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Modern roses

Choices abound for the Chicago gardener who prefers to grow modern roses. Ten kinds of roses to be exact and within those ten are additional choices. An entire Chicago garden can be composed of only one flower—the rose. And it can still possess variety and an array of uniqueness.

Modern roses
Photo by Elaine C. Shigley

Five modern roses—large-flowered climber, climbing floribunda, climbing grandiflora, climbing hybrid tea and climbing polyantha—are designated as climbing roses for use on walls, fences or garden structures like arbors. These climbers are hearty, thorny and bending. Their firm stems support dense, glossy, mid to dark green leaves. The flowers of these climbers have a variety of flower forms and appear singly or in clusters of 3-7 blossoms. Some bloom during the entire growing season, and others flower only in spring or early summer.

Floribunda roses are modern, continuous-blooming and free-branching shrub roses. They have upright or bushy habits. The thorny stems develop glossy dark green leaves of medium size and oval or lance shape. The sometimes-scented flowers have single or fully double petals and grow in clusters of 3-25 blossoms. These roses create beautiful borders or showy hedges.

Modern groundcover roses beautify flower beds or the banks of streams and trenches. They enjoy trailing over walls or the sides of containers. These occasionally fragrant roses carry single to fully double petals of flowers along their spreading, thorny stems. They have glossy small to mid-size, lance-shaped leaves.

Hybrid rugosa roses are modern hardy shrub roses with tough, wrinkled bright green leaves on medium to large prickly stems. All summer and fall they produce single or semi-double scented flowers in clusters of 3-11 blossoms. Tomato red rose hips are generated from the flowers and are also decorative so there’s no need to deadhead the spent flowers. To be continued…