9 Roses That Landscape Designers Love

The rose world is vast, with new and improved varieties arriving every year. With so many beautiful blooms to choose from, how do you know which rose is best for your garden and will deliver the traits you want: fragrance, disease resistance, color or all three?

We asked landscape pros around the country to share a favorite rose variety they like to include in their designs. Their answers include new introductions and tried-and-true standbys, vigorous climbers and ones you could mass in a smaller garden. There’s even a native rose. If you’re planting your first rosebush this year or expanding your rose collection, let the following nine varieties inspire your selection.

David Austin Roses
1. ‘Olivia Rose Austin’ Shrub Rose
(Rosa ‘Olivia Rose Austin’)

Loved by: Noelle Johnson of Noelle Johnson Landscape Consulting near Phoenix

Why this rose: As part of a test, Johnson grew this newer David Austin English rose in her Phoenix-area garden to see how it would handle the low-desert climate. “It outperforms all other roses in my garden in that it handles the intense heat of summer better than the others,” she says.

Special features: “While most roses stop blooming in summer, ‘Olivia Rose Austin’ blooms further into summer than others I have grown,” Johnson says. “I also enjoy its disease resistance.” This repeat-flowering David Austin rose is also known for its blush-pink blooms and intense fruity scent.

David Austin Roses
Growing tips: “Its growing requirements are the same as other roses,” Johnson says. “In the desert garden, roses do best with some afternoon shade.”

Where it will grow: Hardy to minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 26.1 degrees Celsius (USDA zones 5 to 9; find your zone)
Water requirement: Moderate
Light requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 3 feet tall and wide; can grow larger in warm climates

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Proven Winners
2. ‘At Last’ Rose
(Rosa x ‘HORCOGJIL’)

Loved by: Amy Martin of Amy Martin Landscape Design in Cohasset, Massachusetts

Why this rose: “They have finally bred a landscape shrub rose which is hardy and also has a cupped bloom like the English roses and finally has fragrance,” Martin says of this Proven Winners introduction. “This is a rose worth cutting and putting in a vase to fill the room with a delightful fragrance,” she adds.

Proven Winners
Special features: “The orange-peachy color is refreshingly different,” Martin says. “[It] can work with a warm color scheme of reds and yellows, or offer the perfect hot spot to a blue-purple combination.”

Growing tips: “This is an easy, low-maintenance rose with a repeating bloom and disease resistance. You couldn’t ask for more,” Martin says.

Where it will grow: Hardy to minus 15 degrees Fahrenheit, or minus 26.1 degrees Celsius (zones 5 to 9)
Water requirement: Moderate
Light requirement: Full sun
Mature size: 3 feet tall and wide

David Austin Roses
3. ‘New Dawn’ Rose
(Rosa ‘New Dawn’)

Loved by: Will Lehnert of Outdoor Space Design in Columbus, Ohio

Why this rose: ‘New Dawn’ has a long growing history and is considered one of the best repeat-blooming climbing roses. It “can soften arbors [and] trellises and add a lot of dimension and texture throughout the year,” Lehnert says.

Special features: This vigorous grower produces clusters of medium-size light pink flowers on glossy green foliage. It’s known for its disease resistance and sweet, fruity fragrance.

Annie Thornton

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