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Everything is Coming Up Roses:

Spring has ushered in the annual tidal wave of roses in Southern California. By March, roses potted up bare root or cut back in January, are flushed and budded - just days or weeks away from bursting into the first blooms of the season.

Far and away the most popular flower in America, it would be difficult to find anyone who doesn't like roses. No other flowering shrub or perennial provides as much variety, bloom, fragrance, not to mention sheer exuberant color, over such an extended period of time. The members of this huge and versatile family come in an infinite variety of forms and shapes ranging from the tiniest Miniatures to tree swamping Climbers. This wealth of choices is sometimes a mixed blessing.

How does the Landscape Professional choose the best rose for a particular situation from amongst a bewildering array of new and old cultivars, shapes, growth habits, sizes and colors?

Class Not Color

There is a simple way to narrow the field down to a manageable size. All that's needed to navigate effortlessly through the hundreds, even thousands of new and old cultivars is a working knowledge of how roses are classed. Roses are grouped into classes based on the characteristics displayed by each plant. Know which class a rose belongs to and you can safely make certain assumptions about how a plant grows, the degree of care required, mature height, disease resistance, ability to re-bloom, fragrance - even color.

Decide first how the rose will work in the landscape. Is it to be used as a background shrub? Does it need to cover a trellis? Mingle in a mixed border? Or simply provide a mass of low maintenance color all season long? Identify the function first and then use class rather than color to refine your search.

The table below briefly outlines a few of the major classes as well as their commonly used landscape applications. The Quick Picks below, are just a few of our favorites in each class. Identify the class that will best suit your purpose, choose one of the suggested varieties from the Quick Pick List and then call Bamboo Pipeline to order. It's as simple as 1, 2, 3. Sourcing daily from over 400 growers, Bamboo Pipeline is your number one supplier for the hundreds of great rose varieties, both old and new, that thrive in Southern California.

Helping you find just the right rose to perfectly compliment your next project is just one more way Bamboo Pipeline helps you stay at the head of the class.

Rose Reference - Major Classes

Hybrid Teas (HT) - Tall upright shrubs producing large, long stemmed beauties, one to a stem. Easily the most well known class of roses today, HTs are grown for the pure perfection of their shapely blooms and for cut flowers. Usually fragrant and always repeating, they are sometimes a bit more difficult to integrate effectively into the landscape and are often grown separately in formal garden beds. Grandifloras, a modern class of roses usually grouped with the HTs, produce clusters of high-centered blooms presented atop a tall bush. Queen Elizabeth, an "oldie but a goodie" is still one of the best pinks. Grandifloras make superb tall flowering hedges.

Floribundas (FL) - Created by crossing Polyanthas with Hybrid Teas. Floribundas as a group are among the finest roses for landscape use. Bearing large clusters of flowers on compact 3-6' tall plants, they make excellent hedges, borders, or edgings. The dependable and free flowering 'Iceberg' is a member of this class. Plants are usually shorter than HTs but produce more, albeit smaller, flowers on shorter stems. Polyanthas share their off-springs' prolific blooming capacity but are a bit smaller of leaf and flower. Plants are compact, ranging from one to three feet in height and bear often immense clusters of small blossoms. Polyanthas and Floribundas are both shown to best advantage when planted in groups of three or more.

Groundcover (GR) - There may be no such thing as an ever-blooming rose but some of the new groundcover varieties come pretty close. The Flower Carpet series in particular can bloom reliably for an astonishing ten months of the year.

Climbers (CL) - These plants don't really climb like clematis or other true vines that wrap around or attach themselves to supports. They do, however, produce really long canes that need to be anchored to a fence, trellis, or other support. Otherwise, the plants sprawl on the ground. Flowers bloom along the whole length of the cane, especially if the cane is tied horizontally, such as along a fence. Some climbers bloom only once in the spring, but many modern climbers produce flowers throughout the growing season.

Old Garden Roses (OGR) - Often referred to as Antique roses, these roses were discovered or hybridized before 1867. The classification "old garden roses" is made up of many subclasses of roses, including Alba, Bourbon, China, Hybrid Perpetual, Damask, and Species Roses.

English Roses - Although not formally recognized as a distinct class by the American Rose Society, this relatively new group of roses, often called David Austin Roses, is fast becoming one of America's favorites. English roses were created by crossing Old Garden Roses (OGR), Gallicas, Damasks, Portlands, and Bourbons with the Floribundas, Hybrid Teas, and Modern Climbers. The result is a highly successful blend producing roses with the charm, form, and fragrance of the Antiques coupled with the repeat blooming characteristics and attractive bushy shape of the Moderns.

Quick Picks

Top Performers for Southern California

Hybrid Tea Roses

Hybrid Teas 3-6'
'Color Magic' Pink Blend
'Double Delight' Creamy White & Red
'Gold Medal' Deep Yellow
'Olympiad' Medium Red
'Honor' White

Grandifloras 6-8'
'Queen Elizabeth' Carmine Pink
'Lasting Peace' Coral Orange

English Roses

English Roses
size varies
'Graham Thomas' Butter Yellow
'Mary Rose' Medium Pink
'Gertrude Jekyll' Rose Pink
'Glamis Castle' White
'Pat Austin' Copper Orange
'Teasing Georgia' Golden Honey
'The Dark Lady' Reddish Pink
'Wise Portia' Dark Carmine Pink

(All American Rose Selection)
'Day Breaker'
Yellow/ Pink/ Apricot
'Europeana' Dark True Red
'Honey Perfume' Rich Honey Yellow
'Hot Cocoa' Smokey Chocolate
'Iceberg' White
'Sexy Rexy' Coral Pink

Ground cover roses

Groundcover Roses
Flower Carpet Series 'Yellow', 'Pink', 'Red', 'White' & 'Appleblossom'
Fuchsia Meidiland Mauve Pink
Scarlet Meidiland Vivid Scarlet
White Meidiland White

Old garden roses

Old Garden Roses
'Ballerina' Pink
'Baronne Prevost' Soft Pink
'Gruss an Aachen' Peach/Pink & Cream
'Reine des Violettes' Mauve to Violet
'Rose de Rescht' Deep Magenta

'Altissimo' Vibrant Red
'Eden' Pink & Cream
'Joseph's Coat' Hot Yellow/Red
'Sally Holmes' Pinkish White
'William Baffin' Deep Pink


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