Which roses to pick?

5 months ago
last modified: 5 months ago

So I've expanded my main garden quite a bit and I have most of the space already done or planned out. But I wanted to add in a few more roses, probably only 3 to 5 roses (for now). I have a long wish list but was hoping to get your suggestions based on the list. I'm in zone 6a Massachusetts, heavy clay soil. Fragrance, disease resistance and cold hardiness are my main considerations.

Bride's Dream

Charlene de Monaco


Plum Perfect

Pope John Paul II


Teasing Georgia

Shropshire Lad

Scepter'd Isle

Charles Darwin

Lady of Shallot

Vanessa Bell

The Fairy

Earth Angel

Ballerina Hybrid Musk

Julia Child

LA Park

Comments (23)

  • kali_deere

    Also any photos of your own roses would be amazing!

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    I love Julia, to me she is perfect and I have 4 of her. She is not huge and quite mannerly.

    I also grow Teasing Georgia and she is beautiful but is quite .huge.

    I think that plum perfect would be really pretty next to Julia.

    My Plum perfect is brand new and has already boomed like crazy.

    Julia Child

    kristine_legault's ideas · More Info

    Teasing Georgia

    kristine_legault's ideas · More Info

    Plum perfect

    kristine_legault's ideas · More Info

  • Related Discussions

  • BenT (8a Dallas, TX)

    Brides Dream - grew this many years ago, it bloomed a ton and the individual blooms were very nice. Excellent HT if fragrance is not a concern.

    Earth Angel - Spring flush is great, but becomes a stingy sprawly mess the rest of the year. I woudln’t grow it again

    PJPII - Fabulous rose, extremely free blooming , fragrant, beautiful even in the hottest of summer

    Julia Child - Everything you could want from a yellow floribunda - floriferous, healthy, fragrant, beautiful habit.

    La Park -I’ve slowly grown to like this very much. Unique blooms, uniform and healthy plant, lots of bloom, can be very fragrant.


    Very nice in spring and fall, blooms can’t stand up to the heat of summer

  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    Plum Perfect is absolutely gorgeous, vigorous and healthy.....and has no discernible fragrance :(

    Princess Charlene de Monaco is just about a perfect rose; vigorous, fragrant and disease resistant

  • oursteelers 8B PNW

    I would post pics but it still won’t let me

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    I agree with Ben on Earth Angel. I still can't decide if I even like it.

    Lady of Shallot has such beautiful flowers but they don't last awefully long

    Fragrance is nice but it is another big

    sprawler . I like it enough to work with . Give her lots of space

  • BenT (8a Dallas, TX)


    I agree Lady of Shallot is fleeting even for an Austin, here today , and gone later today.

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    Lol Ben. I actually get a few days, but in a vase. no way

  • flowersaremusic z5 Eastern WA

    Kali, since our zones are similar, I'll tell what has and hasn't grown well for me. I've been very pleased with Princess CdM (new), Poseidon (new), Plum Perfect and Ballerina. I had several bushes of The Fairy for many years, but they were once bloomers and were barely pink, however, I've never heard anyone else have that problem with theirs. Earth Angel refuses to bloom although the bushes have beautiful foliage - could be my alkaline soil or dry climate.

    I agree that Charlene is just about perfect. I wish I had bought Juila Child instead of Golden Celebration. Juila seems to be good just about everywhere.

    I hope all the roses you choose are exceptionally healthy and good bloomers for you.

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    The Fairy was the first rose I ever grew--six of them, in fact, as a small hedge. The Fairy was horrible in the alkaline soil we have, and became chronically chlorotic, which brought on powdery mildew--the only time I've grown a rose with pm problems. Acidifying the soil helped a little but it took years for any improvement. So, if you don't have alkaline soil, you can probably have pretty good results with The Fairy. I grow three Julia Child roses, two of them since 2006. It's one of my top three favorite roses. My plants are huge and constant bloomers. Their growth habit, nice and rounded with lots of canes, is wonderful. I can't recommend this rose enough. I love the hybrid musk, Ballerina, and have grown her for 15 years. I acidify her soil using fertilizer for acid loving plants because, as a hybrid musk, alkaline soil will produce chlorosis in Ballerina in my garden--though nothing like The Fairy. Chlorosis was easy to get rid of in Ballerina. I highly recommend Golden Celebration as an alternative to Teasing Georgia. I have grown GC for 13 years, and this rose is huge, healthy, and a constant producer of soft golden yellow blooms.

    I know I've posted these photos before, but they always post with no hassle from Houzz, so here they are. The pink rose is Boscobel which I highly recommend. Diane

  • kali_deere

    Everyone - you've all been so helpful and kind. And I LOVE the photos you've all uploaded, it gives me hope that one day mine will look nearly as nice. Based on people's suggestions I think I'll have to go with Julia Child, Princess Charlene de Monaco, Ballerina, LA Park, and either Plum Perfect oro Golden Celebration or PJPII. It's really good to know about the problems people have had with Earth Angel, because I was convinced that was one I'd likely buy - but I think I'll put it off and focus on the others. I am so excited thank you everyone! These suggestions have been so helpful, I think I may just have to exnad that garden again to get more of these lol.

    kristine - those blooms look pristine! do they always have such a lovely form? I've found sometimes my roses are a little scraggly or lop-sided, but it could be their young age (only 2 years). It's so good to hear so many people advocating for Julia Child also, it makes my life easier haha.

    ben - Wow that LA park is amazing, I think I definitely have to get that one. Something about it just keeps drawing me back in, it's so ruffled and unique. I like that it's multicolored but in a subtle way.

    Floweraremusic- thanks for the info on the Fairy, it looks so delicate and pretty in photos, too bad it doesn't seem to do well. I'm excited about Julia Child and CdM, they seem like great choices, and I actually considered the CdM for my mother who is named Charlene, she's a very big personality so I think she'd appreciate the comparison to a princess lol.

    nanadoll - good to know about the acidity, I don't think Ma tends to have alkaline soil but on my property specifically I don't think it's very acidic either. Oh my goodness, are those yellow ones Julia Child or Golden Celebration?? They are simply magnificent! I just want to pull up a comfy chair and sit under them all day. I'll definitely have to order whichever one is in that photo, my husbands favorite roses are the yellow and orange ones, so I like to put new surprises in the garden for him.

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Thanks, Kali. The first photo is of two Julia Child roses, and the second is of Golden Celebration and Boscobel. Have fun picking out the finalists. Diane

  • Lisa Adams

    Gorgeous pictures everyone! I can’t recommend Princess Charlene de Monaco enough. She’s a fabulous cutting rose. She grows tall and narrow for me. My only complaint might be that her blooms fade quickly in the intense California sun. That’s ok, because I usually cut mine as they begin opening. These are old photos that I’ve shown before, but it shows how nice PCDM is for cutting. Lisa

  • Kristine LeGault 8a pnw

    Diane. your Boscobel is so amazing!

  • nippstress - zone 5 Nebraska

    Hi Kali

    Looks like you've had help narrowing things down. As far as hardiness goes, I've had trouble overwintering Charlene dM but it sounds like flowers has done OK with it. I'm also in the camp of hating The Fairy, as it never bloomed and didn't survive my winters on several tries. Plum Perfect is only hardy with protection for me, so in zone 6a I'd still give it a preferred spot. Ditto for Julia Child. Mine has never been above knee high with a couple of blooms now and then in a regular zone 5 spot, and I'm going to have to give her a prime location to get a halfway decent bush. Golden Celebration and PJPII need protection here too. Ballerina is rock solid hardy and tough. I think Earth Angel likes my soil and conditions since it's a huge and totally cane hardy bush that blooms as often and with prettier flowers than Heritage, under similar part shade conditions.

    Some of the hardiest roses are the ones you haven't picked, but you will probably be OK with the ones you prefer in 6a. Very hardy and reliable roses for me are: Poseidon, Teasing Georgia, Shropshire Lad (but it rarely blooms), Scepter'd Isle, Lady of Shallot, Earth Angel and Ballerina Hybrid Musk. Charles Darwin has survived but not a very enthusiastic bloomer. La Park hasn't made it past a summer yet but it's on my definite list for spring to try again. Bride's Dream is a wimp even with protection and I wouldn't recommend it.
    Have fun with your choices!


  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Gorgeous, Lisa. I love these bouquets and your fillers, just sumptuous eye candy of the highest order. So, I know you've told us before, but I've forgotten: do you prefer Evelyn or Charlene?

    Thanks, Kristine. I love your photos above, especially Teasing Georgia. Diane

  • BenT (8a Dallas, TX)


    Did you paint your house yellow to match Julia Child? I have always wanted to ask, and this thread is as good as any.

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Heh, heh, Ben. No, the yellow house came first, but only by little more than a year. I've noticed several forum members have light yellow houses with white trim. I think this color goes well with lots of roses. I've leaned toward brighter colors since moving here, though I love pastels, because pastels look faded out from a distance in our bright sun. You probably have noticed the same thing in your garden. Diane

  • BenT (8a Dallas, TX)

    Thank you Diane. I’ll refrain from asking if the door matches Ascot , The Prince or Munstead Wood. ;-)

    I think most house colors look good with roses in front, except for red...that really washes out the roses. I’m opposed to red mulch too, it’s sucks out all the color from all the flowers.

  • nanadollZ7 SWIdaho

    Ben, we built the house, and the door was red before any roses were planted. The first roses were multiples of Evelyn, Jude the Obscure, Brother Cadfael, multiples of Eglantyne, Miss Alice, and New Dawn. Then came Ballerina, and at that point I said to myself, I'm going with yellow and purple in front. But, of course, I used other colors of perennials and roses. But the backbone of the central front yard, a small area that's mostly flower beds, is yellow and purple. Diane

  • roxanna7

    Kali -- I have had a polyantha Fairy rose bush for about 15 years. I bought it at a local nursery. It was called "Red Fairy", but the bloom color is really a soft deep hot pink. It has never had black spot or mildew, and I have never fussed with it (you know my relaxed attitude towards gardening, lol). I don't water or fertilize it at all, and its performance is terrific. It has major bloom in June, then rests for a bit and re-blooms in late summer/fall. In fact, it still has several blooms right now!!

    Your gardens sound like they are coming along wonderfully.

  • Christian

    I w be ani vote fore princess charlene. She is proving to be an amazing rose for me.

    here is a thread I made about mine:


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