If I could grow only ONE rose (it's impossible I know!) it would have to be the climber called 'Zephirine Droughin' (ZD)!
I do not take lightly my choice and have given it a great deal of consideration. There is really no contest in my garden (I have several cultivars and varieties including the ever popular Knockout roses). Nope, hands down ZD beats them all.
ZD is a climber that will bloom sporadically all season long. It gives its main flush of blooms right about now. My ZD is two years old and receives no special care whatsoever. Gosh, I don't even fertilize it! I do have to train the canes. I decided last year once I saw how vigorous it was growing to train the canes to not only grow over my small arbor but to grow over the adjacent chainlink fence. That was a success as you can see! ZD is fairly thornless, has an old rose scent, does not get any defoliating leaf diseases, stays looking good well into the winter, and is an overall excellent rose. It would be my ONE and only if I could grow only one rose. Thank goodness that is not the case!
Blooming nearby are several other perennials. Anything that blooms at the same time and looks good with other plants can be good companions. I just happen to think that some of these perennials are good companions for roses. The first is iris.
Next up are baptisias. This one happens to be 'Carolina Moonlight'. It will be moving to a new home very soon on our land but for now it looks great in Tiger Gardens 1 near ZD.
Peonies. Peonies and roses and irises and baptisias alone can make an AWESOME spring garden. Throw in some salvia and wow!
More peonies in the garden. These bloom with catmint. Catmint is an excellent companion with all sorts of roses and perennials. As a bonus catmint is drought tolerant, looks good all season, repeat blooms, and makes a fantastic groundcover under roses.
Finally a long shot of some of the dozens of peonies in my garden. This is the rear center bed. Here you see some of that salvia ('May Night' shown here but there are many good types) I talked about, catmint, irises, and peonies. There are also roses nearby (directly across from this garden in the Sunny Perennial bed. All are super good bloomers....
in the garden....
What is your ONE and only rose?