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Shrub roses are similar to the Old Garden Roses, but they have been bred over the last 100 years. In general they are more disease resistant and generally flower for longer than the Old Garden Roses.

They tend to include roses that are not included in other categories. They are characterised by their repeat flowering and longish stems.

Flowers are most frequently in clusters of single or double blooms. The plant itself is in the same range as floribunda roses, from 1m (3ft) to 3m (10ft) in height and spread.

Sally Holmes shrub rose, click to enlarge To the left is the shrub rose Sally Holmes, click the picture to enlarge it.

Originally, old shrub roses produced flowers for only a month or so. New varieties now produce repeated blooms from mid June to  mid September.

The medium sized shrub roses look excellent at the back of a border. The larger ones are often used as specimen plants or hedges.

The Rugosa cultivars such as 'Sarah van Fleet' and 'Roseraie de l'Hay' flower in flushes throughout the summer. In contrast, others such as 'Constance Spry' and 'Fruhlingsgold' only flower in early summer, although their flowers tend to be larger.

Shrub roses should be treated the same as other roses. Because they are so good at producing flowers all year long, it is especially important to dead head them. This will ensure a mass of flowers throughout the summer.