Technically rugosa roses are species roses native to eastern Asia, but to me they are a bit of heaven on earth.
I have 17 (or so) rugosas: Hansa, Roseraie de l’Hay named for the French rose garden of the same name, Blanc Double de Coubert, Theresa Bugnet, Bell Poitevine and Moje Hammarberg. When these roses are blooming our entire garden is filled with their beautiful fragrance. If someone new visits our garden during this time, the first question is always, What is that?
In addition to beauty and fragrance, the upside to rugosa roses… they are tough, trouble free and need very little maintenance. . Their rough (rugose), tough leaves make them resistant to disease and pests. But you need some room because these beauties grow to be around 5′ X 6′ in my garden. The exception to this in my garden is Moje Hammarberg who is about 3 X 4. An extra bonus … rugosas produce large red-orange rose hips that are very high in Vitamin C and I am told make great jelly. We just let the bird enjoy them.
My favorite rugosa is Roseraie de l’Hay because it is a good repeat bloomer. Many of the rugosas do repeat bloom, but there is nothing like the spring fireworks!