Hicks Nurseries sells thousands of roses annually though its commercial division, from climbers to hybrid teas to various landscape-friendly offerings. While these varieties have their fans, Flower Carpet roses from Tesselaar Plants have blossomed as a favorite among home gardeners and professional landscapers alike.
Buyer Alison Caldwell estimates that 20 percent of the nursery’s commercial flower sales are derived from Flower Carpet, largely due to the varieties’ disease resistant properties and ease of maintenance. The drought-tolerant roses also perform well in Long Island’s summer heat and humidity, displaying a happy scarcity of black spots, powdery mildew or rust.
“I’ve been buying these roses from several different growers over the years, and they’re constantly healthy,” Caldwell says. “The foliage always stays clean and attractive, even when the plant isn’t in bloom.”
The top-selling perennial excels in the looks department, too, Caldwell says. Unlike other roses that provide variations of the same color, Flower Carpet’s color selections are clear and distinct. Additionally, the plants have a deeply serrated, glossy green foliage that carries a colorful tinge depending on petal shade, bolstering the rose’s overall beauty.
“You have true yellow, red, pink, apple blossom, and shades like coral, amber or deep cherry red,” Caldwell says. “It’s a wide range.”
Though some gardeners place the versatile plant in pots, Hicks’ customers generally utilize Flower Carpet roses as the name implies, placing them low to the ground below a windowsill or using them to soften the edge of a deck. What’s more, the hearty rose can create a welcoming driveway border, withstanding not only high heat conditions (common along blacktop driveways) but winter road salt spray and snow plow damage, as well.
“It’s a great landscape rose, perfect for a smaller garden where you want the plant to stay low and spreading,” Caldwell says. “A product with this kind of foliage and flower is a remarkable thing to fit into your personal landscape. It’s a great all-around package.”