Worms and Flowers

Why I Hate Roses

Posted in Garden by Lzyjo on March 20, 2009

Roses are perhaps the most iconic flower in the garden.  From Shakespeare to Gertrude Stein and across cultures there are universal idioms referencing the rose.  Of course, countless artists were also inspired by the rose, all helping to immortalize the flower in our hearts.


We, as a civilization, have been cultivating roses long before Christ. The Ancient Greeks and Ancient Romans loved roses (associating them with Aphrodite and Venus, their respective Goddesses of Love)  and bred some of the oldest varieties in the Gallica species.  The Romans spread cultivated roses throughout the gardens of their empire, where they would remain popular through the middle ages.

From damask perfume roses, to scentless objects made to pleasure our eyes. The lovely curled petals look unbelievably like velvet. In every color from white to the deepest dark purple.  The voluptuous cupshaped blooms are enough to make my heart throb, even more than the alluring associations of the rose.

So why do I hate such beautiful flowers that are symbols of status, beauty, and love?!….. Because my roses bushes look like this.


When you live in rented home, you never know what you are going to get, so I am lucky to have roses, irises, and hydrangeas, but here’s the problem these roses are growing in the SHADE! (Or at least trying to.) There is a short list of roses that are tolerant of partial shade, Antique Rose Emporium. But it’s a short list and I am sure these are NOT on it.


The damn bushes are always covered with black spot. Last year they lost all of their leaves for most of the summer, so naturally no flowers, even though I was using Immunox fungicide, which is only good as preventative measure, not as a treatment. I have found the best plan is to remove the infected foliage as it appears. There are also a ton of “remedies” for roses such as corn meal, even urine, but they seem to be more like conspiracy theories than credible tips backed up by scientific studies. I’ll just go on hating roses until these damn bushes die.

I also hate roses as cut flowers because they are so expensive and have such a short vase life, so save your money. Almost anything will last longer than roses. Daisys, chrysanthimums, and carnations are all good choices.

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4 Responses

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  1. ourfriendben said, on March 20, 2009 at 7:40 AM

    I know what you mean, lzyjo! Most of our property is shaded, and I tried to grow climbers and supposedly shade-tolerant roses for years, to no avail. Now I just grow the toughies–various rugosas and Shakespeare’s eglantine–as a shrub border to give us some privacy from the road. They’re great!

  2. lzyjo said, on March 20, 2009 at 9:31 AM

    I’ll check those suggestions out. My grandparents had a huge rugosa. I suppose there are also miniature that I can also grow in pots, in the sun, or maybe plant something in the sun. I want to love them, but I hate them, a lot.

  3. Daphne Gould said, on March 21, 2009 at 6:19 AM

    I know what you mean about roses. They are so hard to take care of, even if they are in the right spot. It is the reason I’m not fond of them either – though I have always fantasized about the rose arch over the entrance to the garden. Nope too much shade.

  4. lzyjo said, on March 21, 2009 at 8:14 AM

    I’m so glad I’m an not the only one. They are just too finicky for my luck! I do love drooling over photos, though. I’m going to stick to edibles.

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