Beyond Knock Out

A new generation of roses is perfectly suited to organic culture.

By Paul Zimmerman


Beyond Knockout Roses: Red Drift

Drift Series

The Conard-Pyle Company, which also markets Knock Out, developed Drift roses by crossing groundcover and miniature roses. From the groundcover roses, they gain a spreading growth habit; from the miniatures, nonstop flowering. They are well suited to tumbling over walls, massing in landscape beds, edging the front of a flower border, and growing in large pots on a deck. Their versatility makes them a valuable addition to gardens.

Drift roses are available in seven colors, including Coral Drift, Red Drift, and the newest introduction, ivory-and-yellow Popcorn Drift. They take well to being shaped and groomed throughout the season. A simple clip with a pair of hedge shears will keep them compact and tidy. They produce sprays of small blossoms (multiple flowers per stem) and are hardy to USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 4.

Beyond Knockout Roses: Feamenco RositaBiltmore Garden Rose Collection

As the creator of Biltmore, a Gilded Age estate in Asheville, North Carolina, George Vanderbilt gathered treasures from around the world. Continuing in Vanderbilt’s vein, the estate, now open to the public, has assembled a group of great garden roses from the world over and previously not available in North America. The growth habits of roses in this collection vary from shrubs to climbers, making them useful for containers, mass planting, flower borders, and training on arbors and pillars. Diversity is intentional in this group, but two common characteristics are inherent: disease resistance and fragrance.

The collection includes Flamenco Rosita, a large shrub with cherry-red blooms; salmon-colored Lady Ashe, a climber; and Loretta Lynn Van Lear, which bears ruffled peach blooms on a compact plant. Use a light hand to trim and shape the roses during the growing season. While the collection is comprised of roses from different breeders, all are hardy to Zone 5. Their flowering habits include some borne one to a stem and others that flower in clusters.