|Peace hybrid tea rose (photo courtesy of Jackson and Perkins Roses)|
And yes, I know that Japanese beetles are munching their way across Colorado's Front Range, as far south as Pueblo. Roses are one of their favorite hosts, but our state entomologist, Dr. Whitney Cranshaw is evaluating roses to determine if there are cultivars that are less tasty to the hungry beetles. He's been studying this for a few years and has some promising results. For those in infested areas, I realize roses are not going to be at the top of your list, but hand picking can be very effective. Or pick and feed to chickens--they love to munch Japanese beetles and will eat them faster than you can pick them.
|Chickens adore Japanese beetles (photo courtesy of New England Habitat Gardening Blog)|
Above and Beyond climbing rose (Rosa 'ZLEEltonStrack' PP24,463)
I absolutely adore this rose. And yes, it's a climber, so it needs some support. But what I've found after three years in the garden is that it just needs a little training in the spring and mid-summer. My dad is growing this in his Zone 3B garden north of the Twin Cities. This past winter it had very little dieback and had a magnificent bloom set in early summer.
|Above and Beyond in full bloom in June|
|Above and Beyond in mid-July|
Paint the Town is cute as a button, since it's a petite shrub rose that doesn't know when to stop blooming. I have this in my front, west-facing yard, and it gets very little (if any) irrigation. The red blooms cover the shrub all summer and stay a good red, even with the intense sunlight. Topping out in height at four feet (and about the same width), this rose can fit in small spaces if you need some color. The foliage is very dark green and I have seen zero disease issues. My brother has propagated this plant for years at Bailey's and it's on the top of his list too, since he doesn't see any disease issues in the greenhouse. In the photo below, it's planted next to hummingbird carpet, a 'Blonde Ambition' grass, and hopflower oregano. As you can see, it's just a bit taller than each of those. You can remove the spent flowers, if you wish.
|Paint the Town shrub rose|
|Paint the Town flower bloom (just past peak)|
Strike it Rich grandiflora rose (Rosa 'Strike it Rich')
Roger said this rose is performing amazingly well in multiple locations, so it's on the list. A grandiflora rose, the blooms are larger (about 4" tall) and have a spicy-sweet fragrance. The blooms are a beautiful orange with hints of pink. Introduced back in 2007, this rose has been a garden favorite for over a decade. Don't shy away from grandifloras...they can replace those high-maintenance hybrid teas with less work. And this rose is very cold hardy too.
|Strike it Rich rose (photo courtesy of Destinations, Detours, and Dreams)|
|Golden flowers make this rose a must for your garden (photo courtesy of Edmunds Roses)|
Sunrise Sunset shrub rose (Rosa 'BAIset' PP16,770)
There must be something in the water at Roger's house, because his Sunrise Sunset roses are breathtaking...and big! (Roger tends to both fertilize and water, which might be why his are superior to mine.) This non-stop summer bloomer has bright pink blooms that fade to a paler pink as the blooms age. This plant is truly a show stopper. Cold hardy, disease resistant, clean foliage--what more can you ask for in a rose?
|Sunrise Sunset rose (photo courtesy of Easy Elegance)|
|Bloom for Sunrise Sunset rose (photo courtesy of Easy Elegance)|
Drop Dead Red floribunda rose (Rosa 'WEKcharlie' PP22571)
Described on one of the grower's websites as "jaw-droppingly delicious red", you can envision the bloom before you see the photo. Roger states that this is a fantastic red, especially with the dark green foliage. And it's a red that stays red throughout the entire bloom life. As a floribunda, it will produce clusters of flowers. But if you lust for a good red (like finding the perfect nail polish red), try Drop Dead Red.
|Drop Dead Red floribunda rose (photo courtesy of Spring Hill Nurseries)|
Obviously there are many roses out there that do well in Colorado gardens. What are some others you love?