The term shrub
rose refers to those gracefully shaped bushes bred to fit nicely into a garden - unlike roses in which the accent is on the flower. They are robust and require little maintenance, free of the pampering that hybrid teas demand. Plant shrub roses (the category includes English roses) and they will prove to be tough as nails, bursting forth in lively colours and adapting to their new home with ease.
Shrub roses are varied in their appearance. Some look a bit wild, while others are as refined as hybrid teas. Their growth may be lax, bushy, fountain - like or similar to climbers - in sizes from knee-high to over your head. And no yearly rigorous pruning is needed. The biggest difficulty with these easy to maintain roses is to make a choice from the wide variety.
And there`s the `Graham Thomas` rose, named after a famous Rosarian. It is everything you could wish for. Each butter-coloured flower has the cupped shape and vigour of an antique rose with a perfume that recalls a fruity, tea concoction. The apricot-pink buds contrast beautifully with the 3-inch yellow blooms appearing continuously. These arrive in clusters of seven or eight on long arching canes that grow from 5 to 10 feet in length.
Don`t forget one of the finest English roses, `Heritage`, which has been a best seller since it was introduced in 1984. The blush-pink petals are flushed with apricot, and you`ll wonder how so many petals can be squeezed into a 3-inch cup. The flowers have a strong fragrance with just a hint of lemon. The sparsely thorned bush reaches 4 to 5 feet and resents hard pruning, so you need to take off only what is needed to keep it in shape.
`Bonica` is another hot favourite of rose lovers, who claim that this variety can bring traffic to a halt! Large clusters of 2 to 3 inch pink double blooms open against dark green leaves. Lightly pruned, its canes arch into a 4 to 5 feet shrub.