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Modern Roses

Modern Roses are roses bred after 1867 because it was in 1867 that French Breeder ‘Guillot’ introduced ‘La France’, the first Hybrid Tea rose. Since then, breeders have introduced a broader colour palette to include many new bright colours and two-tone roses. Modern roses are available in a diversity of shapes, heights and growing habits.

“A garden is a complex of aesthetic and plastic intentions; and the plant is, to a landscape artist, not only a plant – rare, unusual, ordinary or doomed to disappearance – but it is also a colour, a shape, a volume or an arabesque in itself. ”

Roberto berle Marx
Roses in the market in Nice France 2019

The ability of a rose to repeat and flower all season long came about when China and tea roses were brought to Europe from Asia in the 19th century. We see this trait in our popular Hybrid Tea roses today. They are unique because they have a Hybrid Perpetual Rose habit and the elegantly shaped buds and free-flowering character of a Tea Rose. By the end of the 20th century, over 10,000 Hybrid tea roses had been bred, and the industry of evolving new forms of roses in many and varied colours, styles and habits were here to stay.

Courtesy of

Modern roses are classed by their growing habits as seen in the differences between Bush roses, Shrub roses, Climbing roses, Miniatures, Grandifloras, English Roses and Landscape roses. Modern roses are known for their repeat-flowering ability, abundance of blooms and also the first time that the sensational new colours of yellow and orange roses were available. As far as I understand the following are the main classes of modern roses. With so much choice of style and habit available from rose growers our gardens have the perfect opportunity to be full of rose blooms no matter the climate or soil conditions.

Bush Roses, have a very long bloom time each season and are generally a tidy type of rose. Bush roses come in many styles namely:

Photo by Al Soot on Unsplash
Shrub Rose The Poet’s Wife 2019 release in Australia by David Austin

Shrub Roses, are another class of rose with a rather odd name because all roses are indeed shrubs. Nonetheless, shrub roses are known for a rounded shape, cold tolerance, and disease resistance. They tend to be larger than bush roses and are usually born from crossing Old roses with a Modern rose. If you want a graceful, repeat blooming rose that spreads easily and gives a mass of colour Shrub roses are the best choice. They tend to grow between 1. 5 metres to 5 metres in height and width dependant on the climate and conditions. Bush roses are hardy, vigorous and produce loads of clusters of blooms. The stunning English roses by David Austin belong to this class of rose. They resemble the old style garden rose in their plant shape and form and also have wonderful perfume plus they repeat bloom. You may find that these are classified with Heirloom or Old Garden roses. Modern shrub roses also sometimes are called English Roses or David Austin Roses, Kordesii Roses, Canadian Explorer Roses, Meidiland Roses, Hybrid Rugosa, and Hybrid Musk. This season the types Herkules, Elysium Fields, Tallulah and Caramella have been planted and photos will follow once in bloom. Addictive Lure is a standout from 2017 along with Lion’s Rose, Silver Ghost and Sally Holmes.

Lovely rose called Buff Beauty by David Austin presently growing outside my kitchen window 2019 awaiting new Spring blooms.
Ballerina Hybrid Musk Rose Courtesy of David Austin Roses
Climbing Roses courtesy of David Austin

Climbing Roses easily create the quintessential charming, English cottage look. There is a climbing rose suitable for every position you could wish for or imagine in the garden. An old tree trunk, a trellis, arbour, arch, obelisk, wall or garden shed make terrific bases for roses to grow over. Climbing roses produce long, arching canes that can be attached to fences, arches, arbors, trellises or walls. The effect is a vibrant, They will bloom continuously in Summer and Autumn although a few styles bloom just once. Most of the classes of roses both modern and old roses do have a climbing form where the canes grow longer and become more flexible than the normal plant. These have come about by spontaneous mutations. Although, with climbing ‘old garden roses’ it may be just a characteristic of that particular rose. Climbing roses are in three main categories; Climbers, Ramblers and Pillar roses.

Graham Thomas Climbing Rose courtesy of David Austin

According to Treloars rose growers ‘For best results espalier the long canes into a horizontal position to promote lateral growth. Do not prune for the first two seasons and then only to remove dead wood and unproductive growth’

Pillar Rose Shropshire Lad courtesy of David Austin

Miniature roses are delicate, tiny bloomed roses that are a replica of other roses and grow to 30-35 centimetres approximately. They are compact so suitable for pot plants inside and out or rockeries and garden borders.

Grandiflora Rose ‘Queen Elizabeth’ courtesy of David Austin

Grandiflora Roses in contrast to miniature roses are a combination of Hybrid teas and Floribundas with some having clustered blooms and some single. In 1954, a rose was introduced, bred from crossing the Hybrid tea ‘Charlotte Armstrong’ with the Floribunda ‘Floradora’ The result was a rose with the characteristics of a Hybrid tea but could cluster and were more upright, larger and vigorous.  Thus began the type called Grandiflora, first started by a nurserymen, to describe the Queen Elizabeth rose in 1954. The term Grandiflora still remains today. Gold Medal, Fragrant Plum, Lagerfeld, Apricot Nectar and Madame Anisette are some of the Grandifloras.

Photo by Daphné Be Frenchie on Unsplash

Landscape Roses are new release, easy care, hardy roses developed on their own root stock for landscaping. One of the great attractions in growing this type of rose is that they require less pruning, have fewer thorns and the flowers self clean so do not need deadheading. There is less need to spray and fuss over them as with classic roses because the new breed of roses are tough, winter hardy with beautiful blooms and good disease and insect resistance. Once landscape roses bloom in Spring the flowers are continuous, blooming all season long and well into the end of Autumn. Examples in the garden include The Knockout series of roses, Seafoam, Bonica, Many Happy Returns, Our Rosy Carpet, Diamante, Busy Bee and Drift Groundcover roses.

Photo by Pret Basu on Unsplash

First and Second Image Di Baker Image 2019 Nice France

Header and Third Image photo by Anna from Unsplash

All other images courtesy of unless otherwise attributed

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