Smart & Sustainable, Green Garden Design, Coaching & Seasonal Maintenance

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Roses in the Sacramento Valley - Part 2

Sally Holmes rose, at the Sacramento City Cemetery

Roses are beautiful and can help us to create gardens full of color and fragrance. According to the Sunset Western Garden Book, it's "undoubtedly the best-loved flower and most widely planted shrub in the West and all other terperate parts of the world." However, when you start learning about roses, it's easy to be washed overboard, and drown in the ... Sea of Too Much Information! If you're lucky, however, there's a Sunset Garden Book nearby!

Knowing what type of rose you're looking at will give you prediction on how often and when it will bloom and what kind of pruning and care it will need. This post will cover some basic info about the different types of roses, where to see roses, buy roses, learn about roses. The next, and last part of this series, will cover how to prune and care for your roses.

Here's a breakdown of the 6 major groups, caged from that book of books, my Sunset Garden Book.

Six Types of Roses

Modern Large-Flowered Roses (Hybrid Teas and Grandiflora): long-blooming rose, most cut roses sold by florists, great single flowers for cutting garden or the floral trade.. These have been developed by rose breeders to have a loooong blooming period with increasingly more and more disease resistance.
First Prize, my sister, Julie's pretty hybrid tea rose
Modern Landscape Roses (Floribunda, Polyanthas, shrub roses, hybrid musks, ground cover or carpet roses): these are roses that produce clusters of roses, rather than single roses, thereby creating a big landscape effect..
my neighbor's modern landscape-type rose coming into my yard, note the squirrel
Old Roses – any rose that existed before the 1st modern rose was introduced in 1867, either old European or Asian in origin. (Gallica, Noisettes, Tea, Alba, China roses, Hybrid perpetuals...whatever, the big thing, is they were there before the modern rose fiddling began in 1867. So, there)
Modern Climbing Roses (either natural climbers with large flowers or climbing sports of bush roses): – climbers have sturdy stems, ramblers grow long flexible stems yearly (often used on low fences), pillars are like climbers, but not as tall (frequently grown on a post or a pillar-like structure as a garden accent).
High Hand Nursery in Loomis using a row of rose arches to enclose the outdoor cafe
Miniature Roses -good for containers and window boxes or as ground-cover type plants. These are replicas of larger roses, grown to 1 - 1.5' tall.
Species Roses - (wild species roses) These are roses that have retained their originality, free from cross-breeding influence of other roses. One example is the Lady Banks Rose, Rosa banksiae, that you can see in full glory in the spring at the Sacramento City Cemetary.

Public Rose Gardens

Eglantine Avenue
One of the lovely lanes at the City Cemetery where you can see historic roses of all descriptions, with names like Grandmother's Hat and Hoffman von Fallersleben. There's also a perennial plant garden and a native plant section at the cemetery. It's a peaceful place. If you've never been there, I think you'll like it.

Shopping Places!

It's Bare-Root Season! While the roses aren't in bloom, they are inexpensive, and a lot of nurseries are having sales. Big box stores like Home Depot and Lowe's have bare-root roses in stock right now, but the independent nurseries have the best selection and the newest varieties. These nurseries will also have more established, larger, mature roses ... always nice if you want instant satisfaction! Many of these nurseries are offering pruning classes in January and  February, so you can ask questions and see how it's supposed to be done while you're there, SHOPPING!

Some Great Online Resources

A useful online tool for pictures, terms, trivia …
Lifetime master gardener, 2 local gardening radio shows: meet The Professor, Farmer Fred (Hoffman) (Hint: while you're at it, check out his recommendations of the best 10 roses for Sacramento)
Rose Images A great source for pictures and information on roses!
Don’t let those roses be lonely…give them a few friends! Companion Plants for Roses
The Sacramento Rose Society - lots of info and links useful to us Valley folk

Buddy Up with Other Rose Lovers

My choice is the Sacramento Perennial Plant Club...which meets at the Sheppard Garden and Arts Center on the last Thursday of the month. This month's meeting includes a presentation on the Best David Austin Roses for Sacramento. But, there are lots of clubs and they're all happy to welcome new members and guests.

Want More? Here's the link to the other 2 parts of this series on roses in the Sacramento Valley: Part 1, an introduction, and Part 3, where we wrap it all up with a discussion of tools, terms, pruning techniques and the best way to keep your roses healthy and disease free. Hope this is useful in some way. Feel free to call me if you have any questions, or would like some in-your-garden help.

Call if you need some help with your rose pruning
Whether you need garden design, coaching, seasonal maintenance or planting, Geno's Garden can help!
Call me at (916) 764-5243, or email

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