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Roses for today's gardens.


Old roses scrambling up a porch or spilling over a picket fence may be reminiscent of a bygone era. But the carefree look of their cabbagelike flowers and gracefully draping stems has brought them back into even the most tailored gardens in the past decade. And gardeners are duplicating the old roses' casual look with modern roses, as pictured on pages 48 and 49.

Here are ways to use roses for an old-fashioned look. Plant from containers this month, or wait until winter to plant bare-root.

As a group, old roses are better garden roses than most modern kinds; their informal looks enable gardeners to combine them easily with other plants. China, noisette, and tea roses are the least cold-hardy; plant them only where winters are mild. Some old roses--like damasks, gallicas, and moss roses--bloom once a year; when selecting a rose for a prominent spot, make sure it repeats bloom (those mentioned here do). Except where noted, these roses prefer a sunny location.

Bourbon roses (1800s). These tall (to 8 feet), sometimes gangly shrubs bear cup-shaped, strong-scented flowers. 'Madame Isaac Periere' has rose-magenta flowers; 'Louise Odier' has deep pink blooms. Train plants as fountains or as climbers up pillars.

China roses (1700s). These grow 3 to 4 feet tall and as wide and bear clusters of small flowers. 'Archduke Charles' has fragrant, marbled pink flowers; 'Old Blush' has clear pink blooms. Grow in borders or hedges.

English roses, also known as David Austin roses (1970s and '80s). These shrubs range from 3 to 9 feet; flowers are fragrant. Plant in mixed borders, or train up fences.

Hybrid musks (early 1900s). Heights vary. These shrubby roses tolerate shade; most are disease resistant. Fragrant flowers bloom in large clusters over a long period. 'Autumn Delight' (4 to 5 feet tall) has golden blooms; 'Belinda' (4 to 5 feet tall), with bright pink flowers, is good for hedges or pillars.

Hybrid perpetuals (early 1800s). Large, cold-hardy shrubs reach 6 to 8 feet tall. Flowers (to 7 inches wide) are fragrant. 'American Beauty' has rose-pink blooms; 'Reine des Violettes' has lavender-pink blooms. Plant in mixed borders.

Modern shrub roses. These include hybrid teas, grandifloras, polyanthas, and floribundas. 'Dainty Bess', a hybrid tea with single pink blooms, is an old-rose look-alike; floribundas and shrubs such as 'Carefree Wonder', 'Iceberg', 'Nevada', and 'Sea Foam' also have a casual growth habit and abundant flowers. Use in mixed borders with perennials, or as hedges.

Noisettes (1800s). Good climbers. Stems are limber; flowers nod. The look is romantic, and the fragrance strong. Flowers are in soft pink, yellow, or cream. 'Madame Alfred Carriere' (at right) is trained up a wall.

Tea roses. These upright, 4- to 7-foot-tall shrubs were first planted in Europe in the early 1800s. Use them as focal points; they are seldom out of bloom. Or combine them in borders with other perennials. 'Maman Cochet' has pale pink blooms brushed with yellow; 'Catherine Mermet' has pale pink blooms.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:MacCaskey, Michael
Date:Jun 1, 1992
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