.


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