Roses are probably the most loved and hated of all shrubs. Everyone wants roses, but not the problems that go along with them. Fortunately, there’s a class of roses that’s taking the gardening world by storm because they are maintenance free: Knockout shrub roses. They start blooming heavily in April and will continue until a hard frost with no deadheading. Most years, they will still be blooming in mid-December.

Another new class of roses that have hit the scene are the Drift Roses. They perform like the Knockout Rose but are much more compact for smaller spaces. They are wonderful and you can read more about them farther down the page.

You should prune your shrub roses hard in late February to early March, leaving about 8- 10” of canes, no matter how tall they are. This keeps the plants full and bushy from the ground up. Don’t worry; they’ll be full size again by summer. 

It’s true that Japanese Beetles love roses but remember that with shrub roses, you get about 32 weeks of blooms and the Beetles are only around for about 6 weeks, 8 at the most. Sevin Dust works very well on Japanese Beetles and will actually repel them as long as it’s on the leaf. Systemic insecticides all work well to kill Japanese Beetles.

If you love the fragrance and large blooms of the hybrid teas, you can be successful in growing them but you must make time for the regular maintenance that they require. Spraying for diseases and deadheading spent blooms are the two most important tasks that you must perform on a weekly basis. Spray for blackspot disease every 7-10 days as a preventative maintenance even if you don’t see it on the leaves. Or use the newer products with systemic fungicides, such as Bayer Advanced 3 in 1 Rose Care. Modern hybrid roses also need lots of organic matter added to the beds. They like moisture but not “wet feet”. Topdress every year with compost or aged manure to keep the soil around the rose loose and rich. And don’t forget to add 2-3” of mulch every year. This keeps the soil moist and the temperature around the roots cooler in the summer. 

Good Healthy Soil Is An Ecosystem 
Soil is more than just dirt. It is more than clay, silt, sand, and dead plant matter. It is a complex pile of fungi, bacteria, worms and other organisms working together in a continuously changing environment. What are they all doing? They are all eating and reproducing. The byproducts of this activity produce the nutrients that plants need to grow. The plants and their roots are an intimate part of this system. When you have a complete and healthy soil, all of these things are working together and the plants are performing at the peak of their abilities. Nine tenths of gardening is creating nutritious healthy soil. Give them the right home and the plants know what to do from there. Healthy soil will reduce plant fungus diseases and reduce insect infestations. Why? Because their predators will be present there as well. The Soil ecosystem has developed over hundreds of millions of years, and so you don't have to reinvent the wheel, you just have to help it along. We cannot stress enough how important it is to have good soil. Without it, roses will not perform at their best. 

Adding Organic Materials And Soil Amendments 
Almost all soils can benefit from the additon of more organic matter. If you are starting with an empty bed, now is the time that you can make a difference. Add as much composted (rotted) organic material as you can afford. It is almost impossible to add too much. We sell compost in bulk amounts that we can load on your truck with a tractor. Shovel the compost onto the beds and then dig it in with a shovel or better yet, a roto tiller. If you are amending the soil in the fall, you can add materials such as manure, grass clippings or leaves, because they will have all winter to rot into the composted material you want.

All roses are heavy feeders so apply a good quality, slow-release granular fertilizer around the base of each rose every 6-8 weeks. If your roses look lean with pale green leaves and few blooms, they’re probably hungry. Consistent fertilizing will keep the blooms coming. Good rose fertilizers have an NPK ratio of 1:2:1. More phosphorous leads to better blooming. Adding too much nitrogen will result in too much foliage and too few blooms. We use, sell and recommend a great granular fertilizer that is combined with a systemic insecticide. This product feeds the plant and kills pests in one easy step. We apply it in March, followed by another application in mid- summer. 

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"We can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses".
Abraham Lincoln
The History of Roses
(from the University of Illinois Extension)

Roses have a long and colorful history. They have been symbols of love, beauty, war, and politics. The rose is, according to fossil evidence, 35 million years old. In nature, the genus Rosa has some 150 species spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere, from Alaska to Mexico and including northern Africa. Garden cultivation of roses began some 5,000 years ago, probably in China. During the Roman period, roses were grown extensively in the Middle East. They were used as confetti at celebrations, for medicinal purposes, and as a source of perfume. Roman nobility established large public rose gardens in the south of Rome. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the popularity of roses seemed to rise and fall depending on gardening trends of the time.

During the fifteenth century, the rose was used as a symbol for the factions fighting to control England. The white rose symbolized York, and the red rose symbolized Lancaster, as a result, the conflict became known as the "War of the Roses."

Roses were in such high demand during the seventeenth century that royalty considered roses or rose water as legal tender, and they were often used as barter and for payments. Napoleon's wife Josephine established an extensive collection of roses at Chateau de Malmaison, an estate seven miles west of Paris in the 1800s. This garden became the setting for Pierre Joseph Redoute's work as a botanical illustrator. In 1824, he completed his watercolor collection "Les Rose," which is still considered one of the finest records of botanical illustration.

It wasn't until the late eighteenth century that cultivated roses were introduced into Europe from China. Most modern-day roses can be traced back to this ancestry. These introductions were repeat bloomers, making them unusual and of great interest to hybridizers, setting the stage for breeding work with native roses to select for hardiness and a long bloom season. Many of these early efforts by plant breeders are of great interest to today's gardeners.

Roses are once again enjoying a resurgence in popularity, specifically, shrub roses and old garden roses. These roses fit the lifestyle of today's gardeners who want roses that are not as demanding with regard to disease control, offer excellent floral quality, have excellent winter hardiness, and fit into shrub borders and perennial gardens without seeming out of place.

Spring 2017 Availability (click on thumbnail photos to enlarge)

Hybrid Tea Roses

  • Best Kept Secret- Displays an exhibition type flower on a very compact plant with nice dark green glossy foliage and a strong sweet citrus scent. Pink and white bi-color bloom and strong disease resistance make this one a winner.

  • Centennial Star-Selected for the centennial of Star® Roses in 1997, the strongly fragrant multi-colored golden yellow blooms remind one of Peace but with stronger colors and a higher petal count. 
       Tall, bushy plants have dark green, glossy foliage.

  • Dee-lish- A tall Hybrid Tea rose with an old fashioned flower and a very strong fragrance of verbena and citrus. It has a large, deep pink non-fading bloom, and it makes for an excellent cut flower. It is 
      a multiple award winner in Europe for disease resistance and aesthetics and one of the first hybrid tea         roses to win the prestigious ADR contest in Germany.

  • Double Delight-What an appropriate name for this perfectly shaped, perfectly scented Hybrid Tea. A perennial favorite. The standard for bi-colored roses. Voted into the Rose Hall of Fame by the WFRS in 1985. 

  • Fragrant Cloud​-Luxuriously fragrant rose features an abundance of bright coral-orange blossoms with 
      a honey-sweet fragrance. Glossy foliage and a bushy habit. Voted into the Rose Hall of Fame by the          World Federation of Rose Societies in 1981.

  • Memorial Day- Celebrate the classic rose form with these richly scented blooms. More than 50 petals form each blossom, opening up to 5 inches across. Petals blush clear pink with a lavender wash. The fragrance is the quintessential damask scent everyone expects from a rose. One bloom can scent an entire room.

  • All American beauty-Hardy and beautiful, this is a great rose for the beginning gardener. The deep pink roses on this strong bushy plant are almost indestructible. It also has an old rose fragrance that one expects from a rose.

  • Mister Lincoln- Long stems, dark leaves, great high-centered flowers that open fully and offer a wonderful damask fragrance. Tall, vigorous and ever-blooming. Mister Lincoln was selected as the Best Hybrid Tea Rose by Birds & Blooms in 2014. A best-seller for many years and one of the best hybrid tea roses for the south.

Grandiflora & Floribunda Roses

  • Angel Face-One of the best roses of the 20th Century. The purest lavender color with one of the strongest fragrances in modern roses. Ruffled petals add to the charm. A true Floribunda in habit.

  • Burgundy Iceberg-Noted for producing fragrant, fully double, roses (27-32 petals each) in clusters that bloom continuously from May to frost in flushes. Flowers feature unusual dark purple interiors and dark pinkish reverses with burgundy-red stamens. Very unique.

  • Julia Child- Julia loved the butter gold color of this beautiful Floribunda. The perfectly rounded habit of this beautiful plant along with its disease resistance will make this rose a popular choice for gardeners. A sweetly fragrant and wonderful rose to include in any cutting garden. 

  • ​Mardis Gras-True to its type, this wonderful new Floribunda has a mild spice fragrance and will bloom non-stop through the season. The strong color is a mix between yellow, orange and pink which produces a spectacular display that is not affected by the heat. Perfect as a specimen, in combination plantings or as a compact hedge.

  • ​Scentimental- The first striped rose to win AARS honors. No two flowers are alike, but all share the same distinctive deep red/burgundy on white to cream features that make this rose so unique. Strong spicy fragrance and dark glossy foliage. 

Climbing Roses​

  • Blaze-Color cascades from this low-maintenance American favorite with pure red roses opening all at once and continuing their bloom through fall. Blooms on new and old wood.

  • ​Fourth of July- this climber reaches skyward with a burst of vibrant colors just like the fireworks that inspired the name. This velvety red and white striped climber features long canes of 10 to 14 feet with dark, glossy foliage. Gardeners will celebrate all summer as repeat flowers explode in a shower of sweetly fragrant blossoms.

  • ​Golden Showers- this popular climber has cheery yellow blooms with a honey sweet fragrance and glossy dark green leaves. Robust plants bloom spring through fall. 

  • New Dawn-A hardy, classic old favorite with an abundant show of slightly fragrant pink flowers peaking in the spring and repeating all summer. Extremely disease resistant and carefree.

  • Zepherine Drouhin-You can count on this climbers thornless canes to produce an abundance of fragrant cerise-pink flowers reliably in spring and fall. An old reliable favorite.

Landscaping Shrub Roses​

  • Carefree Celebration-This large shrub from the breeder of The Knock Out® Rose shares the same superior disease resistance and flower power that are the trade signatures of Will Radler's creations. A popular addition to the Carefree series with a unique color that is even stronger in hot, humid climates.

  • Tequila Supreme- Unique color and flower form on a plant with good disease resistance, Tequila Supreme has cool scalloped petals and a novel color. Flowering almost continually from spring through frost; it has above average disease resistance and will perform well even under tough hot and humid conditions.
A classic design of a white picket fence, roses, and perennials. 
Try the annuals and perennials listed below with your favorite fragrant roses for a classic cut flower display:

Snap Dragons

Things you can forage for to make wildflower and rose bouquets- 
get creative!

Seed heads of wild grasses
Magnolia leaves
Wild Asters
Nandina berries
Fern fronds
Thistle blooms
Black Eyed Susan
Hosta leaves for greenery
Shasta Daisy

Currently for the fall planting season, we have a great selection of landscaping shrub roses grown here at the nursery. They include Double Red Knockout Rose, Double Pink Knockout Rose, Sunny Yellow Knockout Rose, and assorted colors of Drift Roses (Peach, Popcorn, Pink, Red, Apricot) the dwarf shrub rose that blooms all season just like Knockout Roses, but with a smaller compact growth habit. Drift Roses typically grow to about knee high. Great for smaller spaces! Learn more about them farther down the page.

Below is a listing of the assorted hybrid tea, floribunda, grandiflora, climbing, and shrub roses we will be growing this winter for the spring season. These roses listed below ARE NOT available now. We receive #1 Grade mature bare root roses in winter that we plant in our own planting mix that we blend here at the nursery. These roses will be healthy top quality roses at a great price.
Drift® Roses, below, are a cross between full-size groundcover roses and miniatures. From the groundcover roses they kept toughness, disease resistance and winter hardiness. From the miniatures, they inherited a well-managed size and repeat-blooming nature. The low, spreading habit of Drift® Roses is perfect for small gardens and combination planters. They brighten borders, fill empty spaces, and spread delicately around established plants.

Drift® Roses are low maintenance and will reward you with endless color all season long. They require no special care, but for best performance, we recommend cutting them back every year in early spring after the last threat of frost has passed.

• Low maintenance
• Blooms from spring to frost
• Full sun
• Zones: 4-11
• Size: averages 3' w x 2' h

Apricot Drift Rose- fully double blooms with varying shades of pink/coral/orange
Pink Drift Rose- hot pink with bright yellow center. A profuse bloomer.
Popcorn Drift Rose- starts out deep golden yellow, changing to pale yellow then creamy white. Very unique!
Red Drift Rose- cherry red flowers and a cascading habit, perfect for trailing over retaining walls or as a groundcover.
The original Red Knock Out Rose and the newer Sunny Knock Out Rose