I have had a love/hate relationship with roses over the years. When I first started this garden 25 years ago, I attempted to grow a number of hybrid teas. They proved to be fussy, finicky, black-spotty and very high maintenance. As one after the other kicked the bucket, I thought: No More! But as usual after a good emotional outburst, I decided to check out options other than the hybrid teas. I am happy to report that a number of different types of roses do very well for me and I am in love with each and every one of them.
Let's start with the climbers:
I have 'Blaze' in 3 locations (and some of those have been moved several times!) 'Blaze' is a strong, hardy deep red climbing rose that blooms repeatedly, right through early fall into the first really cold days of November.
Most of mine are in direct sun or they get sun for at least 6 hours a day. The biggest one has long outgrown its trellis so it needed extra wires and support. It's right beside 'New Dawn', another popular climber, so maybe it's the two of them together that keep yanking down the trellis.
This year I think I will really feed them and pamper them more. They already put on a good show but I have seen photos where the flowers absolutely cover the whole plant. That's what I want! And I'll fertilize them to achieve that.
Here's 'New Dawn', a pale pink beauty that compliments 'Blaze' beautifully or stands out as royalty in its own right.
This stunning yellow rose lasted about 4 years in my garden and then died out, I'm not quite sure why.
I had planted 'Lichtkonigen Lucia' to intertwine with my deep purple Clematis 'Jackmanii' but they never did bloom at the same time. I did enjoy it while it was around and may consider replacing it someday.
Rugosa roses bloom only once in the season but are abundant and the most lovely shade of deep pink. They are shrubby and have phenomenally painful thorny stems but require absolutely no maintenance whatsoever, therefore I have several in the yard. They can grow to 6' x 6' so if you plant them, make sure you have the space.
Explorer roses are considered to be Canada's greatest contribution to the world of roses. They are named after famous (and not so famous!) Canadian explorers. The roses are very hardy, disease and mildew resistant and are often repeat bloomers.
At their peak, mine look magnificent against a background of the variegated leaves of red twig dogwood bushes.
I only have one David Austin rose 'Mary Rose' and it fights the shade of a huge linden tree now. But it blooms so delightfully, stretching out tall in search of the sun. She's a real trooper and I adore her. I bought this plant at the grocery store! (Amazing sometimes where you can get terrific plants!!)
I have a couple of lovely delicate-looking shrub roses called Flower Carpet White beside the peonies near the deck. They grow 3' x 3'. Their buds are a soft apricot shade but they open white. Gorgeous.
I have another white shrub rose that has grown into a monster - at least 8' x 8'! It sort of takes up the middle of a bed but blooms so nicely - single white blossoms blushed with pink once in early July - that I tend to ignore its bullying tendencies.
And last but certainly not least is the polyantha rose 'The Fairy' - a pale pink beauty that blooms profusely in summer and then all over again in late fall. Its buds are tight and deep pink and then it opens into a paler version of the same colour. I have it near some 'Silver King' artemesia and deep green evergreens. It's astonishing and unstoppable.
So if you are considering roses for your garden, remember - there are so many different types that I'm sure one or two "easy" ones will do beautifully for you!