No flower says romance quite the way a rose does. Rose bushes come in any number of shapes and sizes, from sprawling groundcovers to lanky climbers, but it’s the flowers that fire the imagination. Whether you prefer the simplicity of open blooms or the intricate beauty of ruffled or frilled petals, there’s a rose for you. (And in pretty much any color other than blue, too!) Here’s how to bring the scent and sentiment of one of nature’s most beautiful creations into your home.
For a sweet soak, make your own rose bath salts. Mix 1/2 cup Epsom salt, 1/2 cup sea salt, 1 tablespoon dried rose petals, and 2 drops of fragrance (optional). Add to warm bath water.
Pair cut roses with foliage plants such as hostas, coral-bells, and ferns. Place in brightly painted tin cans filled with water.
Make candied flowers for cakes. Brush rose petals (only those that are pesticide free) with egg whites, then dip in super-fine sugar. Dry overnight on wire racks before using.
Tuck one or two lush rose blossoms into gift wrap for an extra-pretty package.
Fabulous Roses You'll Love
'Peace' Hybrid Tea Rose
Named to commemorate the end of World War II, 'Peace' is one of the most popular hybrid teas. 'Peace' features a sweet fragrance and large blooms in a soft mix of light yellow, gold, and pink. It grows 4 to 6 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Zones 4 – 9.
'Don Juan' Climbing Rose
For a climbing rose that won’t be ignored, try 'Don Juan'. A vigorous grower reaching 10 to 12 feet tall, it’s loaded with large, fragrant blooms that are 3 to 4 inches wide. Zones 6 – 10.
Smooth Lady Hybrid Tea Rose
Enjoy your blooms close up because this hybrid tea rose is thornless. The glossy foliage is disease-resistant, and the salmon-pink flowers appear throughout the summer. Smooth Lady grows about 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. Zones 5 – 11.
Happy Chappy Groundcover Rose
A prolific bloomer, Happy Chappy is a groundcover rose featuring a mounding, spreading habit 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide. The disease-resistant foliage is topped with bright flowers in a mix of apricot, pink, orange, and yellow hues. Zones 5 – 9.
'Iceberg' Floribunda Rose
This fragrant floribunda rose is covered in clusters of small, white flowers that are sometimes kissed with pink at the base. Growing 2-1/2 to 5 feet tall, 'Iceberg' can spread 2 to 4 feet wide. Zones 4 – 9.
Kolorscape Shrub Roses
New for 2013, Forever & Ever Kolorscape shrub roses feature generous clusters of blooms ranging from bright pink Cheri (shown) to deep red Kardinal, scarlet red Milano, and hot pink Flamingo. It reaches 3-1/2 feet tall and 2 feet wide. Zones 4 – 11.
Pink Drift Rose
A low-growing rose with a spreading habit, Pink Drift reaches 1 to 2 feet tall and 3 feet wide. The Drift series, which is a cross between groundcover and miniature roses, features pink, red, or peach blooms from spring to frost. Zones 4 – 11.
Double Knock Out Shrub Rose
Joining the popular family of shrub roses, Double Knock Out has fully double flowers reminiscent of the classic rose bloom. It resists black spot disease throughout its lengthy season of bloom. It grows 3 to 4 feet tall and wide. Zones 5 – 11.
'Joseph’s Coat' Climbing Rose
This climbing rose does indeed have a coat of many colors, with blends of yellow, pink, apricot, and orange. And it changes over time. The conversation-piece flowers are also fragrant. 'Joseph’s Coat' grows 8 to 12 feet tall. Zones 6 – 10.