America loves roses of all kinds, but there’s something about the romantic blooms of old-fashioned shrub roses that earn a special place in hearts. Those full, fragrant flowers give few hints to their resilience, but these roses are hardy, low-maintenance shrubs. From pollinator-pleasing blooms and fall color to ornamental (and edible) rosehips, shrub roses like these four timeless beauties have made hearts swoon for years:
Blanc Double DeCoubert
Among rugosa-type roses, Blanc Double DeCoubert is widely considered the best white rose in the class. The large, semi-double blooms offer a delectable fragrance along with delicate, pure white petals. Introduced in France in 1892, five years before McKay Nursery began, it remains a favorite today. Blanc Double DeCoubert flowers in June, and then reblooms periodically until frost. Autumn brings a beautiful display of edible orange rosehips, while the disease-resistant foliage takes on attractive fall color. Prune it back in early spring, and it grows to about 2.5 feet tall in Wisconsin. This low-maintenance rose resists deer, but draws butterflies, bees and birds near. (Hardiness zones 3 through 7).
F.J. Grootendorst dates back to 1918 and comes to U.S. gardens via Germany. This hybrid rugosa rose flowers in profuse clusters of small, red blooms with carnation-like fringed edges. Flowers appear from June until frost. Prune F.J. Grootendorst back in early spring, and this upright shrub rose reaches about 2.5 feet tall. An excellent choice for a short hedge or mixed borders, this low-maintenance rose withstands harsh conditions, including winds, poor soil and salt spray from ocean seas and winter roads. It also resists deer and attracts birds and pollinators. (Hardiness zones 4 through 7).
Since its introduction in Holland in 1905, Hansa rose has won gardeners’ affections with its enchanting clove-like fragrance. The clustered, semi-double flowers open to crimson, then mature to violet-red as the season moves on. Hansa blooms heavily in June, followed by repeat flushes of bloom through summer into fall. Orange fall foliage pairs beautifully with a prolific crop of edible, red rosehips. This compact, low-maintenance rose stays about 2.5 feet tall if pruned back in early spring. Butterflies, bees and birds love the blooms and rosehip fruits. (Hardiness zones 3 through 7).
Therese Bugnet got its start in Canada in 1950, so it’s not surprising that this rose is as tough as it is beautiful. Large, double blooms in a stunning shade of lilac pink adorn Therese Bugnet from June until October. The prolific flowers bear a rich, spicy fragrance and grace red-tinged, nearly thornless canes. Maximize your blooms by keeping pruning to a minimum. Prune out old canes in June, right after the first flowers fade, and leave the rest intact for next year. Therese Bugnet’s canes grow 4 feet tall or more and add interest to the garden all winter long. (Hardiness zones 3 through 7).
Let beautiful, old-fashioned shrub roses add hardiness, resilience and a touch of romance to your landscape this year. Shop our plants online for in-store pickup, local truck delivery, or FedEx home delivery anywhere in the continental United States. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop in at Winterland Nursery, our new retail garden center in the Madison, Wisconsin area, and enjoy shrub roses and more firsthand.