Gaga's Garden Floribunda Rose Garden in Illinois
Gaga’s Garden Floribunda Rose Garden in Illinois

The transition from USDA planting zone 7b (Lower South) to 6a (N. & Central Midwest) was a big deal for me. Plano, TX planting zone 7b, where I had over 200 roses is home to places like Dallas, Austin & San Antonio with long hot & humid summers and mild winters.

Rose Garden in Bloom
Rose Garden in Bloom in Texas

The summers stress the plants and north TX winters can be brutal as well when the gulf warm air battle with the arctic cold fronts known as the Alberta clippers coming down from Canada. Now I’m in planting zone 6a, home to cities as far north as Chicago and dipping down as far south as ST Louis. Zone 6a covers a lot of ground. I grew up & learned about growing roses by the Lake, Lake Michigan, North of Chicago where lake effect was a big factor.  Before you plant anything find your planting zone at the handy USDA planting zone guide. Just pop in your zip code and you will then be able to be an educated buyer when you begin buying plants that are well suited to your region.

The first rose garden established in our country home in zone 6a is a rose garden consisting of floribunda roses. I chose floribundas because of their heartiness, profusion of bloom and ability to bear flowers in large clusters or trusses with more than one bloom in flower for long periods of time over a bloom cycle.

Black Cherry, Floribunda Rose Gagasgarden
Black Cherry, Floribunda Rose Gagasgarden

The floribunda is unrivaled for its showy, colorful long lasting garden displays. Since the garden is along the sidewalk that takes you back by my little red barn to the redwood deck overlooking the “back 40,” I thought it was the perfect setting.


Rose Loving Organic Soil Amendments

Roses grow in a perfect mix of organics. First we tilled up the subsoil. To the subsoil we added a layer of

Well rotted compost;

Canadian Sphagnum peat moss;

Ground bark;

Seasoned manure;


Garden gypsum;

Bone meal.

Blend all this material with a rototiller.

Then I planted the roses exactly 2 feet apart. There’s lots of debate here because in Texas some say closer together allows mutual shading from the heat. In zone 6a, 2 feet should be fine and there is an over hang next to the garden. You notice I didn’t plant this little garden in a raised bed that I claim is my dream garden. Well, in Illinois there is plenty of rain and this is a well-drained bed. If not the bed is directly next to the hose so I’ll water it. It should be fine.


2 thoughts on “Floribunda Rose Garden”

  1. These images of your roses are breathtaking – thank you for sharing your knowledge of roses Susan. I feel so bad I missed your move! WELCOME BACK to the North!

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