America loves roses of all kinds, but there’s something about the romantic blooms of old-fashioned shrub roses that earn a special place in hearts. Those full, fragrant flowers give few hints to their resilience, but these roses are hardy, low-maintenance shrubs. From pollinator-pleasing blooms and fall color to ornamental (and edible) rosehips, shrub roses like these four timeless beauties have made hearts swoon for years:
Blanc Double DeCoubert
Among rugosa-type roses, Blanc Double DeCoubert is widely considered the best white rose in the class. The large, semi-double blooms offer a delectable fragrance along with delicate, pure white petals. Introduced in France in 1892, five years before McKay Nursery began, it remains a favorite today. Blanc Double DeCoubert flowers in June, and then reblooms periodically until frost. Autumn brings a beautiful display of edible orange rosehips, while the disease-resistant foliage takes on attractive fall color. Prune it back in early spring, and it grows to about 2.5 feet tall in Wisconsin. This low-maintenance rose resists deer, but draws butterflies, bees and birds near. (Hardiness zones 3 through 7).
F.J. Grootendorst dates back to 1918 and comes to U.S. gardens via Germany. This hybrid rugosa rose flowers in profuse clusters of small, red blooms with carnation-like fringed edges. Flowers appear from June until frost. Prune F.J. Grootendorst back in early spring, and this upright shrub rose reaches about 2.5 feet tall. An excellent choice for a short hedge or mixed borders, this low-maintenance rose withstands harsh conditions, including winds, poor soil and salt spray from ocean seas and winter roads. It also resists deer and attracts birds and pollinators. (Hardiness zones 4 through 7).
Since its introduction in Holland in 1905, Hansa rose has won gardeners’ affections with its enchanting clove-like fragrance. The clustered, semi-double flowers open to crimson, then mature to violet-red as the season moves on. Hansa blooms heavily in June, followed by repeat flushes of bloom through summer into fall. Orange fall foliage pairs beautifully with a prolific crop of edible, red rosehips. This compact, low-maintenance rose stays about 2.5 feet tall if pruned back in early spring. Butterflies, bees and birds love the blooms and rosehip fruits. (Hardiness zones 3 through 7).
Therese Bugnet got its start in Canada in 1950, so it’s not surprising that this rose is as tough as it is beautiful. Large, double blooms in a stunning shade of lilac pink adorn Therese Bugnet from June until October. The prolific flowers bear a rich, spicy fragrance and grace red-tinged, nearly thornless canes. Maximize your blooms by keeping pruning to a minimum. Prune out old canes in June, right after the first flowers fade, and leave the rest intact for next year. Therese Bugnet’s canes grow 4 feet tall or more and add interest to the garden all winter long. (Hardiness zones 3 through 7).
Let beautiful, old-fashioned shrub roses add hardiness, resilience and a touch of romance to your landscape this year.
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