Who Says Roses Aren’t Tough?


I was in New York this week and took these photos on 11th Street in the West Village because I was so astonished to see those reputed full-sun lovers, roses, there twining around a staircase and sitting in pots on steps.


West 11th Street is basically a tunnel, with a wall of brownstones blocking out the sunlight from the south side. And yet, the people who live there, who really only have the choice of a plant or two in the front of their houses, are choosing roses.  Those roses must do something worthwhile despite the limited light.


  1. A great local rosarian told me the more simple petaled the rose the greater amount of shade it can take. I have a William Baffin shrub rose growing in a partly shaded hosta garden.

  2. I can’t imagine why it’s ever bad to have success with roses! I love them. As I understand it frost, wind, snow and chilly days aren’t enough to stop this blooming beauty, so if you’re putting your garden to bed this month, wait to tuck your roses in until nights in your area are consistently 26 degrees F.

  3. New York has a lot of very unique exposures to light/heat and tiny microclimates. I’m still wrapping my head around it. I grew up in NY, moved to the south (zone 7B) and moved back this year. I am always surprised to hear what works for people, and have learned to stay quiet, listen and observe, because things are not always as they seem.

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