Types of Roses

Roses are some of the most popular and beautiful garden plants. Here's a simple guide to some of the favourite types of roses found in our gardens today.

Plants, Plan Your Garden

Roses are one of the most quintessential and well-loved plants in an English garden. They are also one of the broadest plant genera with tens of thousands of varieties available – not surprisingly then, it can be a confusing task to find the right rose for your garden!

Each type and variety has it’s own characteristics so it’s worth researching to find the right one for you. Whether it’s for a border, over a pergola or in a container, there is a rose for every situation.

Rose Categories

There are three main categories that roses fall under: Old Garden Roses, Wild Roses and Modern Roses.

  1. Old Garden Roses: These have been in existence since before 1867. They have a notably strong fragrance, double-flowered blooms, and tend to be highly disease-resistant. They typically only bloom once per season.
  2. Wild Roses: Also known as ‘species roses’, these are roses that haven’t been hybridized. They usually have single-bloom, 5-petal flowers, and are almost always pink. Finding a white or red wild rose is rare and a yellow one is even rarer.
  3. Modern Roses: Most of today’s popular and common roses fall within this category. Unlike Old Garden roses, Modern Roses offer a continuous bloom, as well as a larger bloom size. The downside is they often lack the intense fragrance and are less disease resistant compared to Old Garden roses.

Rose Types

Below are some of the most popular and common types of roses found in gardens today (most of these fall under the category of ‘Modern Roses‘)

English Rose

Category: Modern Rose

Shown here: Graham Thomas

A hardy, disease-resistant rose with a delightful rose scent and available in a range of colours, these varieties have been carefully cultivated for reliability. The most notable breeder of these types of roses is David Austin. Most are shrubby, which makes them ideal for practically any garden style or situation, including containers, hedges, or more formal settings.

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Floribunda Rose

Category: Modern Rose

Shown here: Lady Marmalade

As the name suggests, these roses have a profusion of flowers. Single or double heads on large clusters repeat flower for a long season. A cross between Hybrid Tea and Polyantha roses, these are ideal for mixed borders and large bed plantings. They don’t typically have much of a scent. They are less blousy than the hybrid tea and they are generally disease resistant and hardy, making them easy to care for. Great for a border or hedge.

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Hybrid Tea Rose

Category: Modern Rose

Shown here: Pink Peace

Hybrid tea roses are a favourite for cut flowers. They have large, high centred blooms on long stems and come in a huge range of colours, with many having strong fragrance. They also repeat flower and have a bushy habit so are perfect for borders. However, they are the least hardy of the modern roses and can be high maintenance.

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Grandiflora Rose

Category: Modern Rose

Shown here: Mother of Pearl

A cross between a hybrid tea and a floribunda, these roses are a combination of the blousy blooms of a Hybrid tea and the repetitive growth of a floribunda. They tend to be larger shrubs with a more upright habit.

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Ground Cover Rose

Category: Modern Rose

Shown here: Kent

Ground cover roses are spreading or trailing shrub roses. They tend to have a lot of thorns on the stem and glossy leaves. They have either single or double flowers with a repeat habit. They are great for covering banks, rockeries, or as under planting. They are disease resistant and require very little attention.

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Shrub Rose

Category: Modern Rose

Shown here: Anne Boleyn

Most shrub roses are the result of crossing Old Garden Roses with Modern Roses. Shrubs roses are generally easy to care for, tough and disease resistant and are heavy blooming with a repeat habit. They can be used in a wide range of situations from hedges, borders, or specimen plants.

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Damask Rose

Category: Old Garden Rose

Shown here: Mme. Hardy

Damask roses fall under Old Garden Roses and are the classic rose scent you find in perfumes and candles. Although they only bloom once in a year, they have a mass of flowers. These large shrubs are also very thorny so don’t use at the front of a border.

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Climbing Rose

Category: Modern Rose

Shown here: The Pilgrim

Climbing roses are vigorous shrubs with long arching stems which can be trained against a wall or over a structure. Often producing an abundance of blooms which repeat flower throughout the season, they are great for adding colour at height to a garden. They are higher maintenance than rambling roses as they need annual pruning and training to get the best from them.

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Rambling Rose

Category: Modern Rose

Shown here: Veilchenblau

Rambling roses are far more vigorous than climbing roses and only bloom once in a season, although this is profuse with up to 20 blooms on one stem. They are useful for covering any unsightly structures or a large wall. Being disease resistant, they are tough and reliable and require less care than climbing roses.

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And of course, there are lots more…

These are just a few of the types and varieties, but there is a rose to suit every garden…

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Like what you see?

From planning a new border to a complete garden remodel, we pride ourselves on transforming ideas into beautiful reality, with minimum disruption. If you’re based in or around the Reading and Newbury area, we’d love to meet and discuss your project in detail – book your free no-obligation garden consultation today. We do get pretty booked up, particularly during the Spring, so plan ahead if possible!