Just in time for Girlfriend Day observed on August 1st we’ve prepared a perfect guide to the world of women’s all time favorite flowers, roses – especially hybrid roses. As one of the most enduring symbols of love and appreciation, it’s no surprise that roses are among the most admired and evocative flowers. Used for hundreds of years to convey romantic messages without words, these flowers have a rich and ancient history.
With over 150 species and thousands of hybrids, various terms are used to classify roses. The lines between the categories are often blurred, but here’s the basic overview of terminology for roses:
OLD GARDEN ROSES:
Old Garden roses (also called Antique roses) are the predecessors of today’s roses. They are often referred to as the flowers that were discovered or hybridized before modern roses were introduced in the late 19th century. While some old garden roses date back to the time of the Roman Empire, ancient Greece or China, a great many more made their appearance in the last two centuries.
What all old garden roses have in common is that they make large, beautiful shrubs. They put on a spectacular blooming display usually only once a year. The flowers come in many forms, and are often in the white-pink-red spectrum. This rose family is known for its delicate beauty and exceptional fragrance not often found in modern hybrid tea roses. A number of these blooms are also famous for their brilliant rose hips. Among the many different families of old garden roses, these are perhaps the most distinctive and well known:
These are the oldest of garden roses, first grown centuries ago by the Greeks and Romans for their medicinal qualities. Gallicas are fine varieties with a rich color range for the old roses. They offer shades of pink, crimson, purple and even less common red stripes. This type of flowers are heavy bloomers and most of them are highly scented.
The most strongly scented roses, damasks have graced the world since ancient times. In Greek mythology they were even associated with the cult of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty.
As one of the oldest rose varieties, they have given birth to a great number of new varieties while maintaining its own unique heritage. In comparison with gallicas, Damask roses are taller and can reach up to 7 feet in height. These blooms (almost always pink in color) are held on open airy branches with beautiful pointy leaves that cluster around the blooms. World renowned for its fine fragrance and perfume production, Damask roses are a wonderful variety to grow in your garden.
The Alba Roses date back to the Middle Ages. Formerly known as the ʺTree Roses,” these blooms are among the hardiest out there. Disease-resistant and easy to grow, they often reach 6 feet in height with minimal attention from your side. The colors of these leafy flowers are restricted to pink and white and are set off lush greyish foliage, creating a delicate beauty that is unsurpassed.
While old roses are the most highly scented out there, the fragrance of the modern roses has often been sacrificed in pursuit of bigger blooms and brighter colors. Intensively bred from the early 20th century, these blooms also include several varieties:
When you think of a typical rose, you’re most probably referring to Hybrid teas. A beautiful tight many-petalled bloom, which comes in almost any color except blue, grows singly at the end of a long stem. Hybrid tea roses make a perfect choice if you prefer bigger buds with a classic rose shape that look stunning in a rose arrangement.
If a pleasant rose scent is not a deal breaker for you, the burst of colors in lively floribundas make quite a sight. Their flowers are produced in clusters on the end of each stem and come in almost every color palette. Blooming continually throughout the whole summer season these vibrant low-growing plants will make a wonderful addition to any garden.
A cross between Floribundas and Hybrid Teas, grandifloras have a little more of the hybrid tea blood in them. Larger and taller than the Floribundas they often grow over six feet tall. Their flowers come in clusters, up to four buds per stem. Grandifloras are a wonderful choice in the garden if you like lots of blooms for color and stems for cutting, all on the same plant.
In the early 1950s David Austin set out to create an ideal rose. He wanted the new flower to combine the unique charm and fragrance of old roses with the wide color range and repeat-flowering qualities of modern roses.
Over the last 60 years, from a young aspiring gardener David Austin has gone on to breed a collection of roses renowned around the world. His award-winning English roses, improved decade by decade, now also offer good disease-resistance, reliability and vigor.
With over 900 varieties, all David Austin roses have a common style and reflect a one man’s vision. His graceful shrubs produce lush, delicate flowers usually densely filled with petals and in most cases offer wonderful fragrance. They are a huge improvement from their ancestors, with better growth habits, health and the ability to repeat bloom.
Now that you’ve had a brief introduction to what roses come from where you’re better armed to know what to buy. Keep in mind your partner’s preference. Do they like to sniff their flowers, or look at them? Are they good at tending to flowers or do they need a stronger plant that can handle being forgotten. Whatever you choose, it is truly the thought that counts. Make them feel extra special by sending flowers on a random day of the week, just because you wanted to see them smile.
Now you’re a rose expert, what’s next?
-Wish your significant other a happy Girlfriend Day with a bouquet of her favorite roses.
-Did you know that there are also plenty of things you can actually do with roses? Check out these ideas on How to Use Rose Petals.
-We bet you know someone else who will enjoy learning more about roses. Share these tips with them by clicking on your favorite social media button.