Books that are Harder to Find

I enjoy collecting and referencing rose books. I have made references throughout my site to many books that I haven't been able to add to this page yet. This page is not meant to be a list of references used in my site. It is just a few more books that I can recommend.

Making a Rose Garden by Ethne Clarke
This book explains the foundations of rose garden design. A lovely book.

Roses at the Cape of Good Hope by Gwen Fagan
Gwen Fagan is an admirable woman. This book expresses her diligent work in a beautiful book to have for always. The book is a fascinating account of her discoveries on the roses she found and identified on the Cape of Good Hope, where a rose industry had once flourished and left many more than beautiful remnants of roses behind. To order this book please email Gwen Fagan directly.

The Book of the Rose by Michael Gibson
This book came out in 1980, and I think it is a classic reference on roses. Here is what the publisher had to say: "...the most beautiful and exciting book about the world's favourite flowers to be published for many years. Written by an internationally recognized authority, its comprehensiveness and charm will delight professional and amateur enthusiasts alike. It is both an important book - essential reading for every rose lover - and also one of immense practical value. " The illustrations by Donald Myall are exquisite and make this book a personal favorite. Chapters of the book include: The History of the Rose, Great Roses of the World, The Rose Garden, Rose Gardens of the World and The Cultivation of the Rose. The books also has a very nice glossary.

Roses et Jardins by Marie-Thérèse Haudebourg. Photographs by Béatrice Pichon-Clarisse.
My friend, Pierre Lauwers, has written the following recommendation: "1200 Roses described. This book, which presents itself like an encyclopedia, is a reference in French. Both ancient and modern roses are briefly described by class, with an introduction to each class. These descriptions are the core of the book and make it a reference. Miss Haudebourg is able to explain both the historic and landscaping aspects of complex roses such as the Bourbons and Hybrid Perpetuals with some detail. This testifies to her deep knowledge of the matter. The dictionary itself is one of the more reliable sources. I particularly trust her opinions about the Hybrid Perpetuals, about which so many mistakes are severely copied from author to author. Hachette, 310 Pages, 1998"

La Rose de France by 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.

Roses by Jack Harkness
If you can get your hands on this book, get it. It is like an insider's guide to roses. The book was written in the late 1970's. Jack Harkness gives a candid description of roses, and does so in a terribly British sort of way. He exposes the hybridizer's world, and the importance of rose ancestry.

Old Roses by Ethelyn Emery Keays
This is a book that I looked for for many years. I finally found it from the search engine on this page. How wonderful it is to be on-line. I purchased it from a book seller in Australia. It is highly recommended for its information on early Noisettes, Teas, and Hybrid Perpetuals-information that is difficult to access without this book. A wonderful account of American private gardens of 1935.

Roses by Gerd Krüssman
This is an extensive book on all aspects of the rose. A great reference book.

A Heritage of Roses by Hazel Le Rougetel
Graham Stuart Thomas wrote the forward stating that Hazel Le Rougetel's, "experiences have welded into an absorbing story which will hold the attention by its deep research and clarity of image, coupled with delight. Though it is so personal an account, the book has undoubtedly an international value concerning old roses and new and their place in various nations' hearts."

Roses of the World in Color by J. Horace McFarland
A book that I love. A true gem. It has been a favorite reference on old Hybrid Teas.

The Rose Garden by William Paul
Originally written in 1848 with descriptions of over 2000 varieties, including information on history and rose cultivation. Each edition is different.

How to Grow Roses by Pyle, McFarland and Stevens
A perfect companion to Rose of the World in Color. Open these pages for a journey to a step back in time. The book was written in 1929, with a fluid description of how to use the rose beauties of that time. The pages are embellished with pictures of Hybrid Perpetuals, Polyanthas, older Hybrid Teas, and gorgeous, glorious climbers. Today these gardens would be difficult, profound achievements. The authors' expertise is handed down with ease through these pages: I stand in awe.

The Quest for the Rose By Roger Phillips and Martyn Rix
This book is the precursor to collecting roses. It appeals to my fantasies of tracing down the esoteric, China species roses near the YangtzeRiver, or just hunting the true unadulterated species in general. Several rare and unusual roses are described. It appeals to the collector/explorer's mind.

The Burpee Expert Gardener by Peter Schneider
Peter Schneider is an expert on roses. He is an accredited rose judge and an avid collector; he has grown more than 1400 different rose varieties. Along with Bev Dobson, he is responsible for the Combined Rose List, the annual directory of all roses known in commerce worldwide. He has a gift of being able to see and explain perfection in a rose. This book describes 138 superior roses with photographs, including cultural notes and recommendations. 255 additional roses are described concisely. If you are interested in purchasing this book, Email Peter and ask him about it: Peter Schneider. He also publishes the American Rose Rambler newsletter, which has great book reviews, news and viewpoints from the World of Roses. I would highly recommend this newsletter to anyone in Zone 5 (I think that is where he is). He is known to give an honest opinion.

History of the Rose by Roy Shepherd
Accurately written. An admirable reference book. My absolute favorite book on rose history. Straight forward and compelling.

The Practical Book of Outdoor Rose Growing by George C. Thomas Jr.
One of the very best books if you are interested in old Hybrid Teas and their successful cultivation. Very easy to read. Also, an interesting history on the exhibition of roses. My grandmother's sister was married to his son.

A Fragrant Year by Helen van Pelt Wilson and Léonie Bell
I love this book. A brilliant, creative endeavor. It has changed my thinking forever.

The Rose Rustler's web site has an excellent review of some Coleman Reprints as well as reviews of many of the books I have recommended.

Bob Edberg has a fantastic collection of hard to find rose books. He can track down almost any book you may be looking for. You can link here: Bob Edberg's books

I have been buying new, used and rare books from Bell's Books for many years. Barbara Worl created a booklist on Old Garden Books, which is a wonderful source of material. Get her booklist if you can. I think she works there on Wednesdays and Saturdays. She has guided me to very pertinent material on roses over the years.

Bell's Book Store
536 Emerson Street
Palo Alto, CA. 94301
PHONE: 650 323-7822

©2000-2005 Daphne Filiberti