Old-timey blooms are back in vogue—and none more so than roses. An Indiana pro shares her growing tips and recommendations.

For 30 years, Indianapolis gardener Teresa Byington has been growing and giving away rose bouquets. It all started in her teens when a friend brought her a hand-picked bunch as she recovered from surgery. "I was in shock," she says. "They were so big and beautiful and fragrant, andI didn't know you could grow them in a home garden." Smitten, Byington vowed to grow her own roses to share one day.

Bloom Thyme Cottage Garden
Credit: Courtesy of Teresa Byington

She did a lot more than that. Today, Byington's cottage garden overflows with modern shrub roses, old garden roses and more (plus companion plants). She also writes a blog and hosts a podcast, aptly named Rose Chat. Waxing romantic about her lifelong love, Byington says, "She is the queen of flowers, with her classic beauty, herrich history, her season-long blooms and her fragrance." And thanks to modern breeding, Byington explains, it's a great time to discover or rediscover rose gardening. Choose your varieties well, read up on care and you, too, could be giving away bouquets by the dozen.

4 New Rose Varieties to Try

Today's rose hybridizers combine winter hardiness and stronger disease resistance with nostalgic fragrance and blousy blooms that are loaded with petals.

Heavenly Ascent rose series
Credit: Doreen Wynja/Courtesy of Monrovia

Heavenly Ascent

In response to growing demand for climbing roses, Monrovia introduced this stunner that reaches 8 feet and is available in red or pink. Train it up an arbor or pergola near an entry or walkway to enjoy the fragrance.

Raspberry Cupcake Roses
Credit: Courtesy of Star Roses and Plants

Raspberry Cupcake

Introduced by Star Roses and Plants from Kordes—a 100-plus-year-old German breeder known for hardiness—this disease-resistant hybrid tea rose grows to 4 feet, has a fruity scent and will rebloom all season long.

Reminiscent Coral Roses
Credit: ven Winners ColorChoice

Reminiscent Series

Proven Winners collaborated with a Serbian breeding team to develop a romantic rose with great fragrance and petal count that blooms continuously without deadheading. Choose from Pink, Crema (white) or Coral, with a coppery center (pictured).

Eau de Parfum Series Roses
Credit: Doreen Wynja/Courtesy of Monrovia

Eau de Parfum Series

From Monrovia, this new series marries traditional elegance with dynamite scent. Choose among four colors—Berry, Bling, Blush and Bubbly (pictured). Plants reach 4 feet and bloom repeatedly from spring until frost.

How to Care for Roses

Yes, roses require some TLC, but they're doable! The American Rose Society is a great online tip resource.


Check plant tags fora rose variety's hardiness. Some are better suited for Midwest winters.


Roses require full sun and good drainage. When planting with other shrubs and perennials, allow space for air circulation.


Roses need deep watering during dry spells—but aim to keep water off of their leaves to prevent disease. In the summer heat, some may take a break from flowering but will rebound in fall.


Watch and detect pests and diseases early, then treat selectively to prevent widespread damage. One common nuisance is the Japanese beetle, which devours leaves; if you see the bugs, pluck them off and toss them in a bucket of soapy water.


Cold, wet, windy winters can be tough on roses. Protect plants with a layer of mulch at the base.


Most roses benefit from an early spring cutback before new growth emerges—to remove dead material, promote airflow, encourage new growth, and control the plants' size and shape.

Did You Know?

Roses use fragrance to attract pollinators. Similar to sommeliers capturing the nuances of a wine's flavor, experts (known as rosarians) describe roses' aromas through comparison to other natural scents, such as violet, apple, clove, tea, citrus, musk, myrrh and more.

Get to Know Teresa Byington

Podcaster and blogger. Loves roses (and dirt). Calls her home garden Bloom Thyme Cottage Garden.