Over the past few years the latest sensation in growing roses is the Knock Out Family of Roses. More recently the same breeders introduced the Drift Family of miniature roses -the newest rose and ideal for small gardens. These beautiful roses are tough, disease resistant, winter hardy, and basically maintenance-free. They bloom continuously from spring until frost and are described as a cross between full-sized ground cover and miniature roses.
Growing miniature roses has many applications in a landscaping plan. Nearly any low-growing, spreading rose can be used as a ground cover, but the Drift rose has several advantages over other roses. It works best when used in mass plantings as in front of grandiflora or hybrid tea roses to cover their legginess. They blend well with perennials, grasses and shrub roses. For the maximum splash of color imagine a hedge of Chinese evergreen loropetalum with their fluffy clusters of white flowers as a backdrop and a grouping of vibrant red Knock Out roses in front. To complete the picture add a row of red, white or pink Drift roses as ground cover in front. The cascade of color will be a real showstopper in your garden.
These Drift roses tend to be compact so they are good planted in strips along a walkway. They do well on sunny slopes to retain soil and to prevent loss due to excessive rain or erosion problems. They are tough and salt-tolerant so they are especially good for coastal gardens, beachfront landscaping or naturalistic settings. They are a welcome addition to any garden as a ground cover that also produces charming mounds of color.
The first Drift roses introduced included the Red, Coral, Peach and Pink. They grow to 1-1/2 to 2 ft. when mature. When planted along a rock wall or edge they naturally drape over the edge creating a casual effect. This year three new roses joined the Drift family. The Apricot Drift has double apricot flowers offering a long season of showy color. Sweet Drift has pink double flowers that grow in mound-like clusters, perfect along a walk. Icy Drift is white and has small double blooms that flower in large clusters. When white flowers like Icy Drift are introduced in any flower bed with other roses or perennials, they seem to intensify the brightness of the other colors.