What Makes a Rose Be a Rose Be a Rose

Officially, roses are shrubs of the genus Rosa, but growers weren't completely content with bushes. Roses now come in a huge array of sizes and forms. This unique and splendid variability means that if you like roses, you can display them in all sorts of settings.

Some roses are large standalone bushes, capable of being the main showpiece of a large yard. Some are dense enough to form impenetrable hedges (when planted in a row), a nice way to get a living fence. Other types of roses, although still bushy, are compact enough to find a home in a mixed flower bed or to thrive in a container. Some roses even have a spreading form and are low-growing enough to serve as groundcovers on embankments or curb strips. And don't forget the climbers and ramblers — some of these roses can cover your shed or garage if you let them; others naturally remain a manageable size as they drape their loveliness over a simple garden arch.

Ever-popular miniatures range from patio-planter-box or hanging-basket size all the way down to little peewees that you can tuck into small decorative pots, alone or with other plants. Some enthusiasts like to tuck the miniatures right into the ground — not their traditional use, but why not? They certainly add a reliable splash of color in any sunny bed.

The trick is to choose the right rose for the spot you have in mind. The following sections cover some important options for you.

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