This rose doesn't need spraying, watering, or fertilizing! A large, gangly shrub growing 5 to 7 feet high and wide, chestnut rose (Rosa roxburghii) bears plump, showy blossoms of bright pink. Plant it in full sun, and it will bloom heavily in spring, then off and on throughout summer and fall. Best of all, once established, this rose can easily live in a garden for a century or more with absolutely no care.
Nice as it is, chestnut rose isn't perfect. For one thing, Japanese beetles love to eat the blooms, even though they aren't the least bit fragrant. Moreover, it's one of the spiniest roses around. But despite these failings, it deserves a place in your garden.
Noisette roses bloom in the spring and fall, and sporadically throughout the summer with no spraying and minimal pruning. Deadheading (removing spent flowers) after spring bloom will promote somewhat heavier fall blooming, but almost all Noisettes will bloom very nicely in the fall with no deadheading.
They need at least six hours of direct sun in well-drained soil. Water once a week during growing season, soaking the root zone with about 1 inch of water. It's a good idea to apply a slow-release fertilizer (such as Mills Magic Rose Mix) at pruning times (usually February and August). You can also apply a liquid fertilizer (such as alfalfa tea or fish emulsion) every two weeks when rose is blooming heavily, but do not feed the plants after October.
Shrub roses, growing anywhere from 3 to 6 feet tall and wide, are versatile. You can plant them as a hedge, mix them into a flower border, display them en masse, or grow them against a fence.
Varieties such as 'Duchesse de Brabant' (pink), 'Mutabilis' (red, pink, and yellow), 'Souvenir de la Malmaison' (pink), 'Old Blush' (pink), and 'Archduke Charles' (red and pink) provide 5- to 6-foot-tall masses of color from spring till fall. Lower growing types, such as 'Marie Pavié' (white), 'The Fairy' (pink), 'Martha Gonzales' (red), and 'Marie Daly' (pink), are useful as short hedges. Two-gallon plants spaced about 2 feet apart will be a solid hedge in one to two years.
People often think of these plants as being fussy. But the following roses flourish with little or no spraying: 'Ballerina,' 'Duchesse de Brabant,' Lady Banks's, 'Mrs. B. R. Cant,' 'Knock Out,' 'Old Blush,' 'Perle d'Or,' 'Souvenir de la Malmaison,' 'The Fairy,' 'Rêve d'Or,' 'Louis Philippe,' 'Bonica,' 'Carefree Beauty,' 'Hansa,' 'Heritage,' 'La Marne,' 'Pink Pet,' 'St. Patrick,' 'Moonstone,' 'Cecil Brunner,' and 'Carefree Wonder.'