Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Easy Care Heirloom Roses ... The List!

When I was asked to present a program on easy care heirloom roses, I decided to use the following criteria to create the list:

1.  Roses that respond the best in MY garden with minimal care ... meaning irrigation, fertilizer, and fungicide when I remember to do it.  I live in north central Virginia, which is USDA Zone 7A.

 2.  Roses that bloom with more flowers than my level of effort should produce.

 3.  Roses that look their absolute best in the worst of conditions.  At the end of a hot, dry summer these were among the stand-outs ... both in quality of flowers and the appearance of the bush itself.

I further narrowed the list to a manageable number that could be presented to a group in less than an hour, allowing time for questions. 

Let's sit for a while and look at lots of pretty rose pictures.  (Any of you folks with slow internet connections are going to hate me for this.)

Small Shrubs

 "Caldwell Pink", found rose
Polyantha, Lilac Pink, 3-4 feet, repeat blooming

White Pet, 1879
Polyantha, White, 2-4 feet, repeat blooming

Echo, 1914
Polyantha, Pink blend, 3-4 feet, repeat blooming

Ducher, 1869
China, White 3-4 feet, repeat blooming

La Marne, 1915
Polyantha, pink blend, 3-5 feet, repeat blooming

Apothecary Rose, bef. 1240
Gallica, dark pink, 3-4 feet, spring blooming

Rosa Mundi, bef. 1581
Gallica, pink striped, 3-4 feet, spring blooming

Medium Shrubs

 "Angel's Camp Tea", found rose
Tea, light pink, 4-6 feet, repeat blooming

Madame Antoine Mari, 1901
Tea, pink blend, 4-5 feet, repeat blooming

"Tutta's Pink Noisette", found rose
Noisette, light pink, 4-6 feet, repeat blooming

Duchesse de Brabant, 1857
Tea, light pink, 4-5 feet, repeat blooming

Marie Pavie, 1888
Polyantha, white blend, 4-5 feet, repeat blooming

Marie Daly, sport of Marie Pavie
Polyantha, light pink, 4-5 feet, repeat blooming

Charles de Mills, 1829
Gallica, dark pink, 4-5 feet, spring blooming

Large Shrubs

"Darlow's Enigma", found rose
Hybrid musk, white, 6-12 feet, repeat blooming

"Portland from Glendora", found rose
Portland, medium pink, 6-8 feet, repeat blooming

Sidonie, 1846
Portland, light pink, 6-8 feet, repeat blooming

Mutabilis, 1894
China, yellow blend, 4-8 feet, repeat blooming

Sarah Van Fleet, 1926
Rugosa, medium pink, 6-8 feet, repeat blooming

Madame Plantier, 1835
Hybrid alba, white, 5-12 feet, spring blooming

Shailer's Provence, 1799
Hybrid china, medium pink, 6-10 feet, spring blooming

Banshee, 1773
Hybrid damask, light pink, 6-8 feet, spring blooming

Repeat-blooming Climbers

Crepuscule, 1904
Noisette, apricot, 10-12 feet, repeat blooming

Climbing Pinkie, 1952
Climber, medium pink, 8-10 feet, repeat blooming

Alba Meideland, 1986
Climber, white, 10-12 feet, repeat blooming

Awakening, 1935
Climber, light pink, 12-16 feet, repeat blooming

New Dawn, 1930
Climber, light pink, 12-16 feet, repeat blooming

White Cap, 1954
Climber, white, 8-10 feet. repeat blooming

Parade, 1953
Climber, dark pink, 8-12 feet, repeat blooming

Spring-blooming Ramblers

"Peggy Martin", found rose
Hybrid multiflora, dark pink, 10-16 feet, scattered repeat

Alberic Barbier, 1900
Hybrid wichurana, white blend, 15-20 feet, spring blooming

Albertine, 1921
Hybrid wichurana, orange pink, 12-15 feet, spring blooming

Aviateur Bleriot, 1910
Hybrid wichurana, light yellow 15-25 feet, spring blooming

"Arcata Pink Globe", found rose
Hybrid setigera, light pink, 15-20 feet, spring blooming

Leontine Gervais, 1903
Hybrid wichurana, apricot blend, 20-30 feet, spring blooming

Gardenia, 1899
Hybrid wichurana, white blend, 16-24 feet, spring blooming

Ghislaine de Feligonde, 1916
Hybrid multiflora, yellow blend, 8-12 feet, spring blooming

As I said in THIS post from earlier in the month ... if you want easy care roses, you have many choices beyond Knock Out.  The roses I presented here are mostly available at specialty nurseries, and they usually cost less than the Knock Outs that you see at the big box stores.  Why not grow a piece of history in your garden?

This is by no means a comprehensive list of ALL roses that grow well with minimal care ... these are some of the roses that please ME the most. I offer them, hoping that they might also please you. 

Do you have a rose or two that you grow that you think should be on this list?  I would love to hear about it.


  1. Thank you for this list filled with so many beauties. I write gardening articles and should make a note of what you recommend. Maybe someday I will interview you for an article.

  2. I'm on the other end of the country from you, so not all these roses may be applicable in my climate. But I've read about or seen most of them and you've got a fabulous collection of goodies.

    Right now I'm particularly craving the big once blooming spring ramblers. You've got so many beautiful ones pictured, I want an old shed to drape one over! I'm mulling over the perfect spot for a few of them.

  3. Hmmmm - without a doubt, I am a rose plant failure. I do NOTHING to help them either! So are you saying, plant any of these and they will do well? Dumb question, huh? Sorrryyyyy!

  4. I am suddenly very resentful of my lack of a place to grow things.

  5. Loved this post. I would really like to grow some climbers but was not sure what would work in my zone 6 garden.

  6. Wow! I'm going to take this list to see the "wizard" on Saturday.... I love so many of these roses, I'm gonna have to move to be able to house them all! Love posts like this... Very educational..

  7. I am in love with your beautiful roses! The photos are stunning! Would love to see your farm when the roses are in bloom. Do you give tours?

  8. I bet they loved your presentation! I can only imagine seeing all of these wonderful rose pictures up on a huge screen! I blame you for my new found rose addiction! I want one of each please!

    Kat :)

    P.S. 2 days and counting....woohoo

  9. I'm swooning over all these gorgeous roses.

  10. How in the world did I ever miss this post, Connie....? lol! What a wonderfully helpful list! I do have a question, though. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the David Austin cabbage type roses. Big and fluffy. :) Can you recommend any blush pink or pink ones that would be easy to grow here in MI....? Thanks, my friend!

    xoxo laurie

  11. Gorgeous roses! Thank you for the list!

    Are any of these particularly fragrant? I'm looking for a strong-smelling, but not too fussy rose to grow in NC.

  12. I'm looking for something very much like Marie Pevie...something I would describe as ICE PINK with a heavenly fragrance. It's all over the south coast of Massachusetts. Any thoughts on Champneys Pink Cluster...along the lines of comparisons? I'm new to all of this and would like something for my sunny fence that runs about 30 feet.

    Thank you!

  13. Marie Pavie is on my order list, yea! Some of your others ones will be added today.....wallet allowing.

    Thank you for the effort you put into this site, spreading the love of roses. It's a blessing to us.


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