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In Love with Drift and Flower Carpet Roses


Drift Roses

One of the first plants I’ve bought for my small new-to-me garden is the fabulous new Apricot-colored Drift groundcover rose, shown above.   I bought five, and they’re going to quickly grow together to form one traffic-stopping mass of color, I humbly predict.

Here’s why I chose them, besides their two-toned, double flowers that no gardener in her right mind could resist:  they flower from spring until late fall, and they’re extremely disease-resistant.  That means no spraying (something I never do out of sheer laziness) yet sporting healthy, dark green glossy leaves all season long.  No fungal disease unsightliness!  Their success in disease-resistance is no surprise, coming as they do from the same people who introduced the super-popular, super-performing Knockout family of landscape roses.

Knockouts, which I also love (and I’m not alone – it’s the top-selling plant in the U.S.) grow to at least four feet by four feet, and are too large for my little townhouse garden, but Drifts are just right – just 1.5 feet tall by 2.5 feet wide.  True groundcovers.
I chose Apricot because it’s new and to my eyes, really interesting.


Flower Carpet Roses

There’s another short landscape-style rose that I grew and loved in my last garden – the equally disease-free ‘Flower Carpet‘.   Having envied my neighbors’ pink Flower Carpets for years, I finally made space for a nice mass of them and chose the Apricot color that’s in the lower left collage above.   It was blooming like crazy in its first year in the ground and would no doubt have been even more impressive this year, but I had to leave it there after selling my house and garden.  (I checked the contract and discovered that all woody plants had to stay, so I took just a few favorite perennials with me when I moved.  Thankfully, the buyers of my old and beloved garden are eager gardeners, which made moving a lot easier for me.)

Now I could have just replaced them but decided not to because Flower Carpets, at three feet tall, are too tall for the bank I need to cover;  I looked for something shorter and the Drifts fit the bill.

With all these great choices in short, shrub-shaped roses that bloom for a very long time while staying disease-free, I’m betting that they become just as popular as the larger Knockouts.  They sure seem perfect for today’s busy, eco-conscious gardener who won’t spray with even organic products, but wants color – lots of it.  That’s me!

Posted by Susan Harris.

Drift Roses photo credit.   Flower Carpet photo credit.


Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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