Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Landscape Roses

Crabapple LandscapExperts joke, “The difference between landscape roses and florist roses is 60 mph”.  While fragrant hybrid teas are meant to be individually pampered in rose gardens or enjoyed in bouquets, the goal for Landscape Roses is low maintenance with high impact. Individual flowers are less important than the overall color effect from a distance and continual reblooming throughout the season. 

Roses, known as the “Queen of Flowers,” have been beloved for millennia. Originally the wild, tough, thorny yet fragrant European plants bloomed once a year. Rose History is fascinating. A revolution in rose breeding and growing took place in Europe in the 1700s and 1800s when increased trade with the Orient brought Rosa chinensis, and Rosa x odorata to the West. Their impact in Europe was phenomenal because their most remarkable quality - continual repeat blooming – had been completely unknown in Europe at the time and made them an instant sensation. We now call the resulting plants “heirloom” or “old fashioned roses” such as Gallicas, Bourbons and Hybrid Perpetuals. 

Moving to the mid-twentieth century, beautiful but fussy Hybrid Tea roses came into fashion in the 1940s and 50s when “better living through chemistry” was the mantra. Breeders were focused on developing exquisite blooms to the detriment of horticultural characteristics, so grafted roses became high-maintenance, susceptible to diseases, needing fungicides, insecticides and lots of chemicals, along with deadheading and pruning to keep them performing well. 

Today’s Landscape Roses are impressive for many reasons: a natural disease-resistance, ability to grow in a variety of climates with a minimum of attention, compact growth requiring little pruning, and continuous bloom with flowers borne consistently over a very long season. There are growth habits to suit every landscape niche, whether tiny miniatures, low growing groundcover roses with widely spreading habits, large climbers, hedge roses that can be closely planted and sheared, or carefree shrub roses. Furthermore, Landscape Roses come in a rainbow of colors (except, of course, the mythic blue rose)
Excellent Qualities of Landscape Roses:
● work well in the landscape because of similar cultural requirements as other plants growing there
● non-stop blooms throughout the season, producing fast, repeat flushes
● large colorful flowers or flower clusters that show up well across a distance
● little to no pruning required
● self-cleaning blooms, with petals that fade attractively, then fall off after flower is past without turning brown
● Extremely disease resistant or disease-free, entirely eliminating the need for spraying for historic rose diseases such as black spot and powdery mildew
● heat tolerant, without developing leaf drop when under stress in climates with hot, muggy temperatures; hardy without the need for winter protection in cold-winter climates
● grow on own-roots
● huge selection of colors sizes and habits

Crabapple LandscapExperts can advise you on the best landscape roses for your particular property.
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