With our strong summer sun, the roses that show up best and hold their colour are those with blooms in warm shades of orange, yellow and red. This season yields a fine crop of sturdy growers with flowers in glowing colours.
1. ‘Nelson Mandela’ is a fiery orange-red floribunda Eco-Chic rose. It is a tall rose that matures into a stately bush covered with shiny, dark-green foliage that shows up the large semi-double blooms. Initiated by Keith Kirsten in consultation with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, proceeds from the sale of the rose will be donated to the Foundation. Garden uses: It can stand on its own as a focal point in a garden and is ideal for planting as a screen or to hide an unattractive wall or fence.
2. ‘Curro’ is a vivid vermillion (orange-red) ‘stamina’ rose that grows to hip height, with bushy but neat growth. It has strong roots, disease-resistant leaves, and needs less water than traditional hybrid tea roses. The spreading growth shades the roots and produces short-stemmed flowers in abundance. The strong petals hold their shape and don’t fade, even under the hottest sun. Garden uses: It stands out when planted in groups. Can also be planted among other warm-coloured roses, as a colourful hedge, as edging along a driveway, or as a specimen in a large container.
3. ‘Espresso’ is a typical cluster-flowering floribunda growing to between hip and chest height, with semi-double blooms that are vermillion-orange but mature to an interesting coffee colour. The pronounced stamens are a feature and will attract bees. The young leaves are a glossy bronze that becomes deep green as the flowering buds form. Garden uses: Plant as a group or massed to make a statement. With its unusual colour it will fit in with other coppery-orange roses or blend with yellow or dusky pink roses.
4. ‘Savage Jooste Centenary’ is a neat, upright-growing bush that produces smallish but perfectly shaped hybrid tea blooms in great abundance, usually 3 – 4 blooms to a stem. The clear-red blooms are very showy, having a distinct white sheen on the underside of the petal. The rose falls in-between two common rose classes, the Hybrid Tea and Floribunda, because the blooms have the hybrid tea shape but with the flowering habit of a floribunda. Garden uses: Growing to about shoulder height, this rose easily fits into mixed rose beds, or can be planted as a group on its own as a garden cut rose. It can also be planted in a row along walls or fences. Plant three together in a large container.
5. ‘Legacy of Bellavista’ is dazzling! Its blooms are a blend of bright orange, yellow and cream, and this rose will stand out wherever it is planted. The bush itself is a neat and compact floribunda that will fit into any garden, especially small gardens. The blooms are small but produced in great numbers, and the stiff petals stand up well to all weather conditions. This rose marks the 50th anniversary of Joburg’s Bellavista School for children with barriers to learning. Garden uses: This rose performs well when grown in large pots or in borders, edgings and formal rose beds.
6. ‘Union Schools 100’ is a sturdy floribunda with clusters of soft lemon-yellow blooms. The dense leafy bush grows to chest height and shades the roots, making it a hardy rose for drought-stressed gardens. It was chosen by Union Schools in Graaff Reinet, a testimony to its suitability as a rose for the Karoo. Garden uses: Plant it in mixed borders or with shrubs, in beds with other roses, or prune it lightly to perform as a chest-high hedge. It is also suitable for containers.
7. ‘St Dunstan’s Centenary’ is a hybrid tea rose that can claim the world-famous ‘Peace’ rose as part of its ancestry. The open blooms have the full old-fashioned look, and they are carried on strong upright stems that last well on the bush and in the vase. The rose was named for the centenary celebration of St Dunstan’s College in Benoni. Garden uses: The upright mature bush reaches a height of 2m and is ideal in mixed rose beds, screening on fences, or in groups of three as a focal point in a garden.