According to woodies-geek and rose-buyer Miri Talabac, Behnkes has about 200+ varieties of roses in stock, some in each of these types: Climbers, David Austin (English-type), Floribunda, Grandiflora, Hybrid Tea, Landscape, Miniature and tree-form (but very few).
Shrub/landscape roses. You’ve probably all heard of Knockout roses, the best-selling plant in the U.S.? (Shown above in downtown D.C., with Tradescantia.) It’s available in shades of pink, yhellow and white, and double or single. Another great one is more and more colors these days, and it has new competitors all the time, like the smaller ‘Flower Carpet’. If you’re looking for a true red, ‘Home Run’ was bred by the breeder of Knockouts and is redder than anything in the Knockout family. Landscape roses are generally no taller than 4 feet, and are usually planted in masses of at least three for a terrific show in the garden. (On my website there’s lots more about Knockouts and Flower Carpet roses.)
Another excellent choice for flower borders are floribundas, especially the more disease-resistant ones, which are the only ones that Miri buys. They’re a cross between hybrid teas and wild roses, so are smaller and bushier than hybrid teas, sporting large flowers on sprays. Not usually fragrant, the Floribunda variety ‘Scentimental’ shown here, is the exception. Floribundas are known for their everblooming charms – like all season, practically nonstop.
Looking more like the hybrid teas that we see in all-rose gardens, grandifloras have the flower form and stature of the teas but larger flowers. Again Miri selects the ones with the best disease-resistance for our humid climate. Grandifloras and Hybrid Teas are generally the tallest and do well in back-border plantings. They’re also known to bloom continuously throughout the season.
Climbers can either be grown on a fence, arbor, trellis or tree and, while not true twining vines, typically reach between 8 and 12’ tall. They combine well with Clematis for a mixed planting.
by Susan Harris