February is undoubtedly the month of love, and the beautiful rose has come to symbolize and strengthen this representation for hundreds of years. Unfortunately, the high demand for this coveted flower during Valentine’s Day can easily triple in cost compared to the summer months. People across the country can be seen rushing around last minute on February 14th, spending a lot just to pick these beauties in an array of colors for their loved ones. Then in a week, they will wither, die, and find their way into the garbage. Not a good investment if you ask me!
So, if you’re an admirer of this flower, then why not include rose bushes within your landscape to enjoy throughout the entire season? Many varieties are readily available at local garden centers which require little maintenance, have extended bloom cycles, and grow different sizes to fit any space.
Wild (Species) Roses
These are the untouched ancestors of the roses most identified with today. They have remained unaltered without any cross-breeding or genetic modification. The Species Rose’s is exceptionally hardy to temperature fluctuations and requires little to no maintenance. Though they produce smaller flowers than their modern-day counterparts, and only once a season, they have many other valuable attributes. Vibrant hips (fruit) appear in fall, providing added seasonal color, not to mention attracting wildlife to the garden. Their tall arching branches make them an excellent selection for perimeter buffer plantings and screens. The thorns along their branches are also very profuse, making an excellent deterrent for unwanted company or deer.
Self-described, climbing roses develop very long canes (branches), which are flexible and easily trained through an arbor or trellis. Unlike actual vines, they do not possess clinging or climbing properties themselves and must be positioned intentionally. Some can even grow to lengths of 25’+, making them an excellent choice for a pergola or other large overhead structure. Walking by a grouping of roses in full bloom can be breathtaking but strolling under a mass of climbing roses is amazing. “Eden,” “New Dawn,” and “Joseph’s Coat” are some of the best climbers in the landscape.
Also known as landscape roses for their continued growing use in residential and commercial landscape projects, they’ve been cross-bred to create ultimate bloomers. Color variation, repeating bloom cycle, scent, and growth habits have been emphasized in these biogenetically engineered masters of the flower world. “Knock-Out” roses are most commonly known for their extended bloom from May through October, in addition to a high pest and disease tolerance. Carpet and Drift roses offer similar attributes but in a very low mounding and spreading variety, usually only growing 2’-4′ in height. Finally, miniature roses are well suited for container gardening, with most types only getting 1’-2′ tall. With so many choices available, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs.
The most requested item, hands down, in creating an aesthetically pleasing landscape is COLOR. Including rose varieties of different hues in your landscape is a guaranteed way to provide that WOW factor. Plant in masses with complementing colors, and you too will find yourself enjoying beautiful roses over multiple seasons throughout the year.
And wouldn’t that be so much better than only a week every mid-February?