RULE 1, part one: Get the right varieties of roses (bushes)

This rule is the most important of all.   I like varieties that make a nice-shaped, more or less thickly-foliaged, plant that looks good even without flowers.  I  look for disease-resistance in Central Kentucky’s muggy summers.

Here are great varieties to try first and information about them:

nur-mahal1

Nur Mahal.  This is the plant behind the title banner of this blog, a hybrid musk (1923) that wants to grow about five feet tall by seven feet wide in my area of Zone 6.  It has semi-double [seven to twenty] pinky-red petals per flower, and an established plant bears flowers in trusses or clusters of up to two dozen.  They’re fragrant, and the plant is also thornless — really thornless.  I’ve never seen a single thorn on my plant.  What’s not to love?

caldwell-pink4

Caldwell Pink.  This rose is my favorite right now, a found polyantha that makes a beautiful shrubby bush, thickly foliaged with gorgeous matte blueish tiny leaves.  Its flowers are lilac-pink, and it loves to bear the little one- to one and a half-inch very double pompons all the damn time in huge trusses of up to three dozen.  It does have lots of very sharp thorns — hey, it’s a ROSE, people — and the leaves actually turn bronzy in the fall [Fall color is very rare among roses].

Attack of the Swamp Rose

On thorns, and thornless rose recommendations

Rise ‘N’ Shine

 

 

 

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