Antique Roses

Antique roses are a longtime stalwart in the gardening world. Their popularity has gone up and down over the years but many gardeners are regaining interest in the early breeds.

Antique Roses

The History

The ancestors of what we know call old garden roses were first found for the most part in China and Europe. The Oriental varieties included types like the China rose. The European were the old garden breeds. Over the 18th and 19th centuries, many of these were gathered and brought to the leading garden breeders in the Netherlands, France, and Italy.

The downside to these flowers were that they were generally not hardy, only bloomed once, and were not as full a bloom as one would like. It was around the mid 19th century where there were an increase in shows and exhibitions, and a vibrant bloomer would often win over the crowd. As a result, European breeders created the first hybrid tea, and the heyday of antique roses was over. Over time, they started to become quite rare.


Despite the popularity of the hybrids, many gardeners are returning to the old-fashioned roots and seeing some of the advantages. Types like the Lady Banks or Banksia are building in popularity. While they may not be as bright as the modern breeds, they have a lot of advantages. Its hard to miss their scent, and they have a more subtle and lighter color that can add a sense of calm to your garden as well.

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