I guess by now, you know I love to have roses in my garden. I do not have a "rose garden," but I do include them throughout my perennial garden. I have heard that hybrid tea roses do not like to have competition too close to their roots, so most of my choices are shrub or floribunda roses. So far I have not had any problems growing them among the perennials and annuals.
This year the winner is "Easy Does It," a floribunda that is disease resistant and is recommended for all climates. It has been stated that it has been grown in zones 6 and above, but the growers feel that it will do well in zone 5 also with minimum protection. I always put a little extra mulch on the crown of all of my roses in the fall, so I am willing to give this one a try.
Last year, I planted two of the winners, "Cinco de Mayo," (floribunda rose) and "Pink Promise," (hybrid tea). I know, I said I don't do hybrid teas, but they came together. Yes, I do mean they were sold as a set! Where - at Costco. Every year Costco has a huge display of Jackson and Perkins essentially bare root roses. If you are not near a Costco, look at Home Depot, Wall Mart, etc., but they will probably only be found bare root under the Jackson and Perkins name. They are a great buy (usually about $18.00 for two) and the secret is that this display usually includes the current All America Winners. The problem is you may see them in March, and in zone 5 or less it is too early to plant them. So, buy them, put them in a garage (preferably) or a cooler area in the basement. If the weather cooperates in April, soak the bushes overnight (take all packing material away) and plant in a nice sized hole, mounding the dirt over the crown. This can be removed when you see growth. Fertilize lightly in May.
My Cinco de Mayo looked great planted amoung my perennials in part shade towards the front of the border. I stuck Pink Promise in the back of my Becky Shasta Daisies, and it was a slow start but did peek out towards the end of the summer. So, this year I'll have to find a place for Easy Does It, only if I get it as a bargain!