Roses are almost everyone’s favorite flower. But many people avoid growing them because they think roses are too difficult or they’ve had a bad experience with them in the past.
That’s a shame, because – if you choose the right rose – the experience can be troublefree. A good example is the family of Flower Carpet roses. They pretty much act like an ordinary flowering shrub: Plant, water, occasionally fertilize, and reap bundles of blooms.
And, instead of flowers just once a year as on with most shrubs, Flower Carpet provides them throughout the summer and fall. Lots and lots of them.
The other thing that sets these roses apart is the size of the bush – typically, about two feet tall and with a spread of three to four feet. I’ve found that this can vary some, depending not only on which rose you're growing but on where and how it’s grown – climate as well as conditions.
Since this group of plants is often called “ground cover roses,” some people are surprised at the two-foot height. But the plants form a nice little mound.
And almost anyone has room for a rose that size. I grow them in large containers, where they do beautifully and flower freely.
I had my doubts when these roses were first introduced. But I grew one – and haven’t been without at least one in my garden ever since.
Mostly, the Flower Carpets I’ve grown have been disease-free. In hot humid climates, some may experience occasional blackspot, but it hasn’t been serious enough for me to consider spraying.
They may need winter protection in Zone 5, winter temperatures usually fall no colder than minus 20 degrees F. (I wouldn't recommend them for Zone 4, where winter temperatures can fall to minus 30 degrees..)
I do cut my Flower Carpet bushes back a bit in spring. Just use hedge shears to remove about one-third. I think it makes them look better. But I'm sure there are many who don't do it at all.
I’m sorry that the flowers aren’t more fragrant (usually there’s a light scent) – but these roses have so many other virtues that it’s a trade-off I don’t mind making.
All in all, Flower Carpet roses are helping to improve roses’ sweet reputation.