This summer I decided to move my blueberry bushes from one bed to another. They were not thriving in their current location. They weren’t getting enough sun since that area was shaded from about 2 pm on. So, over the last couple of months, I stared at any empty section of my garden (picture below) and racked my brain to see what I could plant there–something that was edible. Then it hit me. What about roses? But just not any type of rose–deliciously fragrant roses.
Hold on there, Anna
Anna, don’t you already have rose bushes?
Yes. I have roses, but here is the story about my roses.
Five years ago, I planted Knock Out® roses since I was sick of dealing with black spot, a fungus that made the roses look horrible. Knock Out® roses are bred for disease. The petals are outstanding and beautiful. And guess what? They just thrive with whatever I throw at them. You gotta love a plant like that.
But there is one problem with Knock Out® Roses.
I collect the petals for jam. The dried rose petals don’t smell. In fact, my rose petal lemon verbena jam tasted more like lemon than roses. (I soaked the roses right away to make the jam.)
I tought perhaps dried petals lose their smell?
A Lightning Bolt Hit Me
Well, I got my answer and it wasn’t all good. On my birthday, hubs always takes me to an arboretum. He patiently waits while I talk to every gardener who will talk to me about the beautiful plants that I see. (And if there is no one to talk to, I talk to the plants. Yes, a crazy obsessed gardener.)
This year we visited the New York Botanical Garden. I love this arboretum. Although our visit was 4 months ago, I will be posting pictures later since everyone need a garden pick me up in the dead of winter.
One of the highlights of the trip was the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden where I received an education about roses.
Watch this video below about the gardens.
There were literally thousands of roses. (4400 rose plants to be exact!) The first rose I smelled was a David Austin® pink rose. Oddly, it didn’t smell like my roses. It was so fragrant, which added to my confusion. Why did this rose smell so fragrant?
I had to find an answer.
Different Types of Roses
Thank goodness the staff at the rose garden couldn’t have been more pleasant to talk to. One of the gentlemen took me around on my own private tour (while hubs checked his email) and showed me all the different roses:
- David Austin® English Roses–“the first roses to combine charm fragrance and beauty of heritage roses.”
- Kordes Roses–double blooms and some of the most disease resistant roses available today.
- Griffith Buck Roses–noted for their free flowering habit, disease resistant, and winter hardiness
- Knock-out® Roses–easy to grow and disease-free
- Kolorscape® Roses–shrub roses with repeat blooms. No need to deadhead or spray.
- Damask Roses–used for attar or oil of roses. They have a strong smell most associated with roses.
- Drift® Grow Cover Roses–small , long blooming roses . They are disease resistant and winter hardy.
All of the roses in the garden were hardy and disease resistant. (My type of plants. No wimps wanted in my garden.)
With 4400 plants, no one wants to deal with some prima donna plants. If you are thinking of buying any of the above roses, here is a list of the top repeat bloomers performers in the garden.
Repeat bloomers are my favorites!
So which one are known for their smells?
- David Austin English Roses®
- Heritage Rose collection
- Alexandra -Princesse de Luxembourg®
- Cinderella Fairy Tale™
- Eden Rose™
- Eternal Flame™
- Julia Child™
- Karl Ploberger®
- Marchesa Boccella
- Marie-Luise Marjan®
- Memorial Day™
- The Marney Rose™
- Thanksgiving Rose
- Wedding Bells™
The Damask Roses in the garden were Kazanlik, Autumn Damask, Leda, and Madame Hardy.
What am I going to Buy?
Honestly, I can’t decide. Maybe a few David Austin roses® and a few Damask roses. So, which ones do you think I should buy to make rose water and/or oil? While you are guiding me, what about the thorns. Are some rose thorns worse than others?
Who knew roses could be so complicated?
Places to Buy Roses:
Top Photo by Public Domain Photos
Photo of Princess Anne courtesy of by David Austin Roses