. . . the red roses, ah the red roses are for love triumphant . . .
A mere 110 million roses, mostly red, will be sold in the three day period surrounding Valentine's Day! Yes, florist roses can be beautiful, but what about the great red roses in our own gardens? Here are ten that I love in my garden. Maybe they will inspire you, and if you have your own favorites, please share them in comments. Barcelona, above, is arranged with plum leaves, marjoram and fuschia.
My number one favorite is Oklahoma, not only for its rich red/black coloring, but at each stage of opening it's spectacular, from bud to full open bloom. The one above will have progressed in at least two more stages to finally reveal a cache of burnished gold stamens.
Duet, a Floribunda, couldn't be more dependable and has been giving us her beautiful silver-backed blooms for more than twenty years!
Duet shrubs are in the four foot range for height and width.
David Austin reds are well represented with three spectacular beauties that are all excellent growers between five and six feet. That's Tradescant in the center with Falstaff above and The Prince below.
Chevy Chase is just plain fun to have in the garden and a real show stopper. Small blooms form bouquets on a stem that are easy to use in arranging. Try making a Chevy heart and take a phone shot to send next Valentine's day.
Chevy Chase is a robust, once blooming climber that deer stay away from (it's pretty thorny) in my California garden. On the other side of the fence are the more tender reds, Duet especially, which before the deer fence installation, was always first to get nipped.
This mixed bouquet has a couple of light red Teas that are outstanding performers. Side by side, in front are Mme Antoine Rébé and Monsieur Tillier. Rébé is in the five to six foot range and Tillier is more like 8'x8', or even more with the right growing conditions. For more about these two take a look at this post.
Barcelona, also known as Frances Dubreuil, is from the 30's and is just plain charming–always blooming with coloring that matches Oklahoma, on a light, airy shrub with smaller blooms.
Last but not least, the glorious Peter Beales Gallica James Mason.
This is one of those roses I was wowed by at a show and just had to have, but of course couldn't find anywhere. Then one day I stood before it in a Sonoma county garden! Easy to propagate–just pull on a cane, and up comes roots and all. This is for the serious connoisseur who has room to spare, for it's a once bloomer that creeps all over the place. I wouldn't be without it though.
To find out more about these roses, which I hope are tempting you, click on the brown links in the text. They are all connected to the invaluable rose info site helpmefind.com. On each rose page at helpmefind there is a "buy from" tab for purchasing sources. Let me know what you think and tell us your favorite red rose.