Roses Are Plants Too!

The Enigma That is Darlow. A Rose You Should Know.

We’ve talked about what a garden rose is, we’ve begun talking about caring for them and now it’s time for the roots to hit the hole and recommend some garden roses.

The first is easy. Darlow’s Enigma. I first became aware of this rose when I lived and gardened in Los Angeles, CA.  Quite a few people I knew grew it, raved about how easy and how versatile it is.  When I moved to South Carolina I was finally able to plant one at the old nursery property and boy are they right.

Rarely getting disease for me and constantly in flower Darlow, is a great Garden Rose for those who aren’t sure what they are. I group it with what I call “Starter Roses”. Starter Roses are ones I recommend for the gardener who has given up on roses or simply stopped growing them, because I know these roses will make them successful.

Darlow mounds itself into a shrub about 5′ x 5′ and can get larger if you let it. I know many who grow it as a climber along a fence. I can easily see Darlow growing as a hedge stretching out in a drift of white blossoms perched atop its lovely green foliage. This is a very versatile rose so let your imagination run with it.

Here are some details and where to buy it.

Darlow’s Enigma.  Hybrid Musk, white, Zone 5 – Introduced in 1991, Hybridizer Unknown – Growth Size and Characteristics are: large shrub (5’+), moderate climber (10′-15′), fragrant, repeat flowering, single petalled, shade tolerant.

Purchase From
Rogue Valley Roses – United States
Rozenkwekerij de Bierkreek – The Netherlands
Roses Unlimited – United States
Burlington Rose Nursery – United States

View Comments


  1. snollygaster 09/03/2010

    Paul, interesting info regarding Darlow. Sounds lovely but a little too large for me. Also, seems to be unavailable here in Victoria, BC. There seems to be a proliferation of landscape or 'easy care' roses on the market right now and they also seem to have more and more attributes to recommmend themselves. However, I'm a little hesitant to just plunge in and start buying. Something smaller than Darlow but just as decorative, scented, everblooming with excellent disease resistance is what I'm looking for. Colour could be any bluish shade of pink through to mauve. Thanks for the blog on Darlow and hoping perhaps you have some suggestions for me.

  2. PFZimmerman 09/06/2010

    snollygaster. I have a suggestion that I think you'll like. There is a nursery in your area called Select Roses

    It's run by a friend named Brad Jalbert and he sells and grows a lot of roses with minimal fuss. He is also a terrific rose breeder. He should be a wealth of information for you as to what roses will do well in your area.


  3. snollygaster 09/13/2010

    Paul, thanks for the intro to Select Roses. Their being on the mainland and out in the country, I hadn't heard of them before. However, I checked out the web-site and let's just say I can't wait for spring! They are closed for the season but that's fine as I had a phenomenal amount of growth on the roses I planted as late as June.

  4. PFZimmerman 09/14/2010

    You are very welcome. When you go in spring tell Brad I say hi!


  5. magyking 10/30/2010

    Hi Paul,

    I've trusted your advice for years, and most of the 120+ roses in my tiny garden came from Ashdown, including 4 Enigmas. It's surely one of my favorites. Even now in Maine, this tough overachiever is still blooming which is remarkable with the night time temps here in late October. What a pleasure to have your video and advice available. Anyone who loves roses should follow your blog. Thanks.

  6. PFZimmerman 10/31/2010

    Thank you for the kind words and I'm so glad Darlow is working out for you. It's a great rose!


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