Shrub roses are a motley crew of Modern Hybrids (post 1920) of mixed parentage, plus Old Roses that are close kin of their species ancestors. They are useful as landscaping roses, given their "shrub type" growth habit and heights varying from 3 to 10 feet. For landscape planning convenience, I have arbitrarily divided shrubs into 3 subgroups: tall, medium and short. But then again, it all depends on how good is the soil, how much water they get, and how much you feed them that determines their ultimate size. I am actually a fan of sometimes planting roses in poor sites to keep their growth within the bounds that I want. The old and the new are mixed herein, but I so prefer the plant forms and fragrance of the old roses. You be the judge.
All these tall shrubs are Old Roses and grow from 7 to 10 feet tall and will bloom only once, but with a grand flourish. They benefit from a fall trim of 1/3 to 1/2 to keep snow and wind from laying them low.
BUFF BEAUTY Has two major flushes of fragrant blooms, the first one lasting about 6 weeks where it is covered in a mass of tea-like doubles. It will grow to be a bushy shrub of over 8 feet, so some support is needed if you want a tidier form. Full sun is okay, but the blooms have a richer coloring if grown in 1/2 day sun. My plant is placed against a wall and the canes that stick outward are either nipped off or trained back against the wall. Health is VG
CELESTIAL A fine representative of the Alba class of roses. These very ancient roses are at the top of the list for health and fragrance. With this delicately colored semi double, the pastel blooms are beautifully set off by the blue-gray foliage. Growing to 10 feet and up of solid shrub, Celestial makes a fine hedging plant. Health is EX
GERANIUM I grow this gorgeous rose both for its intense red flowers and its incredible flagon-shaped hips. This bright single looks best massed against a wall or fence. A most vigorous shrub to 10 feet or more that blooms once in early June, then sets its great hips to display until winter. Health is EX
HENRI MARTIN A show stopper of a rose loaded with clusters of big crimson double blooms. The fat healthy leaves are a sign of the great vigor of this plant. It's a once bloomer, but a grand performer! Health is EX
ISPAHAN Has a bloom period of 6 weeks. It is a very prolific bloomer and is totally covered with shapely pink blooms in season. Very fragrant. It grows naturally tall and floppy, so either cage it or prune each year to 4 ft. (cutting some old canes to the ground) Health is EX
KONIGIN VON DANEMARK It's deep pink bloom is smaller and darker than the rest of the Albas. The bloom is fully double with a great fragrance. Health is EX
MADAME HARDY Sumptuous, elegant, full double bloom with a distinctive green eye. Although it only blooms once, it will do so for a much longer period if sited with only a half day's sun. (I find this true for most roses). This rose grows to over 7 feet, so you can either let it rest against a wall or fence, or cage it at about 4 feet and let the canes arch out and down. Health is VG
MUTABILIS A most rewarding rose -- the best nonstop bloomer in my garden. This photo doesn't do justice to the marvelous color blend of apricot/yellow/magenta. Often compared to a butterfly in color and form. Health is VG
R. EGLANTERIA An old dense shrub to 10 feet, often found in the hedgerows of England. Relaxed upright habit. Also known as Sweet Briar. Fragrant foliage and grand hips follow pink single blooms. Health is EX
R. SERICEA PTERACANTHA Ferny leaves and huge wedge-like, translucent red thorns on the young canes. Great with backlighting from the sun. The flowers are insignificant and irrelevant -- I grow this rose only for its awesome thorns. Health is EX
R. X CANTABRIGIENSIS Lightly arching upright canes, clothed in yellow stars, looking much like forsythia, with dainty fern-like leaves. A delight in Spring. The shrub can reach 7 or more feet and old canes should be periodically cut out to keep fresh ones coming. Health is EX
R. WILLMOTTIAE My plant brightens a semi-shady corner with its tiny bright pink blooms all along the arching canes. Although a big plant (over 8 feet) leaves and blooms are on a delicate scale. Blooms later in summer. Health is EX
SOUVENIR DE PHILEMON COCHET Has a unique bloom: the fully double flat bloom looks like a big white powderpuff. As with all rugosas, the leaves are thick and crinkled (hence"rugose"). Insects hate these leaves. Health is EX
SEMI-PLENA This lovely semi-double Alba has been known since the 16th century. It will grow to 10 feet or more and make a fine upright hedge. It's such a clean delicate white and very fragrant. Health is EX