Explanatory Information from Vintage Gardens Catalog

Nomenclature—Rose Classes

The grouping of roses into classes has largely been left to the discretion of the rose breeders, though in the past century the American Rose Society has helped to determine how to classify new introductions. Needless to say, the system has its flaws. Our major concern in assembling this catalogue has been to make sense for the average gardener of a vast array of hybrids. It is our belief that the classification system should serve the gardener in being able to recognize similarities. We have tried to follow the essential system of classification as it is utilized in Modern Roses 10, the standard reference book of roses. Most of the classes we assign to the roses in our entries include, in parentheses, the class designated that variety by Modern Roses 10, where we give a different class. For example, the roses commonly familiar to gardeners as Ramblers are divided by Modern Roses 10 into half a dozen classes, most of which refer to a species parent of the variety. All of them we class as Ramblers (R), which we follow with the abbreviation of class given in Modern Roses 10; e.g., Adélaide d’Orléans, R (HSem) = Rambler (Hybrid Sempervirens).

Classes of Roses
Mystery Roses and Misnamed Roses

Many of the roses we offer are foundlings for which we do not know the original names. Their study names, names that have been given them ordinarily by their discoverer, we place in quotes to distinguish them from roses that are assumed to be correctly named. You will also find in the place of a date for those varieties the word “found,” or “unknown.”

So many old roses have enjoyed renewed circulation in the past ten to fifteen years that we often come across roses that are wrongly identified. Because these roses are widely known by their incorrect names, we offer them as they have come to us, placing their names in quotes, again to distinguish them from roses we believe correctly named.

A Guide to the Descriptions in this Catalogue

To assist you in reading all the information which we have crowded into the rose descriptions in our catalogue, we offer you the following sample description with its various parts revealed.

Rose Description

A great color oddity and yet a very lovely rose, lilac-tan of the palest shades blushing to near-white. Flowers are double and rather shapely with a delicate fragrance. A difficult rose to propagate, and very slow-growing, but we have had great success and hope to provide many plants in coming years.

The following grading of rebloom, fragrance and growth habit is based on our own experience of the individual varieties, reflecting conditions specific to our climate. We have travelled and observed many roses in a wide range of climates, and know that they may not perform the same for you.

Rebloom (Remontancy)



Following the description of each class of roses you will find a section describing growth habit in which we break down very roughly the types of growth to be found in that class. These are based on a specific rose variety, numbered and illustrated in the line drawings.