Roses are one of the most popular flowers in the world, but most people are familiar with the modern roses found in most flower shops. You might have sent a red rose to somebody you loved dearly, or perhaps your mother grew some white roses in her garden. The garden rose is actually much different from the modern roses you are likely familiar with, but it is no less beautiful.

The garden rose is actually incredibly popular. In fact, it is a common wedding flower for those times when peonies are out of season. This is because they are strong flowers that can grow in a variety of circumstances.

Of course, the colors of these flowers tend to be symbolic like those of modern roses. For example, pink is symbolic of innocence and friendship whereas red represents deep, passionate love.


Garden roses, also known as heritage or historic roses, are small in size, usually less than five inches across. They come in a variety of colors and offer layers of lush petals. In fact, the look of this rose is often compared to that of the peony. Some call the garden rose a cabbage or peony rose because of the similarities.

The History of Garden Roses

Garden roses have quite a colorful history throughout the world, and it dates back to quite a long time ago. It is believed that garden roses first came about more than 5,000 years ago. The ancient Babylonians grew these flowers, and there are records showing that ancient Chinese and Greek peoples farmed them as well. It was not until the late 1860s that the modern rose gained such popularity.

East Asians introduced China and Tea roses to European garden roses around the year 1800. This led to new varieties of the roses.

Key Differences between Garden and Modern Roses

The first thing you will notice about these two types of roses is that they grow differently. The garden rose tends to grow as part of a shrub, and the modern rose offers less foliage. Additionally, garden roses are strong. They can outlast the winter seasons and many plant diseases. The same cannot be said for modern roses.

The shape of the bulb of each flower also makes a difference. The garden rose may look like a cup or appear as if divided into quarters whereas modern roses tend to have a pointed center with petals that emerge around it.

Garden roses are considered much more fragrant than modern roses. Although red roses might have a particular scent, the garden rose is typically much stronger.

Types of Garden Roses

There are quite a few varieties of garden roses, and each one comes in a unique pairing and collection of colors.

The Damask rose is among the first varieties of garden roses, and it originated with the ancient flowers. The flower was brought to Europe from the Middle East in the mid-1200s.  These roses are highly fragrant, and they are symbolic of freshness.

Piano roses are typically red and often incredibly dark. These roses are known for their longer-than-average vase life.

China roses have made a significant impact on the growth of its fellow garden roses. This breed blooms repetitively, unlike others. It is also most prominent in the fall, making it a strong flower that outlasts undesirable weather conditions. As this plant gets older, you will begin to see its colors deepen.

Some gardens offer the Caramel Antike, a flower that is vanilla-colored with a golden center. It has a significant number of petals that give it a rounded body.

Moss roses were named after the fuzziness of the area that unfurls around the bloom. This breed comes in many colors, including purple and pink, and the plant does not grow very tall.

The Alba rose is considered one of the most elegant of these flowers. It grows on a tall bush and comes in colors like light pink and white. The center is usually bright yellow. The blooms are delicate, but they grown on shrubs that can grow to be seven feet tall.

Of course, this is just a short snipped of the many varieties of garden roses. The hybridization of this plant means that there are plenty of options to choose from if you are thinking about growing them for yourself.

The Marietheresia is a garden rose in medium pink. It is slightly fragrant, opening up like a rounded cup. It looks beautiful as an accent in a bouquet.

The Centifolia is said to contain 100 petals – quite a feat for such a small and delicate flower. This breed is lush, offering a fullness many other roses do not. These flowers were hybridized by the Dutch in the 16 00-1700s.

There is no doubt that garden roses are simply beautiful. They offer color layers and depth in petals that few flowers do. This ornamental flower would look magnificent in any garden.


Justin Chung