Give me all the rose books.
One thing is for certain. I don’t think there’s any other plant out there that’s been written about more than the rose.
This can make research and study of roses incredibly difficult. But it can also make it exciting!
As I’ve begun to study roses more thoroughly, there’s been some books that I’ve acquired that have truly made a mark in my research and in my reflection of roses.
I thought I would share some of my favorite books (so far). I still have more rose books on my TBR list, so this is just a snapshot of the resources you can read and use on your own growing journey.
Additionally, some of these resources are out of print. That means they need to be purchased used. We love thriftbooks.com when purchasing used books! We are not an affiliate of Thriftbooks, we just love them.
Rose Books of Various Uses
I will break the books I’m recommending into a few categories. Some are reference books, some are growing guides, and some are much, much more.
- Classic Roses by Peter Beales
- The Ultimate Rose Book by Stirling Macoboy
- The Graham Stuart Thomas Rose Book by Graham Stuart Thomas
- The Color of Roses by Danielle Dall’Armi Hahn
Each of these books is a valuable asset for the home gardener that wants to collect roses. Also, the pictures may help you identify any roses you have growing in your garden that you don’t know the names of.
In The Graham Stuart Thomas Rose Book, Graham remarks on hundreds of different varieties and how they’ve performed for him or others. I have found this resource extremely valuable when deciding which old roses to purchase for my garden.
Classic Roses and The Ultimate Rose Book mostly have brief descriptions about the varieties, but their collection of photos is astounding. These books are great for distinguishing between the shape and colors of different varieties.
How to Grow Roses Guides
I cannot recommend Liz’s The Organic Rose Garden enough. I am on a quest to grow high quality, healthy roses with the least amount of spraying as possible. Liz talks about growing roses holistically and naturally, and I value her insight and experience.
In Growing Good Roses, Rayford provides a comprehensive guide to rose growing from start to finish. He is more of a traditional rose grower in the sense that he encourages spraying, but I value his honesty and experience as well. Each gardener has to make their own decisions.
Rayford has also included some helpful graphics that illustrate where to prune. For the beginner rose grower, I think his book is very comprehensive and worth the purchase. He even includes a section on exhibiting roses!
Stories & History of the Rose
Holy cannoli! The Rose by Jennifer Potter astounds me every time I flip through the pages. The amount of research the author had to do to complete this book is absolutely astounding. I’m not sure there is a more comprehensive book about the history of the rose on the market. Well done, Jennifer!
How did people use roses in perfumery or medicinally? Where did various roses originate from? What are some stories and legends about the rose? Jennifer writes about all of these things in her book, The Rose.
The rose book that has my heart completely and without a doubt is In Search of Lost Roses by Thomas Christopher.
I will never not recommend Thomas’ book. He describes his experiences on “rose rustling” missions. Thomas brings the people and their roses to life in his tales. I truly enjoyed every word and all of his quirky thoughts. This book is not only educational, but entertaining!
Roses are worth reading about.
If you are at all intrigued by roses, I encourage you to pick up at least one of these books and give it a gander.
These books have all made a mark on me, but I also can’t wait to dive into that To-Be-Read pile, too!
Thanks for reading. If you liked this article, please sign up for our email list (below) to be notified about new articles and videos like this one. And as always, share this article with a friend if you think they would benefit from it!