And Much, Much More: An Array of Colors, Varieties and Sizes. February is undoubtedly the month of love and the rose has come to symbolize and strengthen this bond for hundreds of years. The high demand for this coveted flower during Valentine’s Day can easily triple in cost compared to that of the summer months. Men across the country can be seen rushing around last minute on Feb. 14 dropping $60-$100 just to pick up 12 of these beauties for their loved one.

WILD (SPECIES) ROSES. These are the untouched ancestors of the roses most identified with today. They have remained unaltered without any cross-breeding or genetic modification. The Species Rose long-lived existence is due to being extremely hardy to temperature fluctuations and little to no maintenance. They produce smaller flowers than their modern day counterparts, and only once a season, but have many other valuable attributes. Vibrant hips (fruit) appear in fall providing added seasonal color, not to mention attracting wildlife to the garden. Their tall arching branches make them a great selection for perimeter buffer plantings and screens. The thorns along their branches are also very profuse, making a great deterrent for unwanted company or deer.

CLIMBING ROSES. Self-described, climbing roses develop very long canes (branches) which are flexible and can be easily trained through an arbor or trellis. Unlike actual vines they do not possess clinging or climbing properties themselves and must be positioned intentionally. Some can even grow to lengths of 25 feet or more making them a great choice for a pergola or other large overhead structure. Walking by a grouping of roses in full bloom is breathtaking in and of itself, but strolling under a mass of climbing roses will leave you awestruck. “Eden,” “new dawn” and “Joseph’s coat” are some of the best climbers in the landscape. 

SHRUB ROSES. Also known as landscape roses for their continued growing (no pun intended) use on residential and commercial landscape projects. The most favorable traits from original rose varieties have been cross bred to create the ultimate bloomers. Color variation, repeating bloom cycle, scent and growth habit have all been emphasized in these biogenetically engineered masters of the flower world. “Knock-Out” roses are most commonly known for their extended bloom from May through October in addition to a high pest and disease tolerance. Carpet and drift roses offer similar attributes but in a very low mounding and spreading variety usually only growing 2-to-4 feet in height. Miniature roses are well suited for container gardening with most varieties only getting 1-to-2 feet tall. With all of the above available you’re sure to find something which fits your needs. The most requested item, hands down, in creating an aesthetically pleasing landscape is color. The inclusion of rose varieties amongst your landscape is a guaranteed way to create that wow factor. Plant in masses with complementing colors and you too will find yourself enjoying a rose’s display over multiple seasons throughout the year when most only get a week every mid-February. Oh, and be careful because “Every rose has its thorn…” – Bret Michaels

Michael Pasquarello is a degreed landscape architect with Elite Landscaping. Email him at MPasquarello@EliteLandscaping.com or call (856) 753-1944. Visit EliteLandscaping.com for more information.