Top Ten New Roses

#1 ‘Frida Kahlo’

The garden named for ‘Frida Kahlo’ at Casa Azul in Mexico City is flourishing 20 years after Mexico’s world acclaimed painter once said, “I paint flowers so they will not die.” This lively, colorful scarlet and red gold striped flower of a one of a kind rose reminds us of her enduring spirit. The swirls of color continue to intensify from bud to fully open rose. The striking vibrancy of the clusters are set on a healthy, naturally disease resistant plant covered in beautiful dark green, glossy foliage making this easily a number one pick for number one of the new roses in the floribunda category.

“I paint flowers so they will not die” ~ Mexico’s World Acclaimed Painter Frida Kahlo
‘Krida Kahlo’ bred by Christian Bedárd & Tom Carruth – 2018

Frida Kahlo de Rivera was a Mexican artist inspired by nature and artifacts of Mexico & the country’s pop culture. She used a folk art style to explore culture and native identities.

#2 ‘Easy Spirit’

'Easy Spirit' Floribunda Rose Will Lift Your Spirit

'Easy Spirit' hybridized by Tom Carruth of Weeks Roses, Cover Girl of the 2018 #WeeksRoses Catalog is: >Non-burning>Disease resistant>Fragrant>Long Lasting #GardenLegends #video #videos #bestroses

Posted by Garden Legends on Tuesday, September 4, 2018

‘Easy Spirit’, new to Weeks RosesEasy To Love’ Collection 2018, bred by Tom Carruth Roses, a Garden Legend, now Curator of The Huntington. ‘Easy Spirit’ is a floribunda that blooms with almost full size roses, naturally disease resistant, fragrant, & floriferous. Even if you think you aren’t that fond of white roses you’ll love this white with a cream base rose.

# 3 ‘Easy To Please’

‘Easy To Please’ | Easy To Love Collection from Weeks Roses

‘Easy To Please’ from the Weeks Roses Easy To Love® Collection disease resistance surpasses many of the landscape shrubs, & this super flowerful rose is fragrant as well, making perfect foliage a big plus on top of all the extras.

#4 ‘Francis Meilland’ HT

Review of 'Francis Meilland' Rose, Recipient of Biltmore 'Best…

Review of 'Francis Meilland' Awarded 'Best Hybrid Tea' Rose at the Biltmore International #BiltmoreRoseTrials , May 2015. World Federation of Rose Societies Flowers & Roses Kerrie Rosenthal Biltmore

Posted by Gagas Garden on Sunday, June 5, 2016
Review of ‘Francis Meilland’ Hybrid Tea Rose Winner of #BiltmoreRoseTrials #BestHybridTea

‘Francis Meilland’ winner of the 2015 Biltmore Rose Trials ‘Best Hybrid Tea’ and is very fragrant as well as disease resistant.

#5 ‘Savannah’ HT

'Savannah' Rose

'Savannah' Rose, Winner of 'Best Overall Rose' of the #BiltmoreRoseTrials that I bought as a container rose bush from Jackson & Perkins grows from a tiny potted rose to a beautiful full grown rose in Gaga's Garden.

Posted by Gagas Garden on Friday, May 31, 2019
‘Savannah’ Winner of Biltmore Rose Trials

‘Savannah’ bred by Kordes Roses, winner of the ‘Best Hybrid Tea’ at The Biltmore Rose Trials is a rose you will cherish in your garden

#6 ‘Princess Charlene de Monaco’ HT

‘Princesse Charlene De Monaco’ Wins # Categories at The Biltmore Rose Trials

In addition to winning the ‘Best In Show’ award; ‘Princess Charlene De Monaco won the Cornelia Vanderbilt Cecil Award for ‘Most Fragrant Rose’ and the Pauline Merrell Award for ‘Best Hybrid Tea’ at the prestigious International Biltmore Rose Trials.

#7 ‘Highwire Flyer

‘Highwire Flyer’ (Radwire) Bred by William Radler creator of the Knock Out® Rose

‘Highwire Flyer’ bred by the infamous Will Radler won “Best Climber’ for ‘Highwire Climber at the Biltmore Rose Trials for his magnificent creation, ‘Highwire Flyer’. Walking the event with the Jackson & Perkins execs I had predicted his rose would win to them for fun before the winners were announced, it was just that an amazing of a rose!

#8 ‘Party Hardy

‘Party Hardy’ bred by Christian Bedard

Created in Canada to survive zone 3 this ‘Party Hardy’ is the most amazing rose you can imagine. Winter hardy, disease resistant, fragrant, prune it like a shrub or let it grow like a climber it’s a winner either way.

#9 ‘Cape Diamond’

‘Cape Diamond’ bred by Christian Bedard in 2009

I’ll sing this roses praises from the roof tops. It’s one of the most disease resistant roses in the world, guaranteed free of: blackspot, powdery mildew, rust, downey mildew guaranteed

#10 ‘Oso Easy Double Red’

‘Proven Winners ‘Oso Easy Double Red’ by Alain Meilland

‘Oso Easy® Double Red’, bred by Alain Meilland of France, was evaluated under the harshest of conditions among 1000’s of rose plants until one was selected that lived up to the high standards for ultimate inclusion in the Proven Winners-Color Choice Line

This is my pick for the ‘Top Ten New Roses’. I listed 3 floribunda roses, 3 hybrid tea roses and two climbers, one that you can prune as a shrub if you choose to and the last but not least ‘Oso Easy Double Red’ is a shrub. I contemplated listing ‘Miracle On The Hudson’ because it is a sensational shrub however it’s a little bit more difficult for the consumer to locate. Keep that in mind though “Miracle On The Hudson’ is a spectacular rose and it is my choice for the next list. I once had a mentor tell me people think in threes so choose three of these roses and you have a rose garden. Pick your color scheme, choose three of these roses and you won’t go wrong. I guarantee that you will be successful with any or all of these roses. Happy Rose Growing.

Top Ten Classic Roses

Floribunda Rose Garden In Bloom | Rapid Bloom Cycle | Profusion of Showy Blooms

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’ 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.

Some Roses “Like It Hot”

A Candelabra of 'Pretty Lady Rose' 2nd in the Weeks Roses Series of Downton Abbey Roses

A Candelabra of 'Pretty Lady Rose' 2nd in the Weeks Roses Series of Downton Abbey Roses
A Candelabra of ‘Pretty Lady Rose’ 2nd in the Weeks Roses Series of Downton Abbey Roses | One of My Favorites

Some Roses Like It Hot

This is an updated article I wrote for The American Rose The Magazine of The American Rose Society edition July/August 2014 to now include Illinois Roses 

This is 'Sugar Moon' in the foreground and 'Francis Meilland' in the background
This is ‘Sugar Moon’ HT Roses in the foreground and ‘Francis Meilland’ HT Roses in the background | ‘Julia Child’ a yellow floribunda rose

How hot is too hot for roses?

Moving from Texas to Illinois in June of 2011 I thought I was saying good-bye to mind numbing days of counting the days of temperatures over 100, water restrictions, and days without rain. Then the summer of 2011 the entire nation faced a 100-year drought and record heat. Even though I had had enough of Texas heat it seems I had packed up Texas weather and taken it with me to the rolling cornfields of Central Illinois. The summer of 2011 was also a 100-year draught across much of the nation proving once again a message that rosarians can convey to each other and those new to growing roses. Roses are resilient and can withstand very hot temperatures as long as they are watered regularly. Click to read: Killer Texas Summer Shatters Heat Drought Records.

Close-Up of 'Watercolors Home Run' Shrub Rose
Close-Up of ‘Watercolors Home Run’ Shrub Rose

Fast forward June 2016!

Here’s the Question I was asked to answer for readers of American Rose Magazine July/August edition 2014 

Question: Do you think its better to “use canopies or individual coverings for roses during extreme heat conditions or let your roses sulk in the summer heat”?

'Sugar Moon' Hybrid tea Rose in The Illinois Garden After Sustained Heat
‘Sugar Moon’ Hybrid tea Rose in The Illinois Garden After Sustained Heat

There’s more than one answer to the question:

When roses (and virtually any other plants) reach the point of excessive water stress, they don’t “feed,” nor do they try to grow. They simply try 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. With less leaves and they don’t “sweat”,  transpire it through the foliage. That slows and can literally stop the flow of sap from the roots upward, so no food is taken in. Nature demands balance. Even in times of extreme heat I have seen my roses continue to remain beautiful with just smaller blooms and less frequent bloom cycles. Roses seem to go into almost a dormancy state to conserve energy and water.

'Easy Does It' In The Illinois Garden Close-Up
‘Easy Does It’ In The Illinois Garden Close-Up

Answer: For the purpose of this article I chose to let my Roses swelter in both N. Texas and now Central Illinois heat with protection in mind to identify heat tolerant roses that perform better under extreme heat and low water conditions. 

Here’s ways that we can continue to grow good roses and preserve our plants and maintain water restrictions. In extreme heat like the DFW area I recommend protection and filtered light as protection from the unending heat rather than canopies if possible and here are a few tactics I employed in N. Texas while growing over 200 roses there. I had hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, miniatures, shrubs, David Austin Roses, Large Flowered Climbers, and Knock-Outs.

'Bolero' In The Illinois Garden Setting
‘Bolero’ In The Illinois Garden Setting

  1. Select roses suitable for a hot climate. I have a list of modern roses that I have proved can survive extreme N. Texas heat for 20 + years. And you can also plant OGR’s that are adapted to heat, those in existence before 1867. The beauty of these roses lie in their heady fragrance and can include Hybrid Perpetuals, Teas, Chinas, Hybrid Musks, Bourbons and other Classes like these. Avoid using antique roses bred for colder climates such as the Kordes Roses and Rugosas.
  2. Just as dark colors retain heat and light colors keep us cooler, lighter-colored roses can hold up to extreme heat better than dark reds, and oranges do. Plant darker colored roses where there is some protection or perhaps less than full sun. Choose some white, light-pink and pale yellow roses that seem to hold up better to extreme temperatures.
  3. The elevated beds I put in in N. Texas allowed me to put in a laser cut drip irrigation watering system. I watered deeply and at the base of the plant, not directly on the leaves of the plant. I set timers to water very early in the morning not ever during full sun. During times when water restrictions were in place we could use the hose and I deep watered allowable amounts and my roses did just fine. Remember that dehydration during summer months can put your plants in peril. If you have an irrigation system in place be sure that it’s set to water at least 2 inches of water per week, and does not water directly on the leaves of the plant during full sun. This is difficult to determine when you take into consideration factors like wind, temperature and type of soil. So you may want to purchase a moisture gauge for your rose garden.
  4. Fertilize from two weeks to 30 days prior to when you expect hot weather to reach and maintain temperatures near 98F. Organic fertilizers and soil amendments are far less likely to burn your plants even during sustained high temperatures. For those of you living in zones where temperatures really start to warm up in late-February, this is a time to begin fertilizing. Then fertilize monthly until mid-May when temperatures start to rise. You really have to watch carefully your fertilizer to water ratio during the hottest months. That should be your signal to start reducing your fertilizing until late in the summer.
  5.  Shredded hardwood mulch retains moisture and keeps the soil cooler; I use layers of hardwood mulch over Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss that I add each season.
  6. Plant roses with protection from afternoon sun and be sure they still receive at least 6 hours of direct morning sunlight.
  7. Roses love to grow in largely organic soil with good drainage. To grow the best roses in summer heat, plant your rose in a deep hole that drains well. Water regularly and deeply, In Texas my roses in the front yard had indirect afternoon sun with the dappled light of oak trees I planted that grew to be mighty shade providing oak trees, and this provided a canopy of well-needed cooling shade cover.

    'Bolero' In The Heat of Summer In Illinois
    ‘Bolero’ In The Heat of Summer In Illinois

You can use a shade cloth cover if that is aesthetically acceptable to you. Don ‘t plant roses next to a South or West facing wall, especially stone or brick because the stone holds heat that can also burn your plants and will reflect too much heat. My roses that I planted and added stones along a path held heat late into the evening on a hot summer day due to absorbing qualities of the stone and I could see these roses suffered from the excessive heat of the stone, the roses with grass next to them were far cooler. Don’t forget that layers of mulch help to keep the soil cool. Spraying off the roses in the evening helps to cool your plants and wash away spider mites but never spray during direct sunlight.

My Susan Fox Top Ten List from my Texas  & Illinois Garden Garden

  1. Julia Child, F
  2. Francis Meilland, HT
  3. Sugar Moon, HT
  4. Pretty Lady Rose, HT
  5. Bolero, F
  6. Easy Does It, F
  7. Take It Easy, S
  8. Pumpkin Patch, F
  9. Watercolors Home Run, S
  10. Europeana, F

I also thought I would ask Minnesota Rose Gardener Jack Falkner about heat in the a northern climate and here’s what Jack had to say:

“Folks are often surprised to hear that we get a lot of hot weather in Minnesota in the summer.  It’s not at all unusual for us to see temperatures upwards to the high nineties and 100, along with very high humidity.  That’s when I wash my roses at mid-day to cool them down.  Syringing is also the best thing you can do to control spider mites.  You can use any kind of nozzle that delivers a sharp stream, but I use a spider mite blaster that shoots a high-pressure fan of water up from the bottom of the plants and they love it.  An added advantage is that I get pretty wet in the process, which makes me feel like a kid running through the sprinkler on a hot day.” ~ Jack Falkner

Magnificent 'Take It Easy' in Full Bloom
Magnificent ‘Take It Easy’ in Full Bloom

'Pumpkin Patch' Candelabras Light Dawn With An Orange Glow
‘Pumpkin Patch’ Candelabras Light Dawn With An Orange Glow



Top Ten Roses of 2015

'Easy Does It'

‘Take It Easy’ In The Garden

January is inventory month. Take a good look at your roses. Decide on next years keepers. Then begin to shop online or from your rose catalogs for new roses for your spring garden. Most rose catalogs are now online so you can preview the roses and read about them to determine which selections would be best for your garden. Go to and find your plant hardiness zone and determine the last possible date in the spring to expect a hard freeze. Most rose providers will also assist you in determining your zone and ship at the appropriate time.

January is a good month for planning spring gardens and transplanting dormant roses of all types in warmer climates. Be sure to remove soil from the roots and then handle the plant as you would any new bare root rose.

Construction and renovation of existing beds can be planned or completed. Now is a good time to send off soil samples for analysis if you use soil samples in your rose program.

January is a good time to visit and check out all the member benefits. I want to encourage you to find your local society and go to a meeting. Rosarians are committed to assist you in rose education and sharing their knowledge about roses.

This is when I carefully analyze the roses that worked best last season and identify those that were the top performers so you can also be able to know good roses as you choose roses for your garden. Here are the real winners of 2015* and the actual pictures from last summer. This list is Interactive. You can vote your favorite rose up or down.

Also I will be speaking at The Northwest Flower and Garden Show next month. If you are able to come please plan on visiting. Here’s the link to the schedule. Northwest Flower and Garden Show

GARDEN 101: Garden Royalty February 17, 2015
2:15 pm – 2:45 pm
The Secret to Landscaping With Roses
Susan Fox – Consulting Rosarian and author, Four Seasons of Roses Monthly Guide to Rose Care

*Disclaimer These opinions are subject to change as more prolific, hardier, more disease resistant roses are produced.

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