As we look forward to the days of summer, many things conjure up memories of sunny July days and warm August nights; flags flying from houses, emerald green lawns, and brightly colored flowers blooming against white picket fences. The most celebrated flower of summer is the rose, and it’s not only in master gardeners’ landscapes that we see a plethora of these beauties. Many flower shops across the country are offering roses in all shapes, sizes and colors at a tremendous value during the summer months.

'Free Spirit'

Hybrid tea roses are most often associated with flower shop inventories, but if you have not stopped by your local florist lately, go for a visit. Here you may find hybrid tea roses that your grandmother could have only dreamed about.  One variety, Free Spirit, seems to be bursting with an unusually high petal count.

This large-headed beauty is a stunning combination of oranges, pinks and yellows that blush from one color to the next. One of the most enjoyable features of this rose is that all of the colors of a wonderful sunset are wrapped up in one bloom.

'Purple Haze'

Another beauty is a newer variety called Purple Haze, which has a silvery lavender-colored bloom and a very pleasing fragrance. The lavender color has been sought after for years and is now available almost year-round.

Along with hybrid tea roses, spray roses have also taken the market by storm.  These varieties are a wonderful value because they have multiple blooms on each stem.  You can find spray roses with anywhere from three to twelve blooms, depending on the variety. One of the nicest features is the natural progression of blooming stages seen on each stem. One flower may be fully bloomed while other heads on the same stem are only half open or still buds.

Garden Roses

Lastly, we have the newest stars on the stage: garden roses. With these magnificent flowers, you will see ruffled blooms in large-headed form, each unfurling in a unique way. They are usually characterized by the strong perfume-like fragrance that each variety possesses. Some are almost peony like in appearance, and each seems to have its own personality.

Tell us about your favorite rose.