Plants - Roses

Award-winning roses

Six experts pick their favourite roses

Wendy Downing - Floral design, horticulture and rose judge and past president of the Canadian Rose Society; author of this article

‘New Dawn' (World's Favourite Rose 1997) A hardy, repeat-blooming climber with beautiful, hybrid tea-shaped, soft pink blossoms; fragrant. Zone 4

Iceberg (R. ‘KORbin', a.k.a. Schneewittchen) (RHS Award of Garden Merit 1993, World's Favourite Rose 1983, RNRS GM 1958, Baden-Baden GM 1958) A very fragrant, white floribunda with long, pointed buds in clusters that open to large double blooms. Vigorous upright growth habit; glossy, light green foliage. Zone 4

Lavaglut (R. ‘KORlech', a.k.a. Lava Glow, ‘Intrigue') (RNRS Trial Ground Certificate 1980) A reliable dark red floribunda with prolific double blooms in compact, dome-shaped sprays that hold their petals for a long period; little fragrance. Zone 4

‘Europeana' (Portland GM 1970, AARS 1968, The Hague GM 1962) A short (less than 1 m tall), dark red floribunda with double, slightly larger (nearly 8 cm in diameter) flowers than Lavaglut; little fragrance. Zone 4

‘Tiffany' (James Alexander Gamble Rose FA 1962, ARS David Fuerstenberg Prize 1957, AARS 1955, Portland GM 1954) A highly fragrant hybrid tea with large, double, soft pink blooms with cream-coloured centres; when it rains, buds form a ball shape instead of tapering. Needs some protection (at bud union and 15 to 20 cm of growth mounded with soil). Zone 4

‘John Cabot' (Portland GM 2004) One of the super-hardy (Zone 3 or even colder) Explorer series introduced by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The first flush of cerise-coloured blooms covers the plant; subsequent flushes are less showy. Most years, no pruning is required; the wood remains green to the tips of its branches; little fragrance.

Rachel Flood - Rosarian and president of the Canadian Rose Society; her Ontario garden includes more than 1,500 roses

‘Grandpa Dickson' (syn. ‘Irish Gold') (Portland GM 1970, Belfast GM 1968, Golden Rose of The Hague 1966, RNRS President's International Trophy 1965) Still one of the best yellow hybrid tea roses for its clarity of colour and spiral petal arrangement; little fragrance. Zone 5

Alec's Red (R. ‘COred') (ADR 1973, Belfast Fragrance Prize 1972, RNRS President's International Trophy 1970, Edland FA, 1969) An outstandingly fragrant, early-blooming, red hybrid tea; colour doesn't “blue.” Disease-free; its one fault is its rather short (about 30 cm) stems. Zone 5

‘Sally Holmes' (Portland GM 1993, Glasgow FA 1993, Baden-Baden GM 1980, Belfast Certificate of Merit 1979, RNRS Trial Ground Certificate 1975) A lovely, repeat-blooming, disease-free, white-fading-to-blush single, hybrid musk shrub rose; fragrant. Zone 4

‘Golden Wings' (RHS Award for Garden Merit 1993, ARS GM 1958) “I have been growing this shrub for at least 30 years. I never tire of its freshness, clear yellow colour and repeat bloom.” Little fragrance. Zone 4

‘Dolly Parton' (ARS American Rose Trial Garden Bronze Certificate 1983) A hybrid tea with large, very double blooms and wonderful spicy fragrance; the orange-red colour can go muddy in hot weather. Zone 4

Princess of Wales (R. ‘HARdinkum') “[Although not an award-winner yet], in my mind, this repeat-blooming rose is the best white floribunda on the market today. It stands tall and gives an amazing show of long-lasting blooms.” Strong, healthy foliage; little fragrance. Zone 4

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