Sidebar for the rose story.
Kenny Molinari, the primary gardener at the Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden at the New York Botanical Garden, loves autumn roses.
Here, a few of his favorites; photos by our Tania Savayan.
• ‘Belinda’s Dream,’ a pure pink bloomer introduced in 1988. “It’s still got a lot of nice buds, with a subtle fragrance,” he says. “It’s more disease-resistant, more tolerant of inclement weather.”
• ‘Cinco de Mayo,’ a shrub rose in wildly bright shades of magenta, red, orange and purple. It won top honors this year from the prestigious All-America Selections committee. “I like the way the color blends into a whole different range of colors as it matures,” he says. “It’s pretty close to always being in flower.”
• ‘Easter Basket,’ a slightly fragrant rose introduced by French hybridizers in 2007. “It’s a good grower, with some disease resistance, a nice blend of pink and white,” Molinari says.
• ‘Larissa,’ a light-pink German hybrid making its debut in the Rockefeller garden this year. This is a sprawling low grower that he likes as a groundcover rose.
• ‘Mother of Pearl,’ a peach-pink bloomer that’s also new this year. “Look at how vigorous it is — and the color is amazing,’ he says.
• ‘Pink Traviata,’ which offers dark pink, almost magenta buds that open to a pale pink. “It’s got nice glossy foliage, big flowers and straight stems,” he says. The drawback: no fragrance.
“That’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Molinari says. “You want to know my favorite rose? It’s my daughter. Her name is Nina Rose.”