Rose Cuttings – August, 2012

A mixed bouquet of roses, courtesy of Mike Shoup.

A Floral Parade 

One of the wonderful aspects of roses is their diversity. No two varieties are the same; and their vigor, hardiness and character beg us to use them strategically to embellish landscapes. You’ll find differences in growth habits, shapes, sizes, fragrances, flower colors and — significantly — bloom sequence. (It would be a tragedy if they all bloomed in the same two-week period!)

In my garden, the parade of spring flowers starts with ‘Lady Banks’ in late February or early March. ‘Fortuniana’ follows in a few days. They can bloom gloriously for two to three weeks, then others begin to chime in. ‘Fortune’s Double Yellow’ overlaps the first two, then in a few days come ‘Climbing Old Blush’, ‘Climbing American Beauty’ and ‘Albertine’.

By mid-to-late March, the repeat-blooming Chinas and Teas are sounding off for a full chorus. The Polyanthas and Hybrid Musks get into the rhythm just as the petals fall from the earlier-blooming varieties. By late April, the late bloomers kick in, including the “Swamp Rose”, who displays her delicate pink blossoms against architecturally graceful arching canes at the edge of our pond.

“Caldwell Pink” and ‘The Fairy’ rarely start before May, but their display lasts well into the hot summer. All the repeat-blooming roses flower sporadically into September; then, stimulated by cooler nights, they reprise until the first freeze of winter. Isn’t Mother Nature’s symphony amazing?

About the author: Mike Shoup is the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium. This month’s article is taken from his new book, Empress of the Garden, due out this fall. Visit his company’s Brenham and San Antonio display gardens for endless ideas on landscaping with roses. To order roses online, visit

Posted by Mike Shoup
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