Garden Photo of the Day

A Rose With Any Other Number of Petals…

Simple roses that make me happy

I’m a big lover of roses. I know there are a lot of reasons not to love roses—they are thorny and bad tempered, they are beset by a seemingly endless number of pest and diseases—but I love them anyhow. It may not be rational, but rational thinking is overrated when it comes to gardening. A garden should make you happy, even if it doesn’t make sense!

I love all sorts of roses, but some of my favorites have the simplest flowers with just a few petals.Wild roses have just five petals, as seen in the simple flowers of Rosa glauca (Zones 2–8), a plant generally grown for the beautiful foliage more than the flowers. Like most wild roses, it is very disease resistant and generally carefree, though it is very prone to the dreaded rose rosette disease. Learn more about rose rosette disease here.

‘Golden Wings’ is one of my all-time favorite roses. Simple, pale-yellow petals are set off so beautifully by the darker reddish stamens. It is a hybrid, but it has the wild rose Rosa spinosissima in its immediate ancestry, giving it good cold tolerance, vigor, and disease resistance.

Rosa chinensis ‘Mutabilis’  has blooms that open with the pale yellow seen here and then darken to a warm pink as the flower ages. This is a great rose for warm climates, thriving through summer heat and blooming nonstop.

‘Carefree Delight’ has the perfect name for a nearly perfect plant! Carefree indeed, it is disease resistant and grows into a large shrub covered with glossy foliage. The small, pink, simple flowers are produced in huge masses.

Another image of ‘Carefree Delight’. Each individual flower is small but is produced in such large numbers that the overall effect is perfect.

Want to hear more about roses? Check out this episode from Let’s Argue About Plants, the Fine Gardening podcast.


Have a garden you’d like to share?


Have photos to share? We’d love to see your garden, a particular collection of plants you love, or a wonderful garden you had the chance to visit!

To submit, send 5-10 photos to [email protected] along with some information about the plants in the pictures and where you took the photos. We’d love to hear where you are located, how long you’ve been gardening, successes you are proud of, failures you learned from, hopes for the future, favorite plants, or funny stories from your garden.

If you want to send photos in separate emails to the GPOD email box that is just fine.

Have a mobile phone? Tag your photos on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter with #FineGardening!

You don’t have to be a professional garden photographer – check out our garden photography tips!

Do you receive the GPOD by email yet? Sign up here.

View Comments


  1. User avater
    meander_michaele 12/27/2018

    I can certainly attest to 'Carefree Delight's' plucky durability. It was the first rose I ever bought over 20 some years ago. I have treated it with neglect and sometimes even attempted to encourage it to die off. Nope, stems grow from its severely cut back base and it flowers every year.

  2. cheryl_c 12/27/2018

    I love the single roses but grow only one, a heritage rose in yellow - 'Texas' something.... Missouri has at least two native roses, pasture rose and prairie rose, but only an expert can tell them apart . Thanks for sharing these wonderful pictures on a rainy dreary morning.

  3. wittyone 12/27/2018

    I agree, single petaled roses are just my favorite. They somehow seem much more real than those that are crammed with petals just because they can be crammed in.

    I don't grow roses because they are such a favorite of the many deer roaming this neighborhood but when I get my fence in place there will certainly be some roses (single petaled for sure) here and there in my back yard.

  4. btucker9675 12/27/2018

    Thanks for these beautiful photos - I, too, prefer the single, more old fashioned roses. And they usually have the most delicious scents, too.

  5. RobertSanchez 12/29/2018

    Beautiful photos!

  6. nwphillygardener 12/30/2018

    But some of the oldest cultivated roses - commonly called cabbage roses - have enormous numbers of petals.
    Do other's have really carefree selections that grow well in your area?
    Here in Philadelphia, the shrub rose called "Peach Drift" is an excellent performer. Maxing out at 30" wide and about 24" high. Even without dead-heading, it has several cycles of bloom each season and some blooms from late May until frost.

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

Related Articles

The Latest