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Modern Roses For the Garden

Updated on July 1, 2017
Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Ms. Inglish has 30 years of successful experience in medicine, psychology, STEM courses, and aerospace education (CAP).

Irish War Memorial Gardens
Irish War Memorial Gardens

A Rose by Many Other Names

I can smell roses in the air as I write this, and there are none around me.

In college, a friend of mine had rose trees at her house - her dad had trained bushes into two 6-foot tall trees over a period of 15 years.

These events demonstrates the power of olfactory memory and the scent of roses in a human life. There is even a belief or legend in sectors of the Catholic Church, that a righteous or pure person - perhaps having had a special mission? - will smell of roses in death. Our respected Catholic friends can fill us in further in the comments below. In essence, the rose by any name is powerful, be that name "Friendship", "Love", "Beauty" or any of dozens of others...

The American Rose Society designates four types of Modern Roses. These include the Floribunda Grandiflora, the Hybrid Tea Rose, and the Miniature. Older types of roses are rather larger, often opening into the shape similar to that of ornamental cabbage. In fact, the Cabbage Rose does that exquisitely.

Modern roses take a different shape. They have also been developed from existing roses of various varieties and a range of interesting names.

Floribunda Roses
Floribunda Roses | Source

A Rose Invented in 1939

The Floribunda Rose was “invented’ by crossing a Hybrid Tea Rose with a polyantha in order to produce a blossom that was more restrained and compact, with additional hardiness and strong resistance to disease. The hybrid tea roses have not had that vigorous type of disease resistance.

Since hybrids or crosses are often stronger and more disease resistant in the animal, plant, and human realms - except for the Hybrid Tea Rose, it seems - then a further hybridization was in order.

Jackson and Perkins as a rose rose company in America developed the name floribunda ("abundant flowering" or "lots of flowers") and first entered this class of roses in the 1939 New York World's Fair.

Today, this rose is very popular, re-blooms very well yearly, and may be used in many areas of the landscape, including hedges and borders. They also thrive in containers, as the lovely Fairy Queen to the right.

Grandiflora Since 1954

Rose growers became somewhat addicted to hybridization, it seems. They were thinking, “How many roses can we cross and what will they look like? How big can we make them”

After much work, the grandiflora ("big flower") variety emerged from a cross between the trusty hybrid tea rose and previous hybrid, the floribunda. In this iteration, we had 1) a hybrid tea crossed with a polyanthus, and 2) their offspring - a floribunda - crossed again with a hybrid tea. What would be the result?

The first was named Queen Elizabeth and entered in shows in 1954.

A grandiflora bloom usually emerges as flower clusters atop very tall stems, with blossoms bigger than the floribunda variety. They are among the tallest of roses and can stand at the back of a rose display of many varieties and still be seen well.

They can create a wall of roses along a patio or wall. Their blossoms are usually doubled from other roses, but tend to lack fragrance. Beauty with less scent, unfortunately.

Hybrid Tea Rose. These make wonderful gifts for Mother's Day, on dates, and for birthdays and other holidays. You can grow them in your garden.
Hybrid Tea Rose. These make wonderful gifts for Mother's Day, on dates, and for birthdays and other holidays. You can grow them in your garden.

Hybrid Tea Roses Began During the Civil War

These long stemmed roses are the type usually given as gifts to sweethearts.

The hybrid tea rose usually grows into long, pointed buds in every color imaginable, form lightest to darkest, except full black or midnight blue. While a little hybridization is a good think for strength and disease resistance, consistent inbreeding down the line for color variance has produced less disease resistant roses that die while overwintering.

Some inbred roses are hardy, but not very many are robust. This is inbreeding at one of its worse ends. In addition, these 6,000+ varieties of hybrid tea roses are beautiful, but have lost fragrance.

A few of the 6,000+ still have attractive scent quality in additional to beauty, but it's unlikely to find a hybrid tea rose that is all of beautiful, fully fragrant, hardy, and disease resistant. Many varieties are said by some to be more like living plastic flowers, but prettier.

Elizabeth Park in Hartford, Connecticut
Elizabeth Park in Hartford, Connecticut

Miniature Roses and WWII

The parent stock plant of all miniatures is a dwarf Chinese Rose named Rouletii.

China roses being very popular among Chinese gardeners. The idea of miniatures emerged in the US at the end of World War Two. While beautiful, most of these miniatures have no scent.

Miniatures are actual roses with miniature canes, foliage, and flowers. The plant grows to a height of from 6 inches to 3 feet, but most are one or one-and-a-half feet tall.

Miniatures need the same care required by other rose varieties, but seem overall to be less stringent in pruning needs than the hybrid tea roses. They also bloom all year.

New miniature roses are developed annually, to add to the already wide palette of colors and fragrances available.

Place miniature roses bushes in pots in a bright sunny south window indoors, or use them in containers on the patio or in the ground along patio sides and and in other landscaping areas.

Miniature roses can also be trained in the style of Bonsai.

The American Rose Society

P.O. Box 30000

Shreveport, Louisiana 71130

© 2008 Patty Inglish


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    • hi friend profile image

      hi friend 6 years ago from India

      beautiful and iteresting site

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Your favorite! - What an enjoyable aroma(s) they all make. I love to walk throuhh roses in a large garden.

    • lakeerieartists profile image

      Paula Atwell 9 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      i love roses--my favorite flower.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Tahnks for the rosy comments! Chef Jeff - I found some of those tiny berries grwoing fomr the compost pile last summer and there WERE good. I like the idea of your wild roses. Every time I type "rose" and can smell roses.

      Anamika - that's quite a lot of roses; I bnet they are grouped beautifully.

      kerryg - you have great roses! Steady blooming is heaven.

      Once, I bought a rose bush and it bloomed in the back seat of the car before I took it out. I gave it to a friend and it bloomed in January in the snow by her front door. Should have taken a picture of that one!

    • kerryg profile image

      kerryg 9 years ago from USA

      I love roses, but my mom, whose my mentor for all things gardening, says the fancy ones are a pain in the you-know-what to grow in this area, so I've never bothered to try. I added some knockouts to my front garden this year, though, and they have been steadily blooming since I put them in in June with nothing more than an occasional watering during the hottest parts of summer. Now that is a rose I can get behind!

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S 9 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      I love roses too and have around 50 varieties of Roses. A Thumbs up to you for your efforts.

    • Chef Jeff profile image

      Chef Jeff 9 years ago from Universe, Milky Way, Outer Arm, Sol, Earth, Western Hemisphere, North America, Illinois, Chicago.

      I love roses, but haven't the time for really fancy ones, so I go with those I find growing wild. The blooms are not as big, but they repeat all summer long. they also feed the bees, and right now with bee populations declining, I see a need for that!

      BYW I found really tiny wild strawberries growing in my yard near the creek. They taste great, but are the size of pinky-finger nail.


      Chef Jeff