This is truly the season of the rose.
Drive down any street in Roseville and you'll see rose bushes in blooming splendor. Most of what you are seeing now are shrub roses, the kind that one didn't have to bury over the winter.
Shrub roses come in all types: climbers, tall and short bushes and some designated as ground covers. Some of these bushes bloom only once during the season, usually fairly early, lasting for only a short time.
Others, such as the ones we are seeing now, have one heavy bloom that lasts for two to three weeks, then they have intermittent blooms during the middle of the season and maybe a good showing of bloom as the temperature levels off at the end of the season. A few of the older shrubs such as 'Dagmar Hastup' do bloom all season.
You can count on the newer shrub roses, and there are many, to produce a full season of bloom. If you want to try growing a rose or two, select shrubs such as 'Lady Elsie May', 'Hot Wonder', 'Macy's Pride', one or all four of the set of 'Lena', 'Ole', 'Sven' and 'Sigrid' hybridized here in Minnesota by Kathy Zuzek. These roses are considered hardy here in Zone 4, meaning no special burying is needed in winter. Some leaf mulch, a shovel full of dirt or compost around the crown will be all that is needed for them to survive even if the bush dies back to the snow line. These roses are on their own roots and new shoots will come from the crown.
Besides the Shrubs there are Floribunda roses, Grandiflora and Hybrid Tea roses as well as Miniature and Miniflora roses. The differences are not always easy to discern.
Shrubs usually take more space. They are not necessarily upright and often grow larger in width or height. Floribunda are somewhat upright but usually not more than 2-1/2 feet tall. Grandiflora and Hybrid Teas are upright and can get 5 feet or more with proper soil and care. Miniatures are just that - hybridized to be small. These generally stay from 18 inches to 2 feet in height and width with blossoms in the inch or inch and a half size. Miniflora is a fairly new designation to accommodate a larger mini with a larger blossom.
Roses need at least four hours of direct sunlight and preferably five to six. Along with sunlight, roses do need water. They don't like wet feet, but they do want moisture and especially if there is a lot of wind. Just as you, they like a little food now and then. Most insects and diseases can be treated with a hard spray of water; if that isn't sufficient use a simple spray readily available at most any Menards, Home Depot, Fleet Farm or your favorite nursery.
Want to know more or just see fantastic blooms? The Minnesota Rose Society Rose Show "A World of Roses" will be at HarMar Mall, Saturday, June 16, 1 to 5 p.m. and Sunday, June 17, noon to 4:30 p.m. Consulting Rosarians will be on hand to answer your questions. Come, enjoy the feast off beauty and fragrance.