In two previous posts I introduced you to two series of roses that are easy to grow, disease resistant and put the fun back in rose growing. First was the Earth Kind Series and second was the Easy Elegance Series. In this post I’d like to talk about a new series of roses I’m just getting to know.
Meet The Drift Roses.
I’m excited about this series. Not only do they meet the requirements of being great garden roses, but they have a very useful growth habit. They stay low and spread, the result of being a cross between miniature and ground cover roses. This makes them great for terraces, pots, front of a classic flower border, mass planting, hillsides – the list goes on.
I’ve known about them for a while, but first saw them recently at Epcot Center in Walt Disney World where I was doing a series of talks for their Garden Festival. They had a mass planting of Coral Drift and used others throughout the park. Even in the Florida sun and in Disney World’s chemical free environment they looked great. (Yes, Disney World treats their gardens via organic and sustainable methods). What particularly struck me was they stayed low.
I mention that because in the past I’ve grown “low growing” roses only to find they really don’t stay very low. I remember one “groundcover” in particular I grew about 15 years ago that ended up being a 4′ x 5′ shrub!
The Drift Series were introduced by Conard-Pyle/Star Roses – the same folks who bought us The Knockout Family of Roses. This series was tested via their same high standards. They are widely available from Garden Centers around the country.
As a general rule they grow to about 1-2 feet high and 2-3 feet wide. They bloom spring to fall and have dark green foliage. Pruning is nothing more than using a pair of hedge shears to cut them back in winter. I like that part! They are almost all hardy down to zone 4.
As a final note I always suggest before you buy roses you check with other rose growers in your area. A good place to start is the American Rose Society. Find a local chapter near you and see what their members suggest.
And of course another good source for information is our own Roses Are Plants, Too Discussion Forum. Click Here to go there!