Below is an alphabetical listing of the rose gardening books I recommend for Houston gardeners.
All About Roses, by James McNair. OrthoBooks. Paperback. This is a great, inexpensive introduction to growing roses. It is part of the Ortho series on gardening. These books are widely available in nurseries and bookstores. Although this book is not geared specifically for our area, it contains much useful and basic information on growing roses. It contains good illustrations and beautiful pictures.
Antique Roses for the South, by William Welch. 1990. Taylor Publishing Company. Hardback. 201 pages.
I got this book in 1991. It is a great book on antique roses. The first half of the book covers finding old garden roses, landscaping with them and arranging them. Rose crafts such as making pot pourri are also discussed. The second half of the book covers growing antique roses and contains pictures and descriptions of the growing habits and size of many of the antique roses that are suitable for the South, including Texas. Wonderful pictures. If you love antique roses, you need this book.
The Organic Rose Garden, by Liz Druitt. 1996. Taylor Publishing Company. Hardback. $21.00. 210 pages.
When I read this book in early 1997 it completely changed my approach to growing roses. Most roses that are disease resistant are covered in this book. It is not restricted to old garden roses, but they do predominate. What I like about the book is the personal touch the author has provided. I don't know if she has grown each of the roses she discusses, but if she hasn't she surely knows someone who has. She devotes almost a half pages to each rose she discusses. The discussion is thorough, but engaging. This book will provide you much knowledge of easy to grow roses and hours of fantasy just dreaming of what you would do if you only has room for a "few" more roses. Highly recommended.
Roses for Dummies, Second Edition, by Lance Walheim. 2000. IDG Books. Paperback. $19.99. 351 pages. This is an excellent guide to growing roses. Although a national book, it contains much useful information that will work in our climate. If you are only going to buy one book on growing roses, this book should be on your short list.
A Year in the Life of a Rose: A Guide to Growing Roses from Coast to Coast, by Rayford Clayton Reddell. 1996. Harmony Books. Hardback. 176 pages. This book is not a beginners "how-to" book. Instead, it is a great piece of writing by one of the best rose writers on his experiences and opinions on growing roses. I found this book to be right on the mark and a very useful read. It is set up to tell you what you should be doing in your rose garden each month of the year. Almost everything applies to Houston.
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