by Lisa Watters-Lain, Arizona’s garden gal
The mountains of Arizona are famous for easy-care roses. Because of the dry air and alkaline soils we just grow a better, brighter, more fragrant rose without the disease and insect issues that plague gardens in the high-humidity states. Every landscape and garden deserves at least one rose bush whether in the ground, raised bed, or a container. 4 Major Rose Types Explained.
Winners of the Best Mountain Roses for 2020 are those with fragrance, ease of care, long bloom cycles, and fadeless colors. The roses described below are by no means the only roses you’ll find here at Watters Garden Center this year, but they are the winners. Roses are listed in alphabetical order, not in order of popularity. Enjoy reading about this year’s list of the best mountain roses.
2020 Top 10 Rose Winners +1
Arctic Blue (Double ruffled lavender blossoms – Floribunda) Pointed buds slowly unfurl to reveal spiraled flowers of lovely lilac pink, fading to lavender-blue with a cream reverse. The petals hold their color well, remaining attractive right until they are finished.
Falling in Love (Blushes of soft pink – Hybrid tea) Whether you’re experiencing it ‘again’ or for the ‘first time’, Falling in Love (the rose) makes your heart pitter-patter with its big classically-formed fragrant flowers of warm pink & porcelain white. Each long-lived lovely blossom is regally carried atop sturdy stems, just waiting to be cut & enjoyed…or maybe just admired in the garden on the bushy attractive plant. Destined to garner its share of awards, we’re certain you’ll swoon over Falling in Love. Loads of bloom. Larger size in cooler conditions.
Frida Kahlo (Fabulous jewel rose – Floribunda) As an emblematic artist of Mexico, world-acclaimed painter Frida Kahlo needs no further introduction. She once said, “I paint flowers so they will not die.” Like the flowers she immortalized in her art, the rose Frida Kahlo is a lively and colorful reminder of her enduring spirit. Just as Frida is one of the most recognizable artists for her unique style, the scarlet red and gold striped flowers of Frida Kahlo are also one of a kind in the rose world.
The swirl of colors intensifies as the flowers age, adding a red blush as the final touch. Like any painting needs a good stand, the flowers are set in small clusters on a healthy disease resistant plant with clean glossy leaves. If you are one of Frida’s followers or simply a rose lover, join the Fridamania by adding a piece of art to your garden with the striking vibrant rounded flowers produced abundantly on the compact upright vigorous plants.
Good as Gold (Sunset Gold – Hybrid Tea) Some might say “orange”, some “gold”, some “amber” or maybe it is even double-dipped yellow”. However, your eyeballs perceive it, we can guarantee it is bold & beautiful, especially with the kiss of red on the finish. This handsome bushy bouquet machine will fill your garden with loads of long-stemmed lovelies clothed with a clean gown of rich green. Certainly not for the faint of heart…nor for the lovers of pastels.
Happy Go Lucky (Pure Yellow – Grandiflora) BIG fragrant & full old-fashioned blossoms of pure yellow have all the charm of an English rose but born on this side of the pond. Yet it easily bests the disease resistance of any English variety hands down retaining its gown of rich green foliage. The vigorous bushy plant flowers like a fool well into the season without turning into a sprawling stingy space-eater in the landscape. With a bloodline like this, you know it’s gotta be good.
Kiss Me (Double Clear Pink – Shrub Rose) Decidedly the most fragrant rose in the Easy Elegance Collection, Kiss Me bears clusters of large, double, clear pink blooms, reminiscent of English roses. It blooms repeatedly through the growing season and is especially attractive in the perennial border. Highly disease-resistant foliage adds to its appeal as a cut flower.
Lady in Red – (Large ruffled old-fashioned red – Climber) Care to dance? Cause ‘Lady in Red…she’s dancing with me’.. with her long climbing arms. Don’t worry, she won’t invade your dancing space as the plant is well contained and more compact than many Climbers. The lady was born and raised in the USA, with her flowers bearing the true classic AMERICAN red coloration. That means no hues of pink or blue all the way to the end of the flower’s life. The large ruffled old-fashioned blossoms will take your breath away and falling in love with this lady is the only possible outcome. Are you ready to dance the night away? You better be because the vigorous plant generates bounteous flowers just waiting for a dance partner.
Love at First Sight (Rose Red with reversed white back pedal – Hybrid Tea)This is the hybrid tea for smaller gardens and patio planters. While most reach about 5–6′ tall, this one stops at about 3′ tall. The flower form follows a growing trend in modern European rose gardens—the ball–shaped bud opens into a less–pointed bloom than the typical high–centered hybrid tea bloom. It’s a little more rounded, and the extra curve is striking. This style is still very new in American gardens. Subtle bicoloring—red on the front of each petal that pales on the reverse—further enhances the rare shape. You’ll be proud of your elegant fresh bouquets. Love at First Sight™ is a modern, improved cultivar, and its much cleaner foliage makes it especially disease resistant. That includes resistance to black spot—the disease rosarians detest. The blooms also carry a slight perfume and attract beneficial pollinators through summer.
Music Box (Petals of creamy yellow surrounded by delicate pink – Shrub) Sings with double blooms of creamy yellow centers surrounded by blends of delicate pink. An everblooming mound of blossoms sits atop foliage that is resistant to all diseases and problem insects. An ideal accent to bring harmony to your garden.
Queen of Elegance (Royal Fragrant Pink – Florabunda) Roses can smell like anything from fruits to herbs to licorice, but there’s one perfume—that classic rose smell—we’re all looking for. Well, the blooms on this rose are overflowing with that aroma. The flowers open like a cup, packed with tons of petals for a very full flower form. It’s a floribunda, so instead of one bloom per stem, you’ll get about 3–4 flowers per cluster. Growing on a very straight, upright bush, this cultivar will provide floral abundance through summer, a remarkable addition to the landscape. Even as they mature, the blooms retain their color very well without burning in the sun, which is good news for a pink rose
Radiant Perfume (Citrus Yellow – Grandiflora) Boldest Yellow Rose with Intoxicating Citrus Fragrance! Long-Stem Blooms Perfect for Gardens and Bouquets! Don’t be afraid to go bold with these vibrant yellow blooms! The combination of dazzling color on long-stemmed blooms and irresistible lemon scent make Radiant Perfumes a traditional favorite.
Screaming Neon Red (Single Red with Yellow Dash – Shrub) Intense color, superior performance. Screaming Neon Red™ is sure to be a standout for any garden. With vibrant flower power and repeat blooms throughout the season, this compact rose is the perfect choice as an accent or mass planting. Remarkably rich, disease resistant, dark green foliage provides the perfect backdrop to neon-red blooms. Foliage turns a lovely burgundy-red in fall.
Tropical Lightning (Orange with purple smoke layer and stripes – Climber) WOW! Or if you prefer FANTASTIC! Those are words describing Tropical Lightning’s one-of-a-kind flower. There is really no other rose in the world that comes close to this extraordinary color blend. The tropical warmth comes in the form of rich sunset-like orange while the dazzling lightning is generated by bright cream stripes. The effect is accentuated by a layer of purple smoke creating a burnt orange combo, perfect for a stormy sky! If you are still in doubt that such colors exist, don’t wait to be struck by lightning to plant this amazing Climber! Each perfectly shaped bud and flower will hold that CRAZY novel color for days and the prolific and vigorous plant, which reaches mature size and full display in 3 years, will only slow down the flowering as it transitions into winter. If the extraordinary bloom colors were not enough, Tropical Lightning presents some of the glossiest leaves of all roses. Add the dark burgundy red coloration of the new shoots and we will all wish for an endless tropical storm!
There you have the roses you will find mountain gardeners talking about in 2020. With 700+ roses showing at Watters Garden Center, the variety of fragrance and colors prove the perfect rose for any garden.
View all 29 rose winners for 2020 at Pinterest.com/WattersGardenCenter.
Feeding roses with my specially formulated ‘Flower Power 48’ water-soluble fertilizer every two weeks produce HUGE blooms! Water your new rose bush deeply twice a month for bouquets of full, plump, flowers the entire year.
Watters roses are ready to plant for and will produce waves of flowers for cutting for the important women in your life.
Until the next issue, I’ll be helping local gardeners pick just the right roses here at Watters Garden Center.
Lisa Watters-Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through her web site at WattersGardenCenter.com or FB.com/WattersGardenCenter .