Top Ten Classic Roses

Rose breeders create new and better roses every year. Yet often rose sellers say gardeners seek roses they know and love. Why is that? It’s like comfort food for the soul. Roses and their fragrance can bring back memories of happy times spent with our family in their gardens. Gatherings like picnics, and cook-outs in a yard filled with roses and loved ones collecting memories that now grown gardeners want to re-create for their family and loved ones. Classic roses were a part of our childhood. This article is dedicated to the roses we cherish that are a part of the fabric of Rose Garden’s around the world. There are so many new and wonderful roses and I write about them and feature them here and on my Facebook pages but today we’re honoring the ‘Top Ten Classic Roses’.*

Surprise! I did not know 6 of my ‘Top Ten Classic Roses’ are inductees into the World Federation of Rose Society’s ‘Hall of Fame’.

#1 ‘Double Delight’

‘Seeing Double’ |’Double Delight’, taken at dusk in Gaga’s Garden.

‘Delighting Rose Lovers Since 1977

‘Double Delight was created by Swim in 1977 and is still rated 8.3 by the American Rose Society’s Handbook for Selecting Roses. ‘Double Delight’ was inducted in the World Federation of Rose Society (WFRS) ‘Hall of Fame’ in 1985. Everyone, bar none loves this rose. What is important when buying this rose is to locate a very good plant to begin with. That means to have three or more healthy canes on your rose bush when you buy it.

‘Double Delight’ at Dusk is breathtaking in this photo I captured with my macro lens.

#2 ‘Queen Elizabeth’

‘Queen Elizabeth’ Name ‘Best Established Rose’ at the Biltmore Rose Trials in 2016
Greeting Queen Elizabeth at Chelsea 2016 on her 90th birthday

‘Queen Elizabeth’ whose name sake was Queen Elizabeth herself was named the Award of Excellence ‘Best Established Rose’ at the International Biltmore Rose Trials in 2015. Bred in 1955, it was inducted into the WFRS in 1979.

#3 ‘Peace’

'Peace' The most popular rose in the world | A photo by Mr. Rich Baer
‘Peace’ The most popular rose in the world | A photo by Mr. Rich Baer |
Rich Baer's Photo of the 'Peace' Rose

‘Peace’ Forever Stamp with Rich Baer of the Portland Rose Society’s photo featured.

‘Peace’, was bred by Francis Meilland of Meilland International SA from 1935-1939, a family owned rose-growing business since 1850 located in Le Luc-en-Provence, France. For six generations Meilland Int., has created some of the best and most famous roses in the world selling and distributing over 8 million rose plants a year. More ‘Peace’ roses have sold than any other rose in the world. It’s estimated that by 1992 over 100 million of ‘Peace’ HT had been sold. Many think this is a low estimate.

‘Peace’ Forever Stamp by Rich Baer

April 21, 2018 the United States Postal Service issued the ‘Peace’ Rose forever stamp using Rich Baer’s photograph of the ‘Peace’ Rose.

#4 ‘Uncle Joe

'Uncle Joe' is as 'Big As The Broad Side of A Barn!

‘Uncle Joe’ Is as “Big As A Barn”

‘Uncle Joe’s claim to fame is the hybrid tea known for having the most petals. This hefty rose can have from 85-100 petals. Originally named ‘Toro’, if you see it by that name you can safely bet it’s ‘Uncle Joe’.

#5 ‘Moonstone’

'Moonstone'
‘Moonstone’ magnificent hybrid tea | Yes this is one rose bush!
Gaga's Garden Roses 2015 Calendar Cover 'Moonstone'

‘Moonstone’ was on the cover of the calendar that I created in 2015. One ‘Moonstone rose bush in the summer of 2014 had 36 full size roses blooming at one time. A hybrid tea bred by Tom Carruth of Weeks Roses in 1999 every rose that blooms is perfect form.

#6 ‘Fragrant Cloud’

‘Fragrant Cloud’ | Known To Have The Most Fragrance of Any Rose
Fragrant Cloud

‘Fragrant Cloud’ was my mother’s favorite rose. As long as I am able to have a rose garden ‘Fragrant Cloud’ will have a home in my rose garden. Did you know ‘Fragrant Cloud’ is in the parantage of ‘Dolly Parton’? After looking at her you’ll say, ‘Of Course!’ I see the family resemblance! ‘Fragrant Cloud’ was inducted in the WFRS in 1981!

#7 ‘Double KnockOut®

‘Double Knock Out® Roses

The Knock Out® Rose is the rose that changed the landscape of the world. It was a glorious change to see roses everywhere when the Knock Out® rose became part of the landscape designers option. The Will Radler’s Knock Out® rose was inducted into the World Federation of Rose Societies (WFRS) Hall of Fame in 2018. I wrote an interview of Dr. Tommy Cairns about the Knock Out Rose and it’s role in the world of roses you can read it by clicking this link. The Evolution of The Knock Out Rose, A Talk With Dr. Tommy Cairns

#8 Iceberg

Texas Front Rose Walk of Roses 'Iceberg', 'Blastoff'
Texas Front Rose Walk of Roses ‘Iceberg’, ‘Blastoff’

Iceberg‘ a Kordes Rose bred in 1958, inducted into the WFRS in 1983, makes a perfect disease resistant vigorous and floriferous landscape floribunda planting.

#9 Sunsprite

‘Sunsprite’ In Gaga’s Garden
'Sunsprite' Blooming on Labor Day Week-End

Sunsprite, a Kordes rose bred in 1977 blooming in the floribunda garden. Naturally disease resistant, floriferous, & fragrant makes it a natural on the list of ‘Top Ten Classic Roses’.

#10 ‘Mr. Lincoln’

Mr. Lincoln photo Tommy Cairns
Mr. Lincoln photo Tommy Cairns
Mr. Lincoln in Full Bloom

Mr. Lincoln‘ bred by Swim & Weeks in 1964 and introduced in the U.S by Star Roses and Plants in 1965, now owned by Ball Horticultural . The rest is history. Just about everyone wants a ‘Mr. Lincoln’, they are easy to find and fairly easy to grow.

*The roses are in no particular order, I listed them as they came to mind. ‘Peace’ by Meilland International would have probably been ranked as number one based on the ‘world’s favorite rose’ and the world’s most popular and highest selling rose. ‘Top Ten Best New Roses’ next.

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The Biltmore Rose Trials 2017 Award Winners

You can trust any rose that’s won in the Biltmore Rose Trials to do well in your garden under similar growing conditions. You can bank on it for a beautiful, sustainable, no-spray rose that’s easy to grow!