A mother’s love is a beautiful gift, and the rose has long been a symbol of love. So what more fitting gift could there be for the special women and mothers in your life on Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day – or any other day for that matter?

Arcanum miniature rose

Arcanum – Miniature rose (a natural bouquet).

Photo Credit: Stan V. Griep

Double Delight™ rose

Double Delight™ – Hybrid tea with a strong fragrance.

Photo Credit: Stan V. Griep

Mr Lincoln rose

Mister Lincoln – Hybrid tea with a strong fragrance.

Photo Credit: Stan V. Griep

Veteran's Honor® rose

Veteran’s Honor® – Hybrid tea with a soft raspberry fragrance.

Photo Credit: Stan V. Griep

Stainless Steel rose

Stainless Steel – Hybrid tea with a medium rose fragrance.

Photo Credit: Stan V. Griep

Golden Celebration™ rose

Golden Celebration™ – An Austin shrub rose (a medium old rose).

Photo Credit: Stan V. Griep

Mary Rose™ rose

Mary Rose™ – An Austin shrub rose with a strong old-rose fragrance.

Photo Credit: Stan V. Griep

No matter what the occasion or who you’re thinking of, there are a few things to keep in mind when selecting a rosebush as a gift:

Your first concern may be the color of the rose’s blooms. Your flower color preference may simply be because that’s your mother’s, grandma’s or wife’s favorite hue. Or maybe you’d like the color to be tied to a deeper meaning: A red rose, for example, is the traditional symbol of love and/or romance; the pink rose is a symbol of grace and elegance; the yellow rose, a symbol of joy and friendship or warm feelings; the white rose, the symbol of innocence and purity; the orange rose, passion and excitement; and lavender, enchantment. Of course, a blending of these colors can take on multiple symbolic meanings!

But you need to consider more than a rose’s beauty. The space available for the entire rosebush should be kept in mind, too. The plant will need a spot where it gets plenty of sun, can be tended to easily and can grow as its natural habit requires. (You wouldn’t want to buy a plant that gets extremely bushy and fills out for a spot that has tight boundaries!) Be sure to read the label and all information available about your rosebush in question so you know what the plant’s growing habits are before you bring her to her new home.

Fragrance is also typically very important when giving a rosebush as a gift. Some folks like a strong robust fragrance – the kind you can find in roses like Double Delight™ (HT) or Mister Lincoln (HT). Others prefer a soft, more subtle fragrance like that of Veteran’s Honor® (HT) or Stainless Steel (HT). Think about form, too. All these roses, for example, are hybrid tea, which means the blooms usually have tight centers with spiraling-out, cupped petals.

Perhaps your special lady loves the look of the English shrub roses or old garden roses, like the David Austin Roses® named Mary Rose™ or Golden Celebration™. These rose blooms not only have wonderful fragrance, they have a fluffy, fancy-pillow look to them. (The blooms remind me a lot of some elaborate satin pillows my grandmothers had up on the backs of their couches or on their beds.)

A miniature rosebush can make an excellent gift, too. They’re often loaded with blooms similar to the fanciest bouquet, and they’re usually potted up and blooming for gift-giving occasions. They can be enjoyed for a few days on the table in the house, then set outside in a nice sunny location. Another nice thing about miniature roses is they’re “own-root” roses. This is good because even if something happens to the top part of the plant (like it gets munched down by a hungry rabbit or deer), whatever comes back up from the root will still be the rose that was originally selected. (Whereas destroyed grafted roses are usually a total loss, as the new shoots that come up from the root will be whatever rose the rootstock was and not the originally selected rose.)

I hope these little notes help you in your selection of a very special gift for the very special ladies in your life – no matter what the occasion!