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Top 3 Roses (That Aren't Knock Outs) for the Picky Gardener

Roses get a bad rap for being difficult, not worth the time, and stingy with their blooms. They don't like it too cold, or too hot, they have many diseases and pests, and they have thorns! Who in their right mind would want one of those awful things in their garden?! Me. I would. Because these are all normal misconceptions about one of the most beautiful, easy care plants there is. Sure, you could plant something boring like a boxwood or a nandina, but what about curb appeal? There is nothing more satisfying than spring at our home, because our entire property is lined with hundreds of roses that produce an abundance of blooms. It is absolutely breathtaking in the spring. But that's not the only time that a rose blooms. Oh, no. Roses bloom throughout the whole season, and once it cools down in the fall, they put on another huge show that rivals their spring show. Roses truly are blooming machines, and particular varieties are even easier and more prolific than others.

Now, I will admit, my fiance and I have a bit of an obsession with roses. Do we buy too many roses? Probably. Do we have more than we know what to do with usually? Generally speaking, yes. Will we ever stop buying rose bushes? Eh. I think that question for us is a big no. We have around 500 rose bushes at this point, and our love for roses is what actually got us into gardening and landscaping, and now here we are, with a business named for our true love: roses.

My first pick for the picky gardener is a classic rose named "Iceberg". I can't stress enough that I get the most comments and compliments on the Iceberg rose. It is truly almost unceasing throughout the season. I installed one for my grandmother (who does not like any rose except the Knock Out roses) but I convinced her that there was a whole world she was missing out on! My grandmother had rave reviews about two of the roses I gave to her and Iceberg was one of them. She really could not believe how much it bloomed. She said it bloomed more than her Knock Out roses.

Iceberg is a fantastic rose. At our own home, this and one other rose truly stand out as prolific varieties that required nothing but water through our extreme summers. It has semi-double white blooms that are borne on clusters. This is one rose that is almost always in bloom. It is a healthy rose and it does not have many thorns.


Another rose my grandmother raves about is a large shrub rose with massive blooms, called Belinda's Dream. This beauty is fragrant, disease resistant, and prolific! It always seems to have blooms, which are the size of your hand!

Belinda's Dream is a Texas born rose, making it perfect for extreme climates. It is an extremely large and vigorous rose, making it a perfect centerpiece for a garden. It was developed in 1992, and has since become a favorite rose for many gardeners and landscapers. When we have the room for it, I typically try to include this rose simply for the fact that it performs so superbly here. Many home owners and businesses do not want the trouble of roses, but this rose blows away anyone who grows it!

Another stand out rose is a fairly newer variety that originates from Germany. This truly is one of my favorite roses due to its incredible vigor and incredibly vivid color.


Bordeaux, which is developed by Kordes Roses, is a fiery red. I cannot stress how incredible of a rose this is. This rose was maybe 1 foot tall when we planted it late last spring, definitely later than I would recommend planting roses, especially because of it's location. The front of our home faces directly west, and gets hot, blistering sun from about 12 in the afternoon all the way up until sunset. It is situated very close to the house, which is a light colored brick, so the roses up there really take a beating in the heat. Sometimes they can get almost 9 hours of the harshest sun and heat you can give them. However, this little baby rose bush, planted at a less than ideal time in a very brutal environment, grew to 5 feet tall in one season! It was also never without blooms. The vibrant red blossoms continued to produce and glow. The leaves and petals were never scorched, it never showed any kinds of disease or wear. I never really saw many bugs on it either. It was the epitome of health and vigor. This is a rose I cannot recommend enough. Everything I have grown by Kordes has been incredible quality and very disease resistant. It is my understanding that in Germany pesticides and chemicals are not allowed, so these roses they are producing are incredibly tough and easy care!

The hardest thing with roses is pruning, which I will be writing a blog on soon. It's really not as difficult as you might think! I leave you with a quote.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorns have roses.” -Alphonse Karr


Thanks for reading, see you soon!

One Love Rose and Gardens: Garden Diaries


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