Books on Roses

Reviews of Some by CRS Members


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Books on Roses


New Book by Teresa Mosher






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New Book


Roses for New England:
A Guide to Sustainable Roses

(Forbes River Publishing)

By Mike and Angelina Chute

The first book written for New England rose gardeners by New England rose gardeners.
Roses for New England shows you how to grow roses better than you ever thought you could .

$18.95 (plus $4.95 Shipping & Handling)
Size: 6” x 9”, Soft Cover, 146 Pages  

For more info, follow the link below:

Reviewed by David Long:
    The newly published book ‘Roses for New England’ authored by Mike and Angelina Chute is a ‘must read’ for new people entering the world of rose growing and an ‘excellent refresher’ for all rosarians.  It is an easy read and very well thought out guide to ‘sustainable rose gardening’.  The topics in this book are presented to the general public as a source of encouragement for people to plant a rose that will be ‘winter hardy and will remain healthy and attractive without the use of pesticides’.  The authors carry the reader through all the basic steps of growing sustainable roses with photographs (all taken by the Chutes), artful summary blocks serving as quick references, a list of over 150 commercially available ‘sustainable’ roses with details of each cultivar and a very well detailed map showing the USDA plant hardiness zones, which is critical to know when selecting a rose.

The Chutes are ARS certified Consulting Rosarians, University of Rhode Island Master Gardeners and have grown roses for twenty years.





The English Roses: Classic Favorites and New Selections

By David Austin



"The rose has always been the best loved of all garden flowers. With the English Rose our aim has been, quite simply, to breed a more beautiful rose on a more beautiful shrub."
- David Austin

Exquisite photographs (250 color photographs including Gallery of English Roses with 100 full-page photos) of Austin's beloved blooms grace every page of The English Roses. David Austin revolutionized rose gardening by restoring the viability and popularity of the Old Roses. In this book, he introduces 40 recently developed varieties in addition to 40 of his best-loved and time-tested favorites.

Here David Austin tells the compelling story of how he set out to create the English Roses and presents an entirely new classification, which helps rose enthusiasts to better understand and appreciate their great diversity. The book also features:

  • The distinctive qualities and fragrances of English Roses
  • The original Old Rose Hybrids
  • Musk Hybrids, Alba Hybrids and 'The Leander Group'
  • Climbing Roses, Cut-Flower Roses
  • Growth habits, flower form, foliage, and name origin
  • Valuable cultivation tips
  • Austin's favorite garden designs
  • Tips for cutting and arranging roses.

304 pages, 9 1/4" x 11 1/4" x 1 1/8"
Published by: Firefly Books, published 1/18/2008

Otherwise Normal People: Inside the Thorny World of Competitive Rose Gardening


By Aurelia C. Scott



Absolutely super book for those that are a member of a rose society- especially a society  where success in exhibiting is a cherished commodity.  The reader need not be an exhibitor to get excited about those that get  off on participating, being involved, or even knowing those that DO.  This is a very insightful book on the Competitive Spirit, but also the desire to Grow the Great Rose!  It is a "understanding" type of book.  Give the reader an appreciation of the depth of feeling of a Real Rose Nut toward several things: growing an excellent rose, being willing to learn a great deal about growing and then exhibiting that rose (also see/read Showing Good Roses, described below), and the camaraderie associated with the really-involved rose-showing folks of the USA.  Note: a lot of the sport/hobby of rose exhibiting is related to the Other wonderful people involved.  Much of the Got to Win Competitiveness, as is described in the book, is bravado!  It is the Other People That Love A Good Rose that is often the driving factor especially After the Judges have made their rulings).


This book is not for plain ol' folk.  But if you are a Type A (Competitive, etc.) or Type B (likes to understand others and 'where they are coming from') person, then this is for you!  If you like a wonderful, easy to read, book about real people and Just A Great Read, this is for you!!!


The book features several folks from the Connecticut Rose Society, including Donna and Mike Fuss, and John Mattia.  But if you have met Clarence Rhodes, this is a MUST READ.  If you have Not met Clarence Rhodes (Portland, Maine), then this is Also a must read- because no one should go through life without having met/read-about Clarence.  Period.


I bought three copies!


235 Pages.  No photos, and none required.  Available on


Reviewer:  D. C.




edited by Angela Leuck

Redlader Publishing
Price-Patterson Ltd
Montreal, Canada
ISBN 1 896881 52 1
$9.95 [$8.95 USA]


for an independent review, to to link:




Elizabeth Park: A Century of Beauty


By Alicia Cornelio,    Photographs by William Shepard


This is a book of many photographs that commemorates the 100th anniversary of  Elizabeth Park located on the border of Hartford and West Hartford, CT.  This volume will appeal to the niche audience that is familiar with the park, the meeting place of this Connecticut Rose Society and the location of the annual Connecticut Rose Show.  Although many people think primarily of the 15,000 modern roses of about 800 varieties, the park is much more that that, and this book covers the spectrum of the various seasonal gardens (tulips, perennials, Old Garden Roses, enormous dahlias...) as well as the rich and intriguing history of the park and the people that made it what it is today: a state treasure.

A sampling of the Table of Contents provides an excellent description of the material covered:
    Elizabeth Park History

    Rose Garden

    Rose Test Garden

    Annual, Perennial and Rock Gardens


    Other Park Features

    Elizabeth Park Activities


The text is engaging, especially the history of the park.  And too much cannot be said of the value of the generous ration of photographs, both of beautiful flowers and of the history recorded in pictures.


This book is highly recommended for those familiar with the park.  And a copy of the book to a Hartford or West Hartford resident that may have fond memories of using and enjoying the park while growing up would be a wonderfully appreciated gift.


More information, including sample photos, and where to buy the book can be found at the book's website:


Recommended!  Reviewer: David Candler    June 2004






Reliable Roses:
   easy-to-grow roses that won't let you down

By Philip Harkness

Although the book has short sections that responsibly deal with rose care,
including planning and designing a rose garden, selection of new roses,
planting and maintenance, these are subordinate to the real value of the
book: selected roses and their descriptions with emphasis on roses that are
robust and reliable.  The subtitle of the volume "easy-to-grow roses that
won't let you down", is the differentiating factor from most other books on
roses. There are large, well done and descriptive pictures to assist the
buyer in decision-making.  Although not every picture is a artistic
prize-winner, they generally include foliage in the frame, and often an
additional bud or opening bloom as well, which is far more instructive than
single-bloom/black background artistic photos.
For each of the approximately 75 cultivars presented, there is a clear
analysis of Flower Properties (color, shape and size, scent, production),
Plant Properties (shape and size, shade/sun considerations, hardiness),
Foliage Properties (color, health with regard diseases, garden use ideas)
and Overall Assessment.
For the Connecticut Gardener, more than 50 of the 75 would be reliable in
our climate, with minimum winter protection.  Ten more with more careful
winter protection.
The author is prolific with his adjectival descriptive phrases, and these
make for not only for discovery and enlightenment, but for wry, flowery
page-long assessments of value to the rose lover and prospective plant

144 pages, 200 photographs, $19.95 paperback, $29.95 hard cover.  Published
February 2004 by Firefly Books.
Worth the price for a rosarian, and would make a nice gift.

Reviewer: David Candler


The next several books emphasize Photographing Roses...

Closeups in Nature, by John Shaw -
A complete guide to close-up photography, this step-by-step book is an excellent manual for those interested in rose photography.
The Field Guide to Photographing Flowers, by Allen Rokach and Anne Millman - 
Easy to follow and the photography is remarkable
The Natural Rose Gardener, by Lance Walheim-

A complete guide to more than 300 roses with over 170 large (and excellent) photographs. It includes the all-important ARS ratings for all roses pictured.

The Nature Photographer's Complete Guide to Professional Field Techniques, by John Shaw  
Not just the backyard- an extension of Rose Photography to Nature Photography, including flowers.
Other, books about roses...

All About Roses by: Tommy Cairns, et al

© 1999 

ISBN 0897214285 - Ortho Books

Part of Ortho's All About Gardening Series. Endorsed by the ARS. Contains the basics for any new or experienced rose grower. 





All America Roses by: Rayford Clayton Reddell
© 1998 
ISBN 0-8118-1845-4 - Chronicle Books  
Slender photo essay on 40 AARS winning roses 




Climbing Roses, Their Care and Cultivation  by:Christopher Warner
© 1987 
ISBN 0 304 34011 1 - Cassell Publishers Ltd. 
Exclusively on climbers - general cultivation info and good descriptions of 100 climbing varieties. 



Combined Rose List (each year) by: Beverly R Dobson & Peter Schneider

(by mail only):

Peter Schneider
PO Box 677 Mantua OH  44255
Definitive source of information on rose names, hybridizers, dates of introduction, classifications and sources.




Compendium of Rose Diseases by Ralph K. Horst

© 1983

ISBN 0890540527 - American Phytopathological Society Press

Covers the primary infectious diseases caused by fungi, bacteria and nematodes, as well as disorders caused by environmental imbalance, pollution, pesticides, and more. Includes a glossary, index, and color plates.




Graham Stuart Thomas Rose Book by: Graham Stuart Thomas 

©  1994 

ISBN 0881922803 - Times Pubications

A compilation of three of Thomas's earlier works which have been revised and enlarged.

Includes outstanding essays and reproductions of noteworthy rose paintings.




Growing Roses in Cold Climates by Jerry Olson, John Whitman, Paulette Rickard 
© 1999
ISBN 0809229412 - McGraw Hill

Based on over 60 years of  experience, it contains everything a gardener needs to know about growing healthy, hardy roses in cold climate conditions. Includes detailed mail order source lists for each class of rose.




Handbook for Selecting Roses - 2005


American Rose Society, Shreveport LA  
An annual buyer's guide listing more than 3,000 varieties of roses that are commercially available to the public. It includes an  alphabetical listing, gives classification, color, petal count (where recorded), year of introduction, and ARS National rating. 

A supplement to American Rose, for ARS members. 




Hardy Roses: An Organic Guide to Growing Frost and Disease Resistant Varieties

by: Robert A. Osborne
© 1995
ISBN 0882667386 - Storey Books

Reviews over 100 hardy roses. Includes an appendix of rose suppliers, organizations, and source materials


Horizon Roses (this is an annual publication)
 (Review of The World's Newest Exhibition Roses)
THE best booklet of new, exhibition rose infomation.
Mail only, $7:
E.H. Wathen
4780 Elmherst
Beaumont, TX  77706

Modern Roses 11 by: ed. Thomas Cairns 

© 2000      

ISBN 0121550532 - Academic Press
Represents a listing of all officially registered rose cultivars globally, more than 25,000 roses.



The Old Rose Advisor by: Brent C. Dickerson
© 1992 
ISBN 0-88192-216-1 - Timber Press 
Well researched historical background on 2000+ old (pre-1920) roses



Old Roses and English Roses by: David Austin
© 1992 
ISBN 1 85149 150 3 - Antique Collectors Club Woodbridge England
Good descriptions of old and heritage roses.





Rosa Gallica by: Suzanne Verrier

© 1999

ISBN 0913643122 - Firefly Books

A resource book on 270 gallicas. Includes  information on their history, cultivation, garden applications, a glossary of 2400 types, and a worldwide source list.


Rosa Rugosa by: Suzanne Verrier

© 1999

ISBN 0913643076 - Firefly Books

This reference provides complete descriptions, photographs and parental lineage for winter hardy rosa rugosa roses.


Showing Good Roses by: Robert B. Martin, Jr.

© 2001

ISBN 0-9710132-0-9 -


A comprehensive rose exhibiting manual packed with information on a range of subject matter for exhibitors of all levels. 


Shrub Roses and Climbing Roses: With Hybrid Tea and Floribunda Roses by: David Austin
© 1993 
ISBN 185149166X - Antique Collectors Club

Woodbridge England





Ultimate Rose Book by: Stirling Macoboy

© 1993

ISBN 0810939207 - Harry N. Abrams

A large reference on the subject of roses. Also includes chapters on wild roses and miniatures.







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