Who? What? Where? … Growing & Buying Roses

Janice Kellogg
Janice Kellogg

When I’m ready to purchase roses or looking for information to better care for my roses, I start with these guys:

  • David Austin started something new in roses–English Roses.
    His first rose, the fragrant Constance Spry, was released in 1961. Since then he has released nearly two hundred English Roses. Few new flowers have caused such a stir in the horticultural world. The website is full of information on English Roses, Old Roses and a few modern roses. And, you cannot beat the pictures of the David Austin rose gardens. Take a look …  David Austin Roses.
  • Rose Petals Nursery … Preserving history one rose at a time! Rose Petals Nursery is a little specialty rose nursery in rural North Central Florida. They have a lovely website just full of interesting rose information!
  • Antique Rose Emporium is your mail order nursery source for Earth-Kind, Pioneer and old roses. Ever heard of a group called The Rose Rustlers? Read about them here. (Prepare to be fascinated!)
  • For historical roses and own-root rose information, it is hard to beat Heirloom RosesUnlike the majority of rose growers, Heirloom Roses does no budding or grafting and sells own-root roses for hardiness and disease resistance.
  • Roses of Yesterday and Today have an amazing selection of old, rare, unusual and select modern roses and is where I purchased one of my first old roses. I still  have one of their catalogs I received about 20 years ago. This was in pre-web days when a beautiful catalog meant everything.
  • Paul Zimmerman Roses is dedicated to making sure everyone knows how easy and rewarding Garden Roses are to grow. Excellent how-to videos and a rose forum joining you to other rose experts. And, you just might want to check out his latest rose book, Everyday Roses.
  • Rosemania is the place for rare rose care products, rose information and many roses for purchase.
  • S & W Greenhouse has been in the rose business for more than 25 years. They specialize in many varieties of roses, mums and many other plants. Check out their Facebook page here.
  • Wayside Gardens always have a nice selection of roses. I have a collection of their catalogs. Such great information and pictures. I am pretty sure it was through Wayside that I first heard of David Austin Roses.
  • Edmunds Roses is where I purchased the roses from the Biltmore collection, Flamenco and Lady Ashe. They have a nice selection of roses. Take a look…
  • Authentic Haven Brand  offers a full line of all-natural, premium soil conditioner teas for the home gardener.  Alfalfa has long been associated with being used in livestock feed, but many rose growers have found it to be a “secret weapon”.  Alfalfa has been found to boost bloom production and increase basal breaks.
Miss All American Beauty

Other rose articles you might enjoy … 

Roses … Old and New

There are many types of roses from species (wild) and old garden varieties (OGRs) to the modern hybrids and landscape roses. And I love them all. I can honestly say that every class of rose is beautiful to me. Each has their strengths and their weaknesses.

OGRs are any roses grown prior to 1867 when the first Hybrid Tea, La France, was introduced. Most Species and OGRs have a one-time blooming season most usually in late spring or early summer. But what a season it is. Hundreds and hundreds of wonderfully fragrant blooms! This is something I wait all winter for!

The modern Hybrid Tea, Floribunda and Grandiflora roses produce blooms in waves throughout the summer and early fall. Many of these are fragrant as well, but the blooms are on longer stems that make them very popular in the world of florists.

Modern shurb or landscape roses give us disease resistance and season long blooms and fit very well in most any landscape or garden.

Here is a brief description of the most common types of roses…


Albas are tall, slender, upright bushes producing flowers of blush pink or white. Albas are very hardy and thrive under difficult conditions, even partial shade. They are almost completely disease-resistant and require little pruning. These roses have a strong, rich perfume. I have Felicite Parementier on order for next year. Another beautiful Alba is Madam Plantier.

Felicite Parementier


Bourbons were the roses of Victorian England. They produce beautiful, large, full old rose blooms on vigorous growing bushes with blooms of wonderful, heady fragrance. Many Bourbons repeat bloom. One of my favorite bourbons is Bourbon Queen although it does not repeat bloom for me.

However, when she blooms, she blooms. Last year I sent a picture of Bourbon Queen in bloom to The American Rose Society and she was chosen to be in the 2013 calendar. So, you could say the Bourbon Queen is a calender girl.

Bourbon Queen


Also known as Cabbage Roses have large blooms of many petals. Centifolia means 100 petals. These roses are summer flowering and extremely fragrant! I don’t have any Centifolias (yet), but there are two that are standouts in the rose catalogs–Fantin Latour and Tour de Malakoff.


Damask roses are very old, having been grown in Biblical times. They are known for their distinctive, rich damask perfume and beautiful pink or white blooms. My favorite Damask rose is Madam Hardy … amazingly fragrant white blooms with a unique green eye.
The Damasks I grow are Rose de Rescht and Madam Hardy.

Madam Hardy was named for the wife of Empress Josephine’s head gardener … Mr. Hardy. 🙂

Madam Hardy


These roses combine the best qualities of their parents–hybrid teas and ployantha roses. From the polyanthas come increased hardiness, low growing habit and continuous bloom and from hybrid teas they inherit their flower form and foliage. I have several favorite floribundas … three favs in my garden are Gene Boerner, Bill Warriner and Janice Kellogg.

Bill Warriner
Bill Warriner up close
Gene Boerner
Janice Kellogg


David Austin’s English roses came on the scene in the 1960s. The first English rose, the fragrant Constance Spry, was released in 1961. This new breed of rose combines the form and fragrance of the old roses with the repeat blooming and wider range of color of the hybrid roses. Two of my favorite David Austin English roses are Mary Rose and Charlotte.

And I’m adding a few more this year. You can read my thoughts on David Austin and his roses here. I’ll warn you, I am totally infatuated!



Gallicas are the oldest of the garden roses, having been grown by the Greeks and Romans! Gallicas are spring blooming shrubs with wonderfully fragrant blooms of pink, red and even some purples. My favorite Gallica is Rosa Mundi …. the earliest known stripped rose that dates back to the 1500s.

Legend has it that Rosa Mundi was named after Fair Rosa- mund, a mistress of Henry II, England’s monarch from 1154 to 1189. In The Book of Old Roses, Trevor Griffiths tells the story of their tragic affair. Henry was forced to marry a princess who, brooking no competition, is said to have murdered the lovely Rosamund. By Henry’s order, Rosamund was buried at Godstow Nunnery near Oxford, England, and each year on the anniversary of her death, he ordered her tomb to be decorated with masses of Rosa Mundi. -Virginia Kean / Historical Rose Society

Rosa Mundi


This group of roses is the result of crossing between hybrid teas and floribundas. The flower form and long stems are carried from the hybrid teas and the increased hardiness and abundance of flowers of the floribundas. One of my favorite grandifloras is Gold Medal.

Gold Medal


These roses were developed as hardy garden plants between 1840 and 1900, by crossing the Portland, Bourbon and Gallica roses and were mostly used as cut flowers. My favorite Hybrid Perpetual is Reine Des Violettes (Queen of Violettes).

Reine des Violette


Hybrid Tea roses are the most widely grown roses and most used as “florist” roses. Long, narrow buds open into full delicate blooms on long, sturdy stems. Blooming occurs in waves from early summer until frost. My favorite Hybrid Tea… well today… is the Peace Rose. Chrysler Imperial put on a show this summer too.

I am adding several new HT’s this year as I make my way into the world of rose exhibitionists. Read on for details.

Chrysler Imperial


Is a class of roses that originated in Charleston, South Carolina prior to 1812. John Champney, a rice farmer, received ‘Old Blush‘ from his neighbor Philippe Noisette, the superintendent of the SC Medical Society’s Botanical Garden. Champney crossed Old Blush with Rosa Moschata and Champney’s Pink was born. John Champney gave Philippe seedlings of ‘Champney’s Pink and Phillippe sent plants to his brother in France and the rage was on!

While visiting the Church of the Intersession in NYC last summer, I saw Champney’s Pink blooming in their enchanting garden. I couldn’t help but fall in love with this dainty, beautiful, fragrant rose steeped in history. I understand it is hardy to Zone 6. My garden is in Zone 5 but that is pretty close so I may have to try one. It would be such a nice addition to my old rose collection. Here is Champney’s Pink growing in the NYC garden…

Champney's Pink
Champney’s Pink


Polyantha roses are a cross between two East Asian species (Rosa chinensis and R. multiflora). The plants are compact and bushy and are rarely without blooms. My only polyantha is The Fairy Rose and this rose has been around since 1932. I love the clusters of tiny pink blooms. They look so nice in a mixed bokay of roses! These plants are very low maintenance and disease resistant!

The Fairy Rose


Portland roses are a natural cross between Damasks and China roses so you can imagine how wonderfully fragrant they are. These roses are vigorous growers, and were one of the first of the repeat bloomers. I grow Comte de Chambord and it has a fragrance that wows!

Comte de Chambord
Comte de Chambord


Rugosa roses are species roses native to eastern Asia. These roses are tough, trouble free shrubs that need very little maintenance and produce masses of beautiful, highly fragrant blooms. Rugosas are good repeat bloomers. An added bonus is the large red-orange hips produced in the last days of summer. My favorite Rugosa is Roseraie de l’ Hay. I have several of these in my garden! But, I also love my RF Grootendorst and Hansas! I also grow a white rugosa, Blanc Double de Coubert.

Blanc Double de Coubert in the background


From Knockouts – Drifts, there are many shrub roses on the market today. These roses are disease resistant, prolific bloomers that fit well into most any landscape. Some of my favorite shrub roses are Carefree Wonder, Sunny Knockout and Amber Flower Carpet.

A great resource for these roses is Paul Zimmerman’s book Everyday Roses. Easy growing tips and beautiful pictures of roses in home landscapes.

Carefree Wonder
Sunny Knockout
Amber Carpet


The Species and Hybrid Species roses are the original rose varieties found in nature from which all the others have been bred. The flowers are single (5 petals). One of the earliest of these roses is Rosa Foetida. One of the first yellow roses was the species rose–Persian Yellow.

I have a hybrid rose cultivar which originated as a chance hybrid seedling of Rosa Foetida… Harison’s Yellow. Read all about Harison’s Yellow HERE.

Harison’s Yellow

If you are looking for more information or for specific roses, here are some great resources…

American Rose Society
David Austin Roses
Roses of Yesterday and Today
Heirloom Roses
Weeks Roses
Paul Zimmerman Roses
Certified Roses
Conard Pyle / Star Roses
Edmunds Roses
Witherspoon Rose Culture

David Austin and Me

For the past 20 years I have had a secret crush. His name is David Austin. He lives in England. He grows roses. Actually, he creates roses. He even created a new kind of rose … English roses … blending Old Garden Roses for form and fragrance with modern roses for repeat blooming and increased range of color. To me that is the perfect combination! Who wouldn’t be smitten!

My favorite one (for the moment) is Charlotte or is it Gertrude Jekyll … or it could be Mary Rose or Crocus Rose on any given day. All are beautiful, charming and sooooo fragrant.

Recently I had the pleasure of speaking with Michael Marriott of David Austin Roses on Rose Chat Radio who talked about the new releases for 2013. Listen here.


Wollerton Old Hall

Wollerton Old Hall

Wollerton Old Hall is the most fragrant new variety and, indeed, one of the most fragrant of all English Roses. Its distinctive strong myrrh scent has a delicious citrus element. Plump buds, with attractive flashes of red, open to form beautiful chalice-shaped blooms of soft apricot, eventually paling to cream. It forms a particularly healthy and bushy shrub with few thorns.

Lady Salisbury

Lady Salisbury

Lady Salisbury exhibits great Old Rose charm, with some of the character of the Alba Roses. Rich rose pink buds open to reveal pure pink flowers, which gradually become a softer shade as the flowers age. There is a light fragrance. ‘Lady Salisbury’ flowers with remarkable continuity from early summer on.

Fighting Temeraire

Fighting Temeraire

Fighting Temeraire is a very different English Rose. The fully open flowers are very large at 4” to 5″ across, each with only 12 petals. The flowers are a rich apricot color with an area of yellow behind the stamens which later pales to a soft yellow-apricot.

England’s Rose

England’s Rose

England’s Rose is a particularly tough and reliable variety. Deep glowing pink flowers are held in large clusters, the outer petals eventually reflexing back to reveal an attractive button eye.

The Lady’s Blush

The Lady’s Blush

The Lady’s Blush is a charming semi-double variety with delicate natural beauty. The flowers start as elegant pointed buds and develop into rounded cups in pure soft pink with a creamy white eye and often a white stripe.

Queen Anne

Queen Anne

Queen Anne is a rose of classic Old Rose beauty, but rather more in the direction of the Centifolias or Bourbons. The medium-sized flowers are pure rose pink, the outer petals only slightly paler than the central ones. In habit, ‘Queen Anne’ is quite upright and bushy, with few thorns.


Visiting this amazing garden is definitely on my “bucket list”.

If you’d like to see a recent video of the David Austin gardens in England, watch this…

I am adding several of these new roses to my garden next year…

  • England’s Rose
  • The Lady’s Blush
  • Lady Salisbury

And, here’s the man himself….

Thank you Mr. Austin for such beautiful additions to our gardens!

David Austin

Follow David Austin Roses on Twitter @DavidAustinHome.

Potting Shed Review: R is for Rose

I am currently reading Carolyn Parker’s book R is for Rose and am taking my time to savor every story and every picture. This book is not only eye candy for rose lovers, but it also showcases so many of Carolyn’s talents:

As a garden designer: She shares with us her amazing garden.

As a floral arranger: She uses a unique variety of containers to showcase her beautiful roses.

As a photographer: She has an amazing gift as a photographer.

And most of all, her skills as a storyteller: With each letter of the alphabet she draws us in with one heartwarming story after another!


My favorite story in Carolyn’s book is in chapter “G” … for Graham Thomas English Rose. This rose is named for the legendary gardener and rose expert, Graham Thomas. She actually had the opportunity of a life time to meet him and to share the story she had written about him in person! You just have to read this story!


I had the privilege of interviewing Carolyn recently about her book on Blog Talk Radio. She was enchanting! You can listen to that interview here.


You can find her book on Amazon … click here.

Garden friends, this is a book you just might want to mention to Santa … to be sure he gets it on your Christmas list.

I think you will also enjoy Carolyn’s blog … rosenotes.com.

Bloom Thyme: THE LIST

In the fall I start getting a bit frantic … trying to enjoy my roses ENOUGH. ENOUGH to make it last. ENOUGH to make it last until next May. That is a lot of enjoying.

And, this is the time of year, I sit in my potting shed and begin working on THE LIST of roses and rose companions to add next year. I pour through catalogs, look at pictures from my garden and listen to the advice of others who love and grow roses.

My happy place.

Participating in Twitter #RoseChat and #GardenChat, I have real-time opportunities to see first hand what others from around the world are growing and hear all the good stuff and the challenges … making it even easier to put together THE LIST.

Paul Zimmerman highly recommends Mme Bovary from Delbard from Roses Unlimited. A lovely mauve rose with a great scent. And, Dublin Bay … a climbing rose. Very hardy, and it’s a true red rose; lightly perfumed with a repeat flowering later in the season.

Brooke Kroeger says Our Lady of Guadalupe is the best, most disease resistant rose she has ever grown. My neighbor has a couple of these beauties …  spectacular even in the drought!

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Chris the Redneck Rosarian has tempted me all summer with pictures of Julia Child and Golden Celebrations. Two luscious yellow roses…

Julia Child
Golden Celebrations

My Bourbon Queen was so beautiful this year that I feel I need another one.

Bourbon Queen

And, my Roseraie De L Hay was so beautiful that I want more. Can you blame me?

Roseraie de l'Hay

Thanks to @Lara Lewis, I’m also taking a serious look at David Austin‘s, Munstead Wood. Munstead Wood was Gertrude Jekyll’s garden in Surrey where she worked on her many gardening books. I love Gertrude. Surely I should have the rose named for her garden.

It would be fabulous to add a few more minis roses from John’s Miniature Roses — like Cupcake and  Seattle Sensation.

Just wait until the new catalogs start coming … THE LIST is sure to grow.

Sounds like this might be a good time to reread, The Berenstain Bears Get the Gimmies!

What plants are on your 2012 list?

Roses, Roses and More Roses

The day after Christmas starts my official countdown to spring. It all begins with garden catalogs. I love them. I even save them. I have garden catalogs that are 15 years old. I dream, plot, measure and make my plan.

My favorite catalogs?
David Austin Roses and Wayside Gardens

My oldest catalog?
Roses of Yesterday and Today (This amazing catalog brought me much desired information back in the day before Google.)

Today I am pouring over the David Austin Handbook of Roses 2011. Since I am on the fast-track, I am placing an order for roses today! Last year I waited and one of the roses I wanted was SOLD OUT! Ugh. But that is not going to happen this year.

Roses 2011
The new roses I am welcoming to my garden are: Rose de Rescht; Reine des Violettes; Roseraie de L’Hay; New Dawn; Comte de Chambord ( don’t they sound beautiful) and the most special of all …  Lady Emma Hamilton and The Crocus Rose — special Christmas gifts from some very thoughtful people!

The Crocus Rose
Catalog says: This is a very robust and free flowering rose, bearing large, rosette-shaped flowers that are cupped at first; the petals later reflexing. The colour is soft apricot, paling to cream on the outer petals. The flowers are produced very freely, in large clusters elegantly poised on the end of slightly arching stems. They have a delightful Tea Rose fragrance.

The Crocus Rose
Lady Emma Hamilton
Catalog says: A variety of rather unusual coloring for an English Rose, but nonetheless very pleasing and useful for creating a little excitement. Before the flowers even begin to open, the outside of the buds are a most wonderful dark red with dashes of orange. When fully open the flowers are a lovely mixture of rich, almost tangerine orange on the inside of the petals and a more yellow orange on the outside; the whole set off against the very dark, bronzy green leaves that only slowly become dark green with age. Will flower freely and remain healthy. The flowers have a strong, delicious, fruity fragrance which – it has been suggested – has hints of pear, grape and citrus fruits. Lady Emma Hamilton was Horatio Nelson’s lover and we have named this rose to celebrate the 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar.
Lady Emma Hamilton

Secret Crush

For the past 20 years I have had a secret crush. His name is David Austin. He lives in England. He grows roses. Actually, he creates roses. He even created a new kind of rose … English roses … blending historical roses (for form and fragrance) with modern roses (for repeat blooming). They are so beautiful. Who wouldn’t be smitten!

My favorite one (for the moment) is Charlotte or is it Gertrude Jekyll. Well, I’m not sure, but I love them both and they are sooooo fragrant.

The Man Himself

Gertrude Jekyll