What’s in a name? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet. William Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”.
The bare root rose season is over and Wilco now has shipments of roses that are established in pots and ready for planting. When planting a rose, select a location in your garden that will have sun all day. I like to dig a hole about twice the size of the pot and work in some garden compost along with the native soil. Regardless of how much rain we might have had, water the rose thoroughly after planting.
Roses are classified into groups that are somewhat indicative of how they flower and the size of the bush. Generally, there will be tags on roses giving this information. On my listing below, I refer to five classes. The rose selection at Wilco is excellent and as with any list, there are some favorites. I asked former Portland Rose Society President and avid rose grower, Rich Baer, to single out some of his.
Hybrid Tea, is the classic cutting rose. The flowers tend to come out singly on a stem although side flower buds will often form. If a long stem single rose is desired, these side buds should be removed as soon as they start to grow.
Firefighter is dedicated to those firefighters that lost their lives in the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. It is dark red and the flowers are very fragrant.
Neptune has petals that are a blend of dark and light lavender. The outer edge of the petals tend to be dark lavender and then fade to lighter lavender toward the center. Very fragrant.
Secret is a blend of white with pink overtones. The pink is on the outer edges of the petals that turn to white toward the center of the flower. Very fragrant.
Grandiflora, is a rose bush that looks and acts like a hybrid tea but the blooms tend to come in sprays rather than on single stems.
South Africa is a relatively new rose introduced from Germany that has been winning awards at rose shows around the country. It is a deep yellow/gold and is very disease resistant. The fragrance is moderate.
Floribunda is a bush that is shorter than a hybrid tea with flowers appearing in sprays, almost never a single stem.
Rosie the Riveter was introduced in 2018 and is named in honor of the women that worked in factories in WWII. The flower is a unique blend of pink, orange and yellow. The fragrance is moderate.
Climber is a word used to describe a rose with very long canes. Roses are not vines and do not have tendrils for clinging to a structure. The long canes need some support and are usually tied or woven around a trellis.
Fourth of July is a multi-color rose with colors of, not surprisingly, red and white. This is a very vigorous grower and needs a strong support structure.
Miniature is a term used to designate the size of the flower but not the size of the plant. Some miniature roses can get quite tall.
Smoke Rings is a miniature with both flower and bush remaining small. The flower buds begin an orange-yellow color and as they open a smoky purple ring appears on the outer petals. This is an excellent container plant.
The above-mentioned roses are just some examples and there are many more to chose from. This is an excellent time to plant and by getting them in the ground now, you can expect flowers this summer. Selections vary by store and supplies are limited, so if a new rose is on your list, don’t wait.