'A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.' ~ from Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare
There are many different reasons to choose a rose for your garden. You can choose by color, by size, or by growth habit - maybe you're looking for a climber for example. As for me and my garden I always choose roses for fragrance!
The sweet smell of roses in your garden or cut roses in your home feels like a luxury. Some roses have a fragrance some that have sweeter and stronger fragrances. Not all roses have fragrance and you can't necessarily judge a fragrant rose scent by its color, but here are some general tips to keep in mind while you're choosing a rose to grow in your garden:
Darker roses are usually more fragrant than pale blossoms.
Red and pink roses tend to have more of the 'classic rose' floral sent.
The more petals on the blossom, the stronger the scent.
Below I have listed my favorite fragrant roses, plant a few and they will become your favorite also.
Scentimental Shrub Roses
'Scentimental' is a breathtakingly beautiful striped rose whose color is burgundy-red swirled with creamy-white. The large, fully double 4" blooms (petals 40+) with old-fashioned appearance comes from having striped garden roses in it's ancestry. The strong fragrance is sweet and spicy. Each petal is as unique as a snowflake. Some are burgundy splashed white, some more cream swirled with red. The flowers are perfect for potpourri. The continuous blooming plant is densely covered with disease-resistant dark green, leathery foliage and is of an excellent rounded shape.
Madame Isaac Pereire Bourbon Rose
Luscious, sumptuous, almost blousy beauty, runs one description of this well-known old rose. Named after the wife of a French banker, Madame Isaac Pereire has fat, cabbagey flowers of rich rose madder, with perhaps the strongest deep rose perfume extant. To see and smell a full blown bush on an early April morning is a heady experience. A smaller but even more lovely fall display and scattered roses throughout the summer are extra rewards that come as the plant gets established. Mme. Isaac Pereire makes a handsome shrub specimen for pegging.
First Prize Hybrid Tea Roses
Long pointed buds open into perfect 6+" flowers (petals 25+) that are made up of half swirled hues of rose-pink with an ivory pink reverse. All of this on a continually blooming bushy plant with dark green, leathery leaves that provide the perfect foil for its outstanding blooms. Sweet floral fragrance.
Awakening Climbing Roses
Discovered in Czechoslovakia, this is an outstanding addition to the ranks of climbing roses. 'Awakening' is a sport of 'New Dawn' that produces fragrant, old-fashioned, 3 1/2" fully quartered blooms of soft, silvery pink with a fresh/sweet fragrance on a continual blooming climber with glossy mid-green foliage. 30+
Double Delight Hybrid Tea Roses
Beautiful double blooms with an eye-catching color combination and fantastic fragrance. The large, somewhat informal, old-fashioned, 24-30 petals are of rich, creamy white edged strawberry red. One of the most fragrantroses in the garden
Heritage David Austin® English Roses
A near perfect rose. Its classically shaped, old-fashioned rose blooms are a lovely, soft pink, which is perfect for this delicate, cup-shaped beauty. One of the most outstanding of the English Roses. Its medium sized 3 1/2" blooms (petals 30) are true perfection in form and fragrance, which has a strong heady fragrance with a touch of lemon. A vigorous, bushy plant with few thorns. Excellent repeat blooming characteristics. Performs well in partial shade and makes a great cut flower.
Mr. Lincoln Hybrid Tea Roses
A very well-known hybrid tea. Long pointed buds open into large, well-formed, long stemmed, fully double 4" blooms (petals 24+) of velvety, deep red. The velvety texture of the bloom is almost unbelievable. 'Mr. Lincoln' has outstandingly strong damask fragrance that seduces the senses. A vigorous, tall, upright continual blooming bush with dark green foliage. Makes a good cut flower.
Brandy Hybrid Tea Roses
The most classic of roses in its color; richest, deep apricot, it will benefit from afternoon shading in hotter climates. A show stopper and strong fragrant rose. A great exhibition rose with perfect form. A vigorous, bushy plant with large, deep green foliage. AARS winner in 1982. Petals 30, Bloom 5-6"
The Mayflower David Austin® English Roses
David Austin believes 'The Mayflower' represents an important breakthrough in English Roses. A small continually blooming shrub bearing charming, medium size typically old rose 3" flowers (petals 35+) of deep rose pink. It has a strong, old rose fragrance.
Variegata Di Bologna Old Garden Roses
Unusual Color RosesBourbonsLarge, cupped 5" flowers (petals 60+) of creamy white cleanly striped with purple crimson. One of the most striking of the striped roses providing a fantastic display and only a few later blooms. A strong upright repeat blooming bush that will benefit from training up a support (like a pillar rose) to make it a standout in the garden