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.
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