Top Ten Old Roses

Repeat flowering old Rose varieties do what it says in their name whilst the first 5 in my Top Ten only flower once per year but still inspire.

Old Rose Top Ten

  1. Celsiaha  this Damask rose is strong and vigourous with good clusters of large, lasting, pale pink flowers.
  2. Enfant de France is a compact gallica rose with sweet scented, double flowers in a silvery pink with quilled petals.
  3. Rosa gallica Versicolour or Rosa mundi is a 16th Century semi double variety with candy striped red and white flowers.
  4. Mme Hardy is a pure white rose opening from a slightly pink bud on a shrub up to 6 feet tall. It is disease resistant and good in an organic garden.
  5. Mme Sancy de Parabere is a thornless climber. Early flowering yet hardy plant with double, saucer-shaped flowers and ragged petals of deep lavender pink.
  6. John Hooper is a strong scented pink hybrid with perpetual flowering.
  7. Gloire Lyonnaise Semi-double creamy white blooms on a very erect shrub. Virtually thornless shrub that withstands wet weather better than most.
  8. Captain Hayward has light crimson, shapely, double flowers with excellent orange hips.
  9. Paul Neyron has large 6″ flowers in a deep shade of pink.
  10. Souvenier du Doctor Jamain has medium-sized flowers of the richest maroon colouring, opening flat. Grows 6ft. tall x 3ft. wide.

Classes of Old Roses

The Gallicas are probably the oldest of all garden roses forming short bushy shrubs, many of which are quite suitable for small gardens. They were grown by the Greeks and Romans then bred in 17th century by the Dutch and French.
Among them are some very fine roses with magnificent mixtures of colour particularly among the crimson, purple and mauve shades. They have beautiful flower formation with open upright blossom which shows the yellow stamens
All of the Gallicas are once blooming and most have very good fragrances. ‘Tuscany’ variety is an almost black purple may be the oldest surviving Gallica from pre 1596.

Damask roses are another very old group, said to have originally been brought from the Middle East by the Crusaders.
The Damask Rose is a deciduous shrub growing to 7 ft tall, the stems densely armed with stout, curved prickles and stiff bristles. The elegant growth, with nicely cut foliage and fragrant flowers held in open airy bunches

Albas as a class dates back to the Middle Ages. Their flowers are restricted to pink, blush and white with grey-green foliage.
Albas are among the hardiest of roses, requiring the minimum of attention and thriving under the most difficult conditions including partial shade. They are almost completely disease free and need little pruning.

Centifolia roses often known as ‘The Provence Roses’ form lax, open shrubs with many thorns and rather coarse leaves. The flowers are normally large, globular and very fragrant but have a tendency to hang their heads with the weight.

Moss roses are a sport from Centifolias that have developed a moss-like growth on the sepals of their flowers. This frequently gives them an added attraction, particularly in the opening bud. They were at the height of their popularity in Victorian times.

The Bourbons and hybrid perpetuals are flowers of old rose shape and fragrance. In some ways they form the link between the true old roses and the modern hybrid teas.

Species roses are as old as time and there are also varieties called China roses, Portlands, and Noisettes amongst others.

Top suppliers include
Trevor White Old Roses
Robert Mattocks Roses
David Austin
See top ten Patio roses


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