Best Groundcover Roses?
The story goes like this. The Drift® Rose prototype was introduced roughly 20 years ago. However, it was considered too small for commercial use and to be honest was ignored due to the ever-successful Knockout series. Although it performed excellently in trials, there wasn’t a place for this little guy in the market. Times have changed and there is now a growing demand for these great miniature groundcover roses. They were released regionally in 2007, full scale in 2008, and have been growing in popularity ever since.
Characteristics of Drift® Roses
The Drift® is a cross between full size groundcover roses and miniatures. It fortunately adopted beneficial traits from each of these: resistance from disease and winter hardiness from the groundcover, and a repeat-blooming nature from the miniatures. Drift® Roses work perfectly in small gardens where a larger shrub might not be appropriate. They are great for filling in empty spaces and will spread gently around pre-existing plants. There are currently 7 varieties in the Drift® series: Apricot Drift®, Coral Drift®, Peach Drift®, Pink Drift®, Popcorn Drift®, Red Drift®, and Sweet Drift® (all of which are being grown here at Home Nursery). I read that list and thought, “The names are self-explanatory minus ‘Popcorn’ and ‘Sweet’ Drift.” Popcorn Drift® is a mutation of the Peach Drift® that starts off yellow but then fades to a cream white bloom. Sweet Drift® has pink double flowers that cluster atop dark green, glossy foliage. Drift Roses only grow to be 1 ½’ x 2 ½’ wide, they have small blooms with a high bloom count (close to 20) with the exception of Pink Drift® (close to 10). They are hardy in zones 4-11 and are resistant-even more resistant than initial expectation-to black spot.
Specific Plant Descriptions taken from conard-pyle.com the official website of Star® Roses.
Apricot drift exhibits a true groundcover habit and offers a fresh look to the series double apricot colored flowers begin flowering in spring and display a season-long show of color. It is just as tough and disease resistant as others in the Drift® series. Best suited for small gardens or along paths and walkways. Height 1-2’ Spread 2-3’
Bright coral-orange blooms cover this small mounding shrub from mid Spring to mid Fall. Coral Drift® has the most vibrant flowers that catch your eye from anywhere. Mix and match with similar or contrasting colors to really wow. Fully Winter hardy and disease resistant. Height 1-2’ Spread 2-3’
Peach Drift® is one of the most floriferous dwarf shrubs available. Soft peach blooms cover the plant from mid spring to the first hard freeze of late Fall. Peach Drift® pairs well with existing perennials in any landscape. The mature plant is approximately 1 ½’ by 2’ and exhibits strong disease resistance.
Pink Drift® is low-growing with distinctive mounded flowers that reach 1 ½’ in height with a 3’ spread. Deep pink flowers with a soft faded center bloom in abundance throughout the season. This disease-resistant plant is easy to care for and easy to combine with other perennials.
Popcorn Drift® is a mutation of the popular Peach Drift®. It represents a new color in the series. Popcorn Drift® starts out yellow and fades to a cream white, sometimes suffused with light pink. It is hardy to zone 5 and possibly 4 pending results from further testing. The overall impression is yellow and cream; reminiscent of buttery popcorn. Height 1-2’ Spread 2’
Red Drift® has the most petite flowers of all the Drift® Roses. It is perfect for use in front border plantings. Red Drift® makes a beautiful statement when it drapes naturally over a rock wall or edge. Mature height is less than 1 ½’ with a wider spread. Great flower power and disease resistance.
Clear pink double flowers seem to float in clusters atop dark green glossy foliage. Most double-flowered of all the Drift® Roses. Abundant and continuous flowering in addition to exceptional disease resistance makes this a perfect choice for use along pathways, hillsides or at the fronts of a border.