Despite their prickly stems and finicky reputation, roses have won the hearts of American gardeners for generations. Many gardeners find a place somewhere in the garden for a rose plant.
And no wonder. Rose choices are abundant in habit, flower form, color and fragrance.
Climbing roses will adorn a trellis; a rambler will cover a fence or pergola. A miniature rose can brighten a container. Sunny garden beds beg for grandiflora roses; borders become beautiful with shrub roses. And if you want a blue ribbon at the county fair, hybrid teas are a sure bet.
This year, two outstanding roses take center stage, receiving the coveted All-American Rose Selections award, known as the Oscar of roses. The winners are Love & Peace and Starry Night.
Love & Peace is a classic hybrid tea, arguably the most beloved of all roses and one treasured for its long stems bearing striking individual blooms. Starry Night is a landscape shrub and the wellspring of inspiration to landscape gardeners. Together, Love & Peace and Starry Night create a picture-perfect opportunity for any gardener.
"These new award-winning roses promise to be real show stoppers," AARS President Charlie Heucker says. "They also offer excellent disease-resistant qualities and easy maintenance."
Love & Peace will mesmerize garden enthusiasts with its fruity scent and looks. Would you expect anything less with a father like the legendary Peace?
The high center, spiral-formed blooms of Love & Peace open to reveal 5-inch, breathtakingly large flowers of golden yellow edged with pink. Each flower has a minimum petal count of 40 and is surrounded by dark-green glossy foliage.
Love & Peace is perfect for framing a formal rose garden or creating a striking feature within a landscape. This classic upright, disease-resistant hybrid tea grows 4-5 feet by 3 feet. A cut flower brought indoors will sweeten any room.
Ping Lim and Jerry Twomey hybridized Love & Peace with a combination of Peace and an unknown seedling. Twomey has hybridized several past AARS winners, including All That Jazz and Sheer Elegance. This is Lim's first AARS winner. Bailey Nurseries is introducing Love & Peace.
Taking top honors with its large clusters of pure white flowers, Starry Night is a landscape shrub that will have you seeing stars all day and into the night. The medium-green glossy foliage enhances the five-petal flower, which is 2 1/2-3 inches in diameter.
Growing 3 feet by 3 feet in cool climates and double that size in mild to warm climates, this spreading disease-resistant landscape shrub is perfect for large plantings, borders and ground cover. Its pure-white sparkling flowers, which resemble a dogwood flower, provide you with a constellation of blooms throughout the season.
Pierre Orard from France hybridized Starry Night with the combination of Anisley Dickinson and Rosa wichurianna. This is his first AARS winner. Edmunds' Roses is introducing Starry Night in the United States.
Look for these two show-stopping, picture-perfect AARS varieties during the 2002 planting season.
Carol Boncella is education coordinator at Lawrence Memorial Hospital and home and garden writer for the Journal-World.