I love roses, but like a lot of pretty flowers, some varieties are beautiful to look at, but fall apart nearly immediately in arrangements. And for me, half the fun and satisfaction of gardening is drinking my coffee and wandering around clipping blooms to bring inside. So I talked with experts and found three sturdy, fragrant varieties that do well in the South. Now is the perfect time to plant or pre-order for spring delivery—and couldn’t we all use a little beauty to look forward to?
“I love a rose called Quietness,” says Mike Shoup, the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas. “Her name is the perfect expression for the year we are having. She is a blush-pink-with-white rose, tough as nails, fragrant and very pretty as a garden rose and a rose for cut flowers.” Luckily this variety is still available to ship and plant before the first frost in most Southern zones.
It’s hard not to love roses of any description from the British breeder David Austin, and I was happy to learn that there are a few that not only do well beyond the rose utopia that is England but also actually thrive in the Southeastern United States. Princess Alexandra of Kent is my favorite on the list, a beautiful pink that handles heat and humidity like a champ, features blooms with 130 petals (each!), and offers a scent that fades from a traditional tea fragrance to citrus over time. It also performs perfectly in containers, and is available for pre-order as a bareroot rose or shrub for spring delivery.
And finally, the folks at the esteemed White Flower Farm suggest a striking, gardenia-esque white rose called Rose Sugar Moon because it’s unusually disease resistant and thrives up to zone 10. And yes, it also holds its form in a vase, produces a lovely old rose fragrance, and is available for spring shipment.