Roses hardly need an introduction. Classic, yet perennially fresh and young, these garden favorites know they’re beautiful, but remain humble and honest just the same. The whole month of June is dedicated to roses, but we could easily honor them any time of year. Although there are so many varieties to choose from, we’ve selected a few specialties to celebrate this month.
Double Red Knock Out
Roses have a reputation of being hard to grow, but breeders have been cultivating hardy, disease-free varieties for generations. The Double Red Knock Out is one of the best. It has all of the elegance of a classic rose but is resistant to disease, heat, and winters ever colder than ours in Illinois. It unfurls double, cherry red blossoms from June until September, and graces your garden with purple fall leaves. It doesn’t require any deadheading, but will simply keep blooming with hardly any maintenance.
A rose producer had been asking Julia Child for years to name a rose after her. The famous American chef politely declined, until she discovered this one in a friend’s garden and fell in love. Its ruffled, peach blossoms bloom from June onwards against the backdrop of deep green, glossy leaves. Combined with a sweet licorice scent, it’s the perfect summer rose. Its straight canes are ideal for cut flowers, and the shrub makes an excellent border for your gardens or pathways at a modest height of three feet.
The deep plum blossoms of the Ebb Tide are heartbreakingly beautiful. An intense clove and citrus scent complement this rose’s rich color. It makes an artful contrast to the apricot hues of the Julia Child or the scarlet flowers of the Double Knock Out. Like its cousins above, it blooms continuously and only requires light shaping once established. As a special feature, the blossoms tend to darken beautifully as the rose matures.
Though not cultivated by him, this rose variety bears a resemblance to our famous statesman with its tall height and irresistible charm. The velvety, crimson blossoms are matched in beauty only by its alluring scent. Its genetics have been used for breeding several newer varieties, but Mr. Lincoln remains a classic. If this rose were a man, it would be handsome, strapping, and sophisticated, with mysterious charm!
This rose was the lifework of a horticulturist in France who developed the variety just as World War II broke out. He knew he had stumbled upon something precious but was forced to replace his rose gardens with vegetables to help the war effort. In an attempt to preserve the rose, he sent clippings to gardeners in the United States, Germany, and Italy. Eighty years later, this rose is still blooming with wide, cream blossoms streaked in burnt orange and lavender. Resistant to disease (and to upheaving political events!), this rose proves that beauty can endure during difficult times.
This hybrid tea rose is a cross between red, yellow, and cream varieties. The result is a pleasing, double-colored flower with crimson overtones and an ivory-yellow center. It blooms prolifically throughout the whole season, has disease-resistant leaves, and exudes a scent that will soothe away your stress.
Whatever your choice, keep in mind that it’s best to plant roses in a sunny spot, ideally where they receive morning light to evaporate the dew from their leaves. Enrich the soil with compost often and remember to water them consistently. There are a few more tricks to keeping roses happy, so if you’d like more advice, please feel free to contact our garden centers or follow our special shopping guidelines in store.
Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery.