Portland Rose Society Guide To Pruning Roses

Rose Pruning Cart Ready For Rose Pruning Season


As Spring progresses, gardeners begin to get anxious, particularly the rose gardener who wants to get out and prune the roses. Pruning roses is really a rather simple process, but a process which is hard to put into words. Every experienced rose grower will describe the technique slightly differently and probably will do it slightly differently. One important fact to remember is that no matter how you prune, unless you cut the rose off below the ground line, it will survive and bloom. A total lack of pruning will yield poorer results than any amount of over pruning you may do. So prune with confidence and the results will be good. A fact to remember is that we prune rose bushes for us, not for the rose. The rose will continue to thrive even if it has no pruning done to it, but it will not be as beautiful. To learn more about pruning roses, attend one of the pruning demonstrations presented by the PRS where you can ask specific questions, (the schedule of pruning demonstrations is in the PRS calendar), but for those who cannot attend, the following information should suffice as a guide to pruning roses competently and with confidence.


Identifying The Strongest Healthiest Canes

In studying the bottom of the bush, identify the youngest and strongest canes. These can be identified by their color, texture and size. Young canes, one or two years old, are usually green in color and have a relatively smooth outer surface. As canes age they will usually become darker or grey-brown in color as it develops a thicker bark. Aging canes also become rough in texture due to the cracking and peeling of the outer bark. With hybrid tea roses, canes which are easily identified as being old, are usually not very productive and should be entirely removed by cutting them off at the bud union (their origin) using loppers or a pruning saw. (See the darkened cane in the illustration to the right.) A non-productive older cane can be identified by looking at last year’s growth emanating from it. If all of the growth coming from an old cane is small and twiggy it is a sign that this is a cane that should be removed because it is no longer able to produce vigorous new growth and flowers. An old cane that has large healthy looking secondary canes coming from it is usually still productive and should be saved. If a cane is to be removed cut it off as close to the bud union as possible. Stumps of canes left protruding from the bud union after pruning are unattractive. If stumps are left sticking up they will eventually be consumed by fungi and will rot away. Since gardening is about beauty, try to remove old canes during pruning, the result is more pleasing than rotting stumps. 

Opening Up The Center of The Rose Bush

Next, remove any of the younger canes which cross the middle of the bush. These canes should either be removed entirely back to the bud union, or back to the major cane from which they originated. Growth from crossing canes will become intertwined with other new growth with the net result being fewer quality flowers. Then remove canes which are crowded close to each other, usually leaving the larger one of each crowded pair. Finally, if there is any twiggy growth remaining anywhere on the bush, remove it back to its point of origin. (All of the dark colored areas on the bush in the illustration would be removed to achieve the desired effect.) 

'Double Delight' hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection
‘Double Delight’ hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection

Pruned In A Vase Like Shape Open In Center

When the pruning is finished, the ideal rose bush will have only sturdy, healthy canes radiating from the bud union. In reality, this ideal is rarely achieved. Most bushes do not have enough canes growing in just the right directions to be ideal. If the bush has only 2, 3 or 4 canes, it would be best to allow them all to remain, unless one of them is truly a nonproductive old cane. If the rose has 5 to 7 or more canes, you can then begin making decisions about which ones to remove to achieve a pleasing balance. For most rose bushes, an outcome similar to the diagram below would be desirable.

Ideal Rose Bush With Health Canes

Maintaining a Disease Free Rose Bed

Also at this time, if there are still old leaves clinging to any of the canes, which is not likely, remove them because old leaves which have over-wintered may be disease carriers. These leaves should come off easily with a slight pull. Finally, spray the newly pruned bushes with a summer use fungicide. Do not apply any dormant sprays after pruning. The most common dormant sprays contain chemicals at concentrations that may damage the young buds that have already begun to grow. Many of this year’s disease problems are initiated when the buds first begin to grow, which they are probably already doing. Fungus spores which often over-winter on the canes and under the vegetative bud scales which cover the dormant buds can infect the bush as the buds begin to break, unless a preventative fungicidal spray is used. Spraying with fungicides should be repeated at 10 day to two week intervals during wet or damp weather to help maintain disease free bushes. 

Clean Out Garden Debris

How low should hybrid tea roses be pruned? Again, every experienced rose grower will probably give a slightly different answer. 

Three Categories Of Pruning

There are basically three general categories recognized for finished pruning height. The first is referred to as “hard pruning”. The illustrations at the right depict an average rose bush before pruning and after it has been “hard” pruned. When doing a hard pruning, the canes are cut back to a length such that there are only three or four buds on each of three to five canes. This will result in leaving only very sturdy canes about 5-12 inches long. Hard pruning is sometimes recommended for newly planted roses and is often used by exhibitors to promote the growth of exhibition quality blooms. The logic behind this is that the new canes which will grow from the old canes can be no larger than the ones from which they originated. So, if the new canes grow from very large canes, there is a good possibility that they will be large too. These larger flowering canes often produce larger flowers. Overall the result from hard pruning is larger but fewer flowers on the bush.

Hard Pruning

The second category is “moderate pruning”. The illustration at the right depicts the same plant after a moderate pruning. In this method, the canes are cut back to about 12-18 inches. Weaker than average canes need to be reduced by more than this amount. This is the recommended pruning style for most HT’s and floribundas in home gardens. This method of pruning will result in a bush that will produce more flowers and a bigger plant during the current season, but these flowers may be slightly smaller and the canes a little smaller than if the rose was given a “hard pruning”. 

Moderate Pruning

The third category of spring pruning is “light pruning”. The illustration at the right depicts the same plant with light pruning. In light pruning, the canes are cut back so that about two-thirds of their length still remains when the job is finished. Light pruning is not generally recommended because it often results in overly tall, spindly bushes in our climate area. These bushes will bear blooms earlier in the year, but the blooms will often be of poor quality and without stems suitable for cutting. The stems that are produced may have insufficient size to hold up the flowers. Among the hybrid tea roses there seems to be at least one exception to moderate pruning being the best practice. Peace roses and their descendants seem to perform better if given a light pruning. However, it is still wise to remove all the little and twiggy growth. 

Light Pruning & Climbers

The severity of pruning has less influence over the growth and flower production of the bush than we think, unless little to no pruning is done. When we have had severe winters in Portland, severe enough to have killed a majority of rose canes all the way to the bud union, (to the ground), we have had some of our best spring rose shows, indicating that the bushes have the ability to re-grow rapidly. When winters are mild to moderate, like the current winter has been (so far), many people are prompted to do only a light pruning on the roses since all of the canes are alive and sprouting. When pruning time approaches, there may already be a lot of leafy growth on the roses and this is very difficult for many novice rose growers, and others, to remove during the pruning process. These lightly pruned bushes will produce lots of growth from the ends of the relatively small canes. This new growth will tend to be small in diameter and much of it may be broken off by the spring rains or by the weight of developing flowers. So, do not be afraid that you will over prune. It is almost always true that pruning too hard will produce better results than pruning too little. 

NOTE: During any pruning take note of the color of the cut surface of the cane. It should be almost white. If the cut surface of the cane (stem) is brown it indicates that the cane has been damaged by the winter, and you need to cut it again a little lower until you find undamaged cane. It takes time for freeze damage to develop so it is possible that some healthy looking canes will need to be pruned again later in the spring. 


'Stormy Weather', LCI Beautiful large flowered climber blooming in candelabra of purple blooms or do you call them mauve?
‘Stormy Weather’, LCI Beautiful large flowered climbing rose bush blooming in candelabra of purple blooms or do you call them mauve?

Climbers need to be pruned differently. If a climber is trained into a horizontal position, as illustrated in the diagram, the only pruning that should be done in the spring is to prune the laterals, the short upright shoots coming from the main canes. These laterals should be reduced in length by pruning such that only two or three bud eyes remain, which is usually about 2-4 inches. An alternate method is to completely remove the laterals. The rose will then produce new laterals from dormant eyes in the main cane. The areas of pruning are marked with slashes on the diagram. Also, any old canes that are detected as being unproductive (no vigorous growth being produced by them in the previous year) should be removed to ground level (the bud union). New canes should be trained by tying them into a horizontal position. Any additional pruning should be done only to shape the bush to fit the style that is desired and to keep it in bounds. Climbers are meant to be large so we leave a lot of healthy wood. 


All A Twitter Re-Potted | Mini Hanging Basket
All A Twitter Re-Potted | Mini Hanging Basket

Miniature roses are pruned in much the same way as hybrid tea roses, just on a smaller scale. Prune healthy canes back to 4 to 8 inches long and remove all the twiggy growth. Miniatures are very vigorous and will respond well to severe pruning by producing a number of new basal breaks, new stems originating from below the ground. You can prune them by shearing them if you like. 

Old Garden Roses | Bloom On Old Wood

At this time, OGR’s and other onetime bloomers should be only lightly pruned to shape and control their size and to remove old unproductive wood. More pruning can be done, but these rose types produce their blooms on old wood and removing additional wood now reduces this year’s blooms. Save any major pruning on these roses until the blooming cycle is completed. 

English Roses | David Austin’s

‘Abraham Darby’ by David Austin Roses

The English (David Austin’s) roses may be pruned like hybrid teas, but using the light to moderate pruning methods. Most of the English roses bloom on new wood, so pruning is done to produce a healthy base that can accommodate the current year’s growth just like HT’s, floribundas etc. Basically, if they grow like a climber, prune them like a climber and if they grow like a hybrid tea rose, prune them like a hybrid tea. I

In summation for any rose plant – remove all parts of the bush that are too small or weak to hold up the growth anticipated for this year and leave as much strong wood as you want, the more you leave the bigger the bush will be and the more flowers you will get. Portland Rose Society

This PORTLAND ROSE SOCIETY GUIDE TO PRUNING ROSES was reprinted with permission from Rich Baer of the PORTLAND ROSE SOCIETY P.O. Box 515 Portland, OR 97207

If you are interested in more information about the PORTLAND ROSE SOCIETY please visit their website www.portlandrosesociety.org for a calendar of events, membership information, upcoming events and about products available for their fundraisers.

Summer Rose Care Sets The Stage For Fabulous Fall Rose Bloom

'Sugar Plum' Cascades of Candelabras of Fragrant Plum Roses in Fall

Summer Time of Easy Livin’ Sets The Stage

It’s the dog days of summer. Excessive heat can create conditions for our roses to produce smaller blooms and stunted growth to preserve water. Many gardeners don’t realize that right now is the time to prepare for a glorious fall rose display.

August is the time to prepare for a spectacular fall rose bloom

September, October, November and even up until Christmas, fall is perfect throughout much of the country to spend time in your rose garden. You can enjoy the fruits of your labor, contemplate strategies for expansion and begin to winterize your roses. The cooler temperatures of fall create a glorious canvas for the fall rose show. It’s time now to begin the process of cutting back roses for your fall bloom. ‘Kimberlina’, a ‘Floribunda of the Year’ 2009 winner is such a spectacular rose in the fall I chose it to show you how to cut back your roses to create a spectacular fall bloom.

Cutting Back Your Roses For Fall

Cooler Temperatures of Fall Intensify Colors

Cooler temperatures in fall create a palette of colors that makes your roses look doubly magnificent. From Wisconsin to Texas I’ve seen roses continue to bloom through the holidays. Roses can tolerate 3 days of hard frost of temperatures below 21 degrees before they are fully dormant for the season. So you can plan on roses for your bouquets for the Thanksgiving table in Illinois, maybe even Wisconsin. September is time to determine if there are still any American Rose Society rose shows in the area you may want to exhibit at as well.

Here are some ‘Rose of the Year’ winners and roses exclusive to Jackson & Perkins that I’ve grown from IL to Texas successfully that bloom beautifully all season and into the fall:

#1 ‘Kimberlina’ ‘Floribunda of the Year’ 2009


#2 ‘Black Cherry’ ‘Floribunda of the Year’ 2006


‘Black Cherry’, glorious in Plano, TX award winning garden

#3 ‘Moondance’ ‘Floribunda of the Year’ 2007


'Moondance' Glorious & One of a Candelabra in Gaga's Garden on a Fall Morning
‘Moondance’ one of a Candelabra in Gaga’s Garden on a Fall Morning

#4 ‘Sugar Plum’ Exclusive at Jackson & Perkins


'Sugar Plum' Cascades of Candelabras of Fragrant Plum Roses in Fall
‘Sugar Plum’ Cascades of Candelabras of Fragrant Plum Roses

#5 ‘Soft Whisper’ Exclusive at Jackson & Perkins


'Soft Whisper' Cream colored roses kissed with peach perfect for fall blooms
‘Soft Whisper’ Cream colored roses kissed with peach perfect for fall blooms

Cooler Nights Begin

The nights begin to get cooler which creates an environment for black spot* and mildew so water early in the day allowing time for your garden to dry out before night fall. When you travel, and if you are putting in a small rose garden, the perfect watering solution is planting your roses in the Greenwell Water Saver

Nature Demands Balance

When roses (and virtually any other plant) reach the point of excessive water stress, they don’t “feed,” nor do they try to grow, they simply endure the heat to remain alive. That’s why even when you’re watering daily with what feels like excessive water amounts, many rose bushes will begin shedding their leaves to reduce their water stress. Many folks mistakenly think that dropping of leaves means their plant may be dying or they have “done something wrong.” Let’s dispel the myth. This is nature’s way of plant preservation during excessive heat. Since roses transpire through their foliage, dropping some of their leaves helps minimize water loss. This slows and can literally stop the flow of sap from the roots upward, so no food is taken in. Remember cutting back for fall to leave some foliage because roses feed through their leaves. Nature demands balance. Even in times of extreme heat I have seen my roses continue to remain pretty with just smaller blooms and less frequent bloom cycles. Roses seem to go into almost a dormancy state to conserve energy and water during the hottest part of summer.

August Rose Garden Check List

  • Remove all debris from the garden
  • Check for spider mites by feeling the underside of the leaves, they look & feel like salt and pepper and can be removed with a water jet spray 
  • Fertilize with Jackson & Perkins Continuous Slow Release Plant Food Roses Ultimate Collection Rose Food
  • Add a layer of Good Dirt Soil Conditioner around each rose bush, top with hard wood mulch with breaks down into the soil and replaces it
  • Check out DIY composting options to convert useful veggie scraps into soil building organic plant food  
  • Replace mulch as needed to conserve water and keep your bed cooler
  • Continue watering program, plant new roses using Greenwell Water Saver
  • Order fall rose deals and companion plants like clematis specials that you can plant now. 

Summer Rose Watering Guide

90+ degrees:    Water every day

80 degrees:       Water every two days

70 degrees:       Water every three days

60 degrees:       Water every four days

50 degrees:       Water every five days

  • Check hanging baskets and container roses daily because they dry out much faster than plants planted in the ground
  • Check on any fall rose shows, cut roses back for rose shows and State Fairs
  • Cut back your roses and stagger the times of pruning from now thru through the end of September when you want to start to let your roses form rose hips and go into dormancy so they don’t bloom all at once (what’s known as ‘cropping’)
  • Prune your rose like a vase
    'Double Delight' hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection
    ‘Double Delight’ hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection

How To Cut Back Your Roses For A Fabulous Fall Bloom

A good rule of thumb is to prune your rose bush about one-third to one-half their height. Prune out dead wood. Leave the strong hardy canes. Just deadhead your new rose bushes.

Folks that show roses cut back for the rose shows in their area or for the County and State Fairs. If you plan on showing in your local rose shows then cut back your roses based on this handy guide to approximately how long it takes to grow a rose:

Repeat Rose Cycles In Days  

Hybrid teas, grandifloras, and floribundas:                            42 to 54 Days

Multi-Petal Floribundas (Europeana):                                          54-60 days 

Single Petal Floribundas (Playboy)                                                35 Days            

Miniatures                                                                                              35-42 Days                

Follow this guide to a spectacular fall rose bloom and you can enjoy autumn in your garden and your roses will enter into winter dormancy the better for it as stronger plants.

Organic treatment for black spot

* Treatment: According to author and horticultural professor Jeff Gillman, who has conducted extensive research on black spot remedies, a spray composed of one part cow’s milk* and two parts water is the best answer to the disease. When applied weekly, the solution controls black spot as well as any synthetic fungicide, including Chlorotalonil.

Gillman says he thinks it’s the lactoferrin that milk contains that makes it effective against black spot. Lactoferrin also helps to fight diseases in people.

*any fat content you prefer. Rice, soy, and almond milk will have no affect on roses.

ANOTHER UPDATE: 2/3 water and 1/3 milk solution works on black spot. The solution also acts as a deer repellent according to the West Virginia Botanical Garden. I haven’t tried it with the raccoons as of yet, but I sure intend to try it.
















President’s Day Rose Pruning Primer

Mr. Lincoln in Full Bloom

Rose Pruning Cart Ready For Rose Pruning Season
Rose Pruning Cart Ready For Rose Pruning Season

I would like to coin a new gardening phrase. Pruning post-traumatic stress disorder (PPTSD) I have it, it’s real, I suffer every President’s Day. It occurred from having pruned right after President’s Day in Texas, the supposed last day of the danger of a deadly killing frost. I relive the horror and the loss of 19 new rose bushes and having to re-prune 200 roses every President’s Day. The temperatures dipped to 8 degrees on March 10th well after the safe time to plant and prune. I lost all my new bushes and all the newly pruned bushes stimulated by my early pruning had to be pruned all over again. Well enough with my cheerful stories. This erroneous information was passed on to an unwitting northerner who grew up in the frozen tundra region on the frigid shores of Lake Michigan in Northern Illinois. Since today is President’s Day I thought I would cheer you all up and tell you again don’t prune too early.

Here is a primer on pruning your roses. It’s the best tips I’ve come up with over the years, as we get ready for the season of pruning.

Depending on the season and upon where you live pruning time can come between the middle of January and the end of April. The idea is to do it soon enough that you will not be cutting off too much new growth, and late enough that you will not promote premature growth. Usually this is just when the buds begin to swell, and then if you do not get a late frost the bushes will be off to a good start.

Pruned late, even after new growth starts, the canes are cut to a swollen dormant bud and the bush will do just fine, so it is probably better to prune late than too early. As I preach due to my disorder PPTSD, late-pruned bushes will bleed, but this has not been shown to be harmful to roses. Bleeding interferes with sealing cut ends but I stopped sealing smaller canes, with no increase in cane borer problems.

In addition to removing dead or diseased canes, there are several reasons for pruning. You want to remove non-productive branches and make room for ones that will make flowers. Remove crossing branches that clutter the bush or damage others. Open up the interior of the bush for ease in spraying and to promote good flowering stems. Remove non-productive canes at the base to promote growth of new vigorous canes. Finally, shape the bush to please you.

Before cutting out canes, you need to look at the branches they produced. If they have long, healthy, new branches, they should be left. If they have nothing but short twiggy non-blooming shoots, remove them. Sometimes there is not much left, but then perhaps the bush should be, as my mother used to say, “shovel pruned” and removed from the garden. We are told to reduce the number of canes to 3-5, but this is not necessarily a good guide.

Corona Garden Snips
Corona Garden Snips

Here are my tips:

  1. Wear tough protective clothing such as denim with long sleeves. It won’t snag as easily as some other fabrics.
  2. Wear thorn resistant gloves such as plastic coated garden gloves, or ones made of flexible leather.
  3. Watch where you put your hands and forearms. Thorns can penetrate almost any fabric I’ve used in the garden. I’ve had thorns penetrate the soles of my shoes, be careful.
  4. Invest in a small pruning or keyhole saw, they are essential for cutting larger canes and getting into tight spaces.
  5. A fairly large cane can be cut with hand shears if the cane is bent gently away from the shears, but I prefer to use a good pair of loppers rather than wrestle with the cane.
  6. Hold the shears so that the blunt blade is on the part to be cut off.
  7. Cut to an outside bud on upright-growing bushes or to an inside bud on spreading type bush. Cut to a bud pointing in the direction you want the branch to grow, the top bud usually will produce the dominant shoot.
  8. Cut to about ¼” of the bud, on a slight slant away from the bud. Cut shorter, the new shoot can break off in the wind, any longer causes unsightly dieback.
  9. If you feel you should seal cuts, use Elmer’s glue, I usually just seal large canes.
  10. Leave as many canes as are hardy and allow space to grow without crowding and are very well shaped.
  11. Learn to grasp the cane gently and very carefully with a slight circular motion.
  12. If you cut or accidentally knock off a branch you meant to leave don’t let it spoil your day. It will brow back.
  13. Do not prune once-blooming roses until they have bloomed.
  14. Prune miniature roses like hybrid teas and floribundas, if you have the time and patience.
  15. Old Garden Roses (OGR) are too diverse in nature to lay down rules. If you know the variety its best to research online for the best pruning for your OGR. In general, the best rule for pruning OGRs for the first two or three years is, “Don’t.”

    'Double Delight' hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection
    ‘Double Delight’ hybrid tea rose, pruned like a vase, fertilized, Canadian Spagnum peat moss layer added, ready for mulch for winter protection






Easy To Love | Easy To Grow |Roses

Pretty Lady Rose
Pretty Lady Rose

An Easy To Love |  Easy To Grow | Rose Garden

“Roses Are For Every Garden” at  The Chicago Flower & Garden Show, interview with

What Jodie Henke of Living the Country Life radio (a Meredith, Better Homes & Garden property) will air across the U.S., on

85% of folks say roses are their favorite flower. They want easy-to-grow roses. Rose breeders are listening to YOU! Each year there are better minimal care roses available that you can have great success with. Here are some of the  Conard Pyle Star Roses and Weeks Roses, that I researched and have personally grown. I included them because of their beauty and ease of care. Star Roses and Weeks Roses supplied the roses for the Chicago Flower & Garden rose garden his year and last year  had been planned to be at the show. They are minimal care roses bred for their easy to grow qualities. I can vouch for their high degree of success in the garden. Christian Bédard told us ‘Pretty Lady Rose’ may be the best rose he’s ever bred and I can tell you its at the top of my list for perfection.

Living The Country Live Radio on 300 stations in 39 states.

Check Here for  Living The Country Live Radio Stations in Your area

Hybrid Teas Roses | Americas Favorite Flower

Hybrid tea roses are perfect for any rose garden. They are perfect for cut flowers and creating our own bouquets. A hybrid tea is easily identifiable by their large shapely single flower blooms on long stems. Here are a few of the very best hybrid teas that are true winners.

‘Pretty Lady Rose’ New 2016 | Weeks Roses 2nd in their The Downton Abbey Series

  • Dark even rose pink almost fuchsia
  • 4-5 “ Large old fashioned ruffled petals
  • The smell of peonies with a hint of spices

'Francis Meilland'
‘Francis Meilland’

‘Francis Meilland’ 1996

  • Color: Very large shell pink flowers
  • Winter hardy disease resistant
  • Winner of Biltmore International Rose Trials Best Hybrid Tea
  • Strong fruity and citrusy fragrance

Award of Excellence Best Established Rose | Bred by Dr. Walter E. Lammerts (United States, 1954).
Award of Excellence Best Established Rose

‘Queen Elizabeth’ 1954

  • Pink 4” with large petals, and pointed buds
  • Moderate rose fragrance
  • Won ‘Best Established’ Rose at The Biltmore International Rose Trials when I was a judge in 2015

For Hedge and Borders I love Shrub roses because they grow from 5 to 15 feet in every direction based on your climate and growing conditions.

'Watercolors Homerun'
‘Watercolors Homerun’

‘Water Colors Home Run’ by Weeks Roses

  • 3 colors showy flame red | yellow gold pink blush | Hot Pink
  • Medium height and bloom size
  • Winter hardy and disease resistant

'Drift® Chamboeuf'
‘Drift® Chamboeuf’

‘Drift®’ Groundcover Roses by Star Roses and Plants

  • 8 colors from White Drift Rose to Red Drift Rose
  • Blooms 1 ½” -3” bushes about 2 feet tall spreading
  • Winter hardy, disease resistant, and easy to grow.

Bonica, Shrub rose always the first to bloom in the spring in my Texas rose garden
Bonica, Shrub rose always the first to bloom in the spring in my Texas rose garden

Bonica® – Shrub

  • The Bonica rose has been voted the World’s Favorite Rose in by the World Federation of Rose Societies and an All-America Winner
  • Pastel pink, 3” blossoms, about 5’ tall spreading
  • Slight fragrance

For containers you can plant Miniature or miniflora roses known for novelty and versatility.

Some of the most beautiful and hardy are:

'All a Twitter'
‘All a Twitter’

‘All a’ Twitter’

  • Twinkling brilliant orange
  • Tall, medium size blooms
  • Winter hardy

‘Be My Baby’

  • Incandescent pink
  • Large round blooms, medium tall
  • Fragrance mild tea 

‘Sunblaze®’ Miniatures by Star Roses and Plants

  • All colors from amber-to yellow, vigorous, disease resistant, winter hardy.
  • 12-18 inches compact
  • Slight fragrance

For walls, fences, and pergolas we want climbing or rambling type roses for their unique long arching canes, and their ability to climb fences, over walls, through trellises, arbors, trellises.

‘Above All’

  • The old classic ‘Westerland’ raised modernized with 21st century ‘best-off-best’ qualities!
  • Salmon-orange blend, repeat blooming, 10-14 feet
  • Old fashioned, 3 ½”-4” blooms, fruity fragrance

Bee on Fourth of July Climbing Rose Bush
Bee on Fourth of July Climbing Rose Bush

‘4th of July’

  • Gorgeous Red striped and bright white
  • 10-14 feet canes
  • Fresh cut apple and & sweet rose fragrance

‘Pretty in Pink Eden’ or ‘New Dawn’ (Light pink)

  • All qualities of highest rated, award winning rose ‘Eden Climber’ also known as ‘Pierre de Ronsand’ only deep pink
  • 10-12’ with gorgeous very double blooms 70-80 petals
  • Vintage rose fragrance, vigorous and disease resistant 


Beautiful Roses for the garden known for their profusion of bloom are floribundas. They bear flowers in large clusters and trusses with large clusters of and trusses. This class is unrivaled for providing massive colorful lasting garden displays that are hardier, easy care and more reliable in wet weather than their hybrid tea counterpart.

'Bolero' blooming as a perfect heart in nature
‘Bolero’ blooming as a perfect heart in nature


  • White, large blooms with 100 petals
  • Old rose and spicy fragrance
  • Bushy and about 3 feet tall

'Julia Child' by Weeks Roses featured this shot of 'Julia Child' in The American Rose Society 2014 Calendar
‘Julia Child’ by Weeks Roses featured this shot of ‘Julia Child’ in The American Rose Society 2014 Calendar

‘Julia Child’

  • One of the top selling roses in the world
  • Butter/gold color, medium very full 3-4” blooms
  • Strong licorice fragrance

'Easy Does It' by Weeks Roses with Rain Drops, a vision of perfection
‘Easy Does It’ by Weeks Roses with Rain Drops

‘Easy Does It’

  • Gorgeous Mango Peach
  • Ever blooming with a moderate fragrance
  • Disease resistant, one of my all time favorites!  

Be sure and join us at The Chicago Flower and Garden Show. This is only the 2nd year we will have roses blooming in March in a rose garden setting in Chicago at Navy Pier. We’ll have American Rose Society Consulting Rosarians there to answer your rose growing questions.









Roses, Natures Heart In Nature

'Dick Clark' opening as a perfect heart

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.” ~ Helen Keller

'Dick Clark' opening as a perfect heart
‘Dick Clark’ opening as a perfect heart in nature

Einsteins Theory of Relativity* in a nutshell says that in the moment that it takes you to read this sentence the room has changed around you. The unseen world is more real than the seen world and is constantly changing. Every rose that we capture in a shutter frame is for ours alone to see and share and gone in a fleeting second.

'Bolero' blooming as a perfect heart in nature
‘Bolero’ blooming as a perfect heart in nature

Showing roses showed me that some folks have a magician’s touch with roses. One such person is Past President of the American Rose Society, (ARS) Don Ballin. Don, prior to being elected President of ARS was president of the Northeastern Illinois Rose Society when I was a member. Don is a rose whisperer. He and his wife Paula played a role in having the rose named as our National Floral Emblem, going to Washington and watching President Ronald Reagan sign the bill into law. I’ve seen Don and Paula ‘blow’ open a rose at a National Convention with a whispered breath. They can force into bloom perfect roses suitable to win the Horace McFarland Memorial National Trophy*, not once, but more times than I can remember. And yet no one on this earth that I have seen can open a rose into the form of a perfect Heart In Nature.

'New Zealand' a perfect heart blooming in nature
‘New Zealand’ a perfect heart blooming in nature

With the wonder of a perfect bloom in mind can you imagine what it means to happen upon nature’s Valentine? A perfect heart opening to wish you a Happy Valentines Day. Happy Valentines Day from my perfectly formed hearts-in-nature Valentines to yours. Love, Gaga.

Dublin Bay a perfect red Heart in Nature
Dublin Bay a perfect red Heart in Nature Back Lit by the Sun

* Einsteins Theory of Relativity

a theory, formulated essentially by Albert Einstein, that all motion must be defined relative to a frame of reference and that space and time are relative, rather than absolute concepts: it consists of two principal parts.

'Moonstone' blooming as a perfect heart in nature
‘Moonstone’ blooming as a perfect heart in nature

** Horace McFarland Memorial National Trophy

An entry of six -seven hybrid tea specimens, each of a different variety, correctly named and exhibited in separate containers

Horace McFarland Memorial Trophy won by John & Donna Hefner
Horace McFarland Memorial Trophy won by John & Donna Hefner, Indianapolis Rose Society, September, 2015