As an organic landscaper, I’ve long been annoyed by those weakling, disease-prone roses that are pesticide junkies from day one. Yet when roses are done right, the colors, fragrance, and luxuriant flowers are hard to resist. They have that old-fashioned, secret garden-type appeal that makes me feel kind of warm and fuzzy inside.
That’s why I’ve been such a fan of the newer landscape roses like Knockouts, which need nearly no care, can be pruned by inexperienced hands with decent results, and don’t need spraying. I’ve even had luck with them in tough, windy conditions and poor soils, if they’re given regular irrigation. But sometimes you don’t have room for a bountiful 5′ behemoth in your garden beds, and just want a little color and fragrance tumbling along a border or spilling over the sides of a pot.
That’s where these new Drift Roses fit in. They’re about a third the size of Knockouts and come in a similarly cheerful array of colors. They have a light, pleasing fragrance and are easy do-ers even for beginning gardeners, so long as you give them good sunshine and summer water to get them well-established. You don’t even need to deadhead them much, as they’re self-cleaning – the petals drop off the rose once they’re finished, so you can clean up the deadheads at your leisure to encourage re-bloom, rather than rushing out to deal with a mess of guilt-inducing brown petals.
Since they’re relatively new, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to test them out, but I’m already inspired by the glossy deep green foliage and attractive form.