Old Roses Bloom at San Antonio's Antique Rose Emporium

Old garden roses steal the show at Texas's Antique Rose Emporium with their rich perfumes and striking colors. Many of these living heirlooms date back 75 years or more, but their ease of care and vigor make them welcome in modern gardens.

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Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

Photo By: Courtesy of Antique Rose Emporium

'Sombreuil' rose

Climbing 'Sombreuil' roses, with their heavy perfumes, are carried on stiff, thorny canes. The blooms, which show hints of apricot before turning pure white, contrast beautifully with a lavender fence at the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas.

Rose 'Cecile Brunner'

Nicknamed the "sweetheart rose" for its neat, pink buds, 'Cecile Brunner' is used here to decorate a cake. The flowers were often worn in the hair or tucked into lapels. This lightly fragrant rose blooms from mid-spring until frost.

Rose 'American Beauty'

Climbing 'American Beauty' dates back to 1909. The big, deep pink flowers appear in early spring and have a luscious perfume. 'American Beauty' is also available as a tall, erect bush. 

Rose 'Cardinal de Richelieu'

One of the darkest roses in the gallica class of old garden roses, 'Cardinal de Richelieu' opens its burgundy-purple blooms from spring to early summer. Introduced in 1840, it's a vigorous grower with a rich perfume and doubled, rounded flowers.

Rose 'Buff Beauty'

'Buff Beauty' blooms profusely in spring and fall, covering the ground with apricot petals as they fall. This musk-scented rose can be grown as a low, spreading shrub or a climber with vining canes.

Rose 'Ballerina'

With its single, soft-pink flowers, 'Ballerina' is a hardy rose with a wildflower-y look. It can be pruned into a small hedge, allowed to form a mound in a container, or left to spill over your garden naturally. It has a light musk perfume.

Rose 'Cornelia'

'Cornelia,' a hybrid Musk rose dating to 1919, grows luxuriantly around a pond at the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas. Available as a climber or a shrub, the plants bear pink-blended roses in spring and fall. Because it can reach 10 feet across, 'Cornelia' is best suited for open areas near water features, large yards, or naturalized areas.

Rose tree 'Peggy Martin'

'Peggy Martin' was one of only two roses that survived a soaking in 20 feet of salt water, dumped by Hurricane Katrina, in Peggy Martin's Louisiana garden in 2005. Since its commercial introduction, the rose has become a symbol of Gulf Coast residents' resilience. Its exact origin is unknown.

Rose 'Crimson Glory'

Winner of the James Alexander Gamble Rose Fragrance Medal in 1961, 'Crimson Glory' bears blooms of deep, velvety red. Displayed here in a child's wagon with other antique roses, 'Crimson Glory' is an easy-to-train climber. 

Rose 'Variegata di Bologna'

An unusual variegated rose from the Bourbon class of roses, 'Variegata di Bologna' has candy cane stripes of cerise pink to pale purple and white. The plant's 10-foot canes need training or pegging (a technique that bends and ties the canes to control them). The very fragrant flowers bloom in spring.

Reve d'Or rose

'Reve d'Or,' a French name that means "Dream of Gold," is an old climbing rose. Its yellow-gold petals almost glow against the bright blue of this San Antonio courtyard. The plants grow vigorously in the cooler temperatures of spring and fall, producing bright purple-red foliage.

Lamarque rose

Fragrant, doubled 'Lamarque' is an heirloom rose named for a general in Napoleon's army. The white blooms have a drop of lemon at the base. The rose canes shown here were trained onto the railings of a Victorian porch at the Antique Rose Emporium in Texas.

Rose 'Cecile Brunner' on arch

This 'Cecile Brunner', trained on an arch, grows happily with annuals and perennials in a mixed border. When open, the perfectly-formed buds of this 1881 introduction look like small, hybrid tea roses.