Books on Roses

All are highly recommended. A few titles are only available in French. Click on the titles for more information.

David Austin's English Roses: Glorious New Roses for American Gardens

Author: David Austin, Clay Perry (Photographer)
A unique celebration of a superb new class of rose specially bred to combine the best attributes of both traditional and modern roses. This book showcases 80 of these new garden favorites and provides practical growing tips and garden-planning advice. This book replaces my older book English Roses on the shelf. A must have for English Rose lovers. 200 color photos. 15 drawings.

Old Roses and English Roses

Author: David Austin
This book has photographs and descriptions of many of the earlier English Roses that I love. Many of David Austin's favorite Old Garden roses are also included along with a chapter on rose cultivation.

Classic Roses

Author: Peter Beales
This is a wonderful reference book and one that I look for consistently. It is easy to read and loaded with information like a rose encyclopedia if you will.

A Passion for Roses

Author: Peter Beales
Peter Beales has packed 50 years experience with roses into 250 beautifully illustrated pages. As well as reflecting on his personal love of roses, he also discusses how his love affair with the genus 'rosa' came about and has evolved. In addition he discusses the attributes and foibles of 630 plus species and varieties from all the different groups of roses both old and new. It also includes his thoughts on combining roses with other flora within the garden landscape. As well as lots of his own pictures, a large proportion of photographs are by Marianne Majerus, Garden Writers Guild photographer of the year 2002.

Easy Care Roses: Low Maintenance Charmers

Author: Brooklyn Botanic Garden (Editor), Brooklyn Botanic Garden Botanists (Editor)
This is an easy to read "how to" book that is written by experts in the field.

Noisette Roses 19th Century Charleston’s Gift to the World

Author: Charleston Horticultural Society
The Charleston Horticultural Society released its inaugural publication Noisette Roses 19th Century Charleston’s Gift to the World in 2009. The editor is Virginia Kean, cofounder and editor in chief of Rosa Mundi, the journal of the Heritage Rose Foundation. Charleston Horticultural Society is deeply grateful to the Heritage Rose Foundation for a grant to underwrite a portion of the printing which enables the Charleston Horticultural Society to offer the sale of the book at a modest price of $17 each.

The co-authors are a select group. They include historian John Meffert on what Charleston was like in the early nineteenth century when John Champneys bred the first Noisette; the late C. Patton Hash on the history of Champneys and his Noisette rose; rose nurseryman, Gregg Lowery on the Old Noisettes and the promise they offered amateur gardeners and breeders alike in the nineteenth century; Ruth Knopf on her search for the Old Noisettes; Malcolm Manners on the genetic make up of the Noisette; Odile Masquelier, president of Association des Roses Anciennes en France on the beautiful Tea-Noisettes and why they are so garden worthy; and City of Charleston horticulturist, JoAnn Breland, who lovingly oversees Charleston's Hampton Park and the Noisette Study Garden.

Nosiette Roses 19th Century Charleston’s Gift to the World is the first book to be published in America that is solely dedicated to an analysis of the Noisettes, a class of rose born in Charleston not long after the American Revolution. It is a unique story that should appeal to a wide audience-lovers of old roses and gardeners worldwide as well as Southern history buffs, admirers of historical Southern gardens, and the tourists who flock to Charleston to enjoy its beauty.

In Search of Lost Roses

Author: Thomas Christopher
A delightful, fascinating chronicle of Christopher's search for "old roses"--the original breed which all but vanished after 1867, when roses were hybridized. "What sticks in the mind is the stories he tells and the people he's met, researched or gone to look for--the mad, passionate, wildly uncompromising people, fixed on a flower."--New York Times Book Review.

The Old Rose Advisor

Author: Brent Dickerson
A great book. I highly recommend the section on older Hybrid Teas. Many rare and beautiful older roses are illustrated.

The Old Rose Adventurer: The Once-Blooming Old European Roses

Author: Brent C. Dickerson
This is a new book to me. Over time, I think I will love it as much as the first book.

Beautiful American Rose Gardens

Author: Mary Tonetti Dorra
A beautiful book. This book would make a wonderful gift. Many more than "drop dead gorgeous" rose gardens are featured. Growing tips and secrets of successful rose gardening are given.

The Organic Rose Garden

Author: Liz Druitt, Virginia Brown (Photographer), Designed by David Timmons, Foreword by Elizabeth Rice Winston
An easy to read guide on organic rose gardening. There is also a chapter on some inspired rose recipes.

Landscaping with Antique Roses

Author: Liz Druit, Michael Shoup
This is a wonderful book with lots of helpful advice and photographs. The newer book is Roses in the Southern Garden


Author: Peter Harkness
I saw this book in Germany before it was released in the United States. It is wonderful. Here's what the publisher has to say, "A spectacularly illustrated reference. Roses are valued for many reasons including beauty, symbolism, fragrance, and history. The Rose tells the fascinating story of this treasured flower accompanied by lively text and sumptuous full color illustrations. The book is divided into three sections: Roses of Nature, Roses of History and Roses by Design. Each section traces the links that tie the wild roses of nature to the earliest roses of civilization. It also explodes a few myths along the way and tells how the tireless efforts of horticulturists from many nations have brought into being the full-petalled beauties of today.

The captivating archival illustrations are from the Royal Horticultural Society's collection, home to one of the world's finest archives of horticultural art. This spectacular collection of roses of every description is certain to capture the hearts of gardeners and art lovers alike."

Colour Schemes for the Flower Garden

Author: Gertrude Jekyll
How can you not love this book? So elegant, the height to rose fashionable, never out of place or time.

Roses for English Gardens

Author: Gertrude Jekyll and Edward Mawley
I love this book. It was first published in 1902. This was one of my first rose books. I thank this book for the inspiration it has given me to plant the rose ornamentally (rose screens, cascading on ropes, up trees...) Gertrude Jekyll had the rare gift of knowing the rose, its artistic uses, and how to grace the world with its beauty.

Descemet, rosiériste du Premier Empire

Author: François Joyaux
Héritier de plusieurs générations de «jardiniers des apothicaires» de Paris, il est l'un de ceux qui, à la fin du XVIIIe siècle, introduisent en France les espèces d'arbres nouvellement découvertes en Amérique. Toute l'aristocratie se fournit chez lui pour redessiner «à l'Anglaise» ses parcs et jardins.

Puis vient la Révolution. Constraint d'«émigrer» à Saint-Denis, il loue les terrains du Carmel dont les moniales ont été chassées. Il devient le premier grand obtenteur français et même européen de roses : plus de 200 variétés nouvelles entre 1804 et 1814.

L'Empire s'effondre, il émigre à Odessa cette fois, où il devient directeur du jardin botanique.

La Rose de France

Author: François Joyaux
"Although cultivated since antiquity for its medicinal properties, the Gallica Rose or Rose de France, a horticultural masterpiece knew its first greatest popularity during the period of Romanticism. The inventive genius of rose-growers and amateurs transformed the botanical Rosa gallica from a simple wild flower into a profusion of ornamental roses of splendid new forms and irradiating colors. Encouraged by the Empress Joséphine under the First Empire, these ancient roses became the object of an extraordinary infatuation."-François Joyaux

The reference book on Gallicas. Written in French with marvelous photographs by George Lévêque. A must have if you love Gallicas and can understand the French language.

La Rose, une passion français (1778-1914)

Author: François Joyaux
Plus que toute autre fleur, la Rose a une histoire extrêmement riche. De tout temps cultivée, appréciée, et même vénérée, elle a subitement fait l'objet d'un engouement extraordinaire, en France, au XIXe siècle. De l'impératrice Joséphine à Malmaison, à Gravereaux à L'Haÿ-les-Roses et Bagatelle, en passant par Alphonse Karr sur la Riviera, Madame Pommery en Champagne ou Monet à Giverny, innombrables ont été les passionnés de roses. Pour eux, les rosiéristes ont imaginé des milliers de variétés nouvelles. Des régions entières ont vécu de la culture des roses, en Brie, en Anjou, dans le Lyonnais, sur la Côte d'Azur.

La France fut, au XIXe siècle, le premier producteur, mais surtout le premier obtenteur de roses.

C'est toute cette histoire, étroitement liée à celle de la société, que retrace ce livre. S'appuyant essentiellement sur archives et textes d'époque, il est le premier ouvrage publié en France sur ce sujet et dans cet esprit. Roses, roseraies, rosomanes, rhodophiles, rhodologues : ce livre est une vaste fresque d'histoire horticole. Après l'avoir lu, il n'est plus possible de cultiver les roses sans se remémorer leur passé. La Rose prend une autre dimension.

Les Roses de l'Impératrice

Author: François Joyaux
L'Impératrice Joséphine possédait à Malmaison la collection de roses la plus importante de France et même d'Europe : elle comptait plusieurs centaines de variétés. Le beau livre de Redouté intitulé Les Roses, publié de 1817 à 1824, les a rendues célèbres.

En fait, la mode des roses avait commencé dès le milieu du XVIIIe siècle, non seulement dans les parcs et jardins, mais aussi dans les arts décoratifs. La Révolution passée, cela devint un véritable engouement ; c'est à cette époque qu'apparut le mot «rosomanie». Les «rosomanes» furent de plus en plus nombreux, les pépiniéristes créèrent des certaines de roses, les collections se multiplièrent. Et, à nouveau, la «reine des fleurs» envahit les arts décoratifs ainsi que la littéerature.

Ce livre retrace non seulement ce que l'on sait de la collection de l'Impératrice d'après les archives, mais restitue aussi ce que fut cette «rosomanie» sous le Premier Empire.

A Little Book of Old Roses

Author: Hazel Le Rougetel, Roseanne Sanders (Illustrator)
More and more rose varieties are added to catalogs every year. But, for all their differences in shape, size, color, and scent, all roses share a common ancestry. This book deals with the most important classes of these old roses through the turn of the 19th century, offering the description and history of 28 different types. 28 pages of full-color illustrations. One of my favorites. A small book I am always losing. It is filled with beautiful illustrations and descriptions that really capture the essence of old roses.

Designing with Roses

Author: Tony Lord
A book that is absolutely lovely. I will probably never finish reading or looking at this book. Tony Lord's knowledge and creativity has me spell-bound. A book on rose landscaping that many have patiently waited for.

100 English Roses for the American Garden

Author: Clair G. Martin, Saxon Holt (Photographer)
Written by a world-renowned authority on roses, this how-to book and a field guide to English roses includes detailed descriptions for each of the 100 roses featured and provides information on background, fragrance, blooms, garden uses, and more. This book is highly suited to the California English Rose Garden. Any living human (I can speculate that any alien for that matter) would stand in awe of the English Roses at the Huntington, where Clair was the curator, and creator of the gardens, for many years. I also highly recommend his 100 Old Roses for the American Garden.

100 Old Roses for the American Garden

Author: Clair G. Martin, Saxon Holt (Photographer)
A wonderful, inspirational, informative and well-written book on old roses. As he did for English Roses in 100 English Roses for the American Garden, the preeminent rosarian Clair G. Martin demystifies the world of Old Roses-those hardy, fragrant, versatile, and historic roses introduced before 1901. The first section presents the different classes of Old Roses-Gallicas and Damasks, Portlands and Bourbons and Albas and more-and describes the essentials of selecting, planting, watering, pruning, training, feeding, and disease control. Following is a field guide to 100 varieties best suited for American gardens. Each rose is stunningly photographed by Saxon Holt, and each entry includes a detailed description of the cultivar, along with its often colorful history ('Autumn Damask' was listed by Virgil; 'Old Blush', ubiquitous in California gold rush country cemeteries, was influential in creating modern reblooming roses) and information on availability, fragrance, uses, stature and habit, hardiness, and time of bloom.

The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Roses

Author: Mary Moody (Editor), Peter Harkness (Editor)
A useful reference book with many photographs and concise descriptions.


Author: Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix
An excellent reference book. 1,400 varieties are illustrated with descriptions of origin, characteristics and growing conditions. Includes a list of US suppliers.

Climbing Roses of the World

Author: Charles Quest-Ritson
A valuable reference guide, up there with the best. I met him at Sangerhausen and thought he gave a wonderful lecture. Here's what the publisher has to say, "Climbing and rambling roses are sources of grace and dignity in the finest gardens. This book is the first completely new volume in almost 40 years to grapple with the histories, lineages, and special charms of these aristocrats of the garden. Illustrated with 200 color plates, Climbing Roses of the World presents climbers of every type, from the parent Rosa species to the Multifloras, Noisettes, and modern climbers, to name just a few. The most comprehensive and thoroughly researched study of climbers and ramblers ever published, Climbing Roses of the World will stand as the definitive treatment for years to come. No gardener will want to be without this unique source of information."

The Roses

Author: Pierre-Joseph Redouté
My friend Roch highly recommends the book, which he describes as "A superb folio size book, all the roses, superb printing, 55 pages of explanations by Petra-Andrea Hinz and Barbara Schulz, in English, French and German. A complete index also in 3 languages, botanical identification by Otto Bünemann. The best I have seen of Redouté. A must if you love old roses. I think Barnes and Noble only carries the paperback. Otherwise, Bob Edberg is selling an original Redouté at $35,000. Any takers?

Foolproof Guide to Growing Roses

Author: Field Roebuck
Field is a very helpful participant on a Rose Forum. Here's what the publisher has to say, "Ideal for would-be growers who were always afraid of roses, as well as for gardeners who already grow these beautiful flowers and want to learn more. Over 260 beautiful color photos and 40 watercolor paintings."

Climbing Roses: A Horticulture Book

Author: Stephen Scanniello, Tania Baynard
No flower is more popular than the rose, and none can match the color, beauty, and drama that climbing roses bring to a garden. This guide catalogs 65 beautiful rose varieties that thrive in the varied soil and climate conditions of North America. It is full of suggestions on how to cultivate and train the roses. 90 full-color photos.

Gardening with Old Roses

Author: John Scarman, Teresa Scarman (Photographer)
Another favorite book of mine. There are many beautiful garden plans and landscaping ideas. There are also chapters Perfume in Roses, Jam from Roses, History of the Rose Influence of Climate, Once-Flowering Shrub Roses, Repeat-Flowering Shrub Roses, Species Roses, Climbing Roses, Rambling Roses, and Caring for Roses

Gardening with Roses: A Practical and Inspirational Guide

Author: Patrick Taylor
An insightful book with many photographs and inspired descriptions of roses. Patrick Taylor has many wonderful ideas for companion plantings for roses.

The Graham Stuart Thomas Rose Book

Author: Graham Stuart Thomas
This book is probably the all encompassing reference book, a book that I will reread into perpetuity. Every time I pick up the book I learn something new.


Author: Time-Life Books, Janet Cave (Editor)
An all around dependable reference guide.

Rosa Gallica

Author: Suzanne Verrier and William Grant
This book will make you fall in love and have to have many Gallicas. A very informative book with many beautiful pictures.

Rosa Rugosa

Author: Suzanne Verrier
The book on Rugosas. A beautiful book that I highly recommend.

©2000-2005 Daphne Filiberti