Roses have been a popular addition to gardens for at least 5,000 years. Throughout history, roses have been used as confetti at celebrations, for medicinal purposes, as a source of perfume, and even as legal tender. Today’s gardeners can choose from thousands of varieties and forms of roses, from elegant tea roses, to climbing roses, to the ever-popular long-stem roses.
The Indianapolis Cultural Trail is home to Rosa rugosa, an upright, rounded shrub that grows 4-6 feet tall and 3-5 feet wide and can be found along Washington Street and Virginia Avenue. These Rugosa roses have fragrant blooms starting in late spring and continuing until late summer. This variety tolerates difficult sites and can withstand some runoff of winter road salt, making it a perfect fit for the Cultural Trail. Roses are susceptible to many different fungal diseases and insect infestations. While there are resistant varieties available, the best defense is to avoid planting your roses in moist, shady areas and removing and destroying infected specimens.
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