This is a list of the Rose books I own or have used, all of which are invaluable resources in my study of cultural techniques, and the history of the Rose.
Roger Mann, renowned Australian horticulture writer has just published his most recent work: "Roses, A practical guide to over 300 roses for Australia and New Zealand". While written for the Australian market, the book is a perfect guide to rose growing no matter where you live. An excellent book. (As an aside, I am one of the contributing photographers to the book!)
American Rose Society Annuals: several volumes. The ARS Annuals go back to the 1910's, I believe, and many of the early ones (1930's - 1960's) I find to be rich with information about culture, science, taxonomy, and breeding.
David Austin: 'Old Roses and English Roses', 1992. This is a fine introductory book about both the Old Garden Roses, and the English roses which are bred by the author. Much less detailed than other books listed here. (See next item)
Peter Beales: 'Classic Roses', 1998 edition. If you were to have just one book on Old Garden Roses, and many modern roses, this would likely be the best choice. Amazingly, this book is now available from many online booksellers for about $20 new! (Check Amazon, for starters)
Thomas Christopher: 'In Search of Lost Roses', 1989. (The book title is a link to an interview with Thomas Christopher, speaking about this book) This is written in the style of an adventure novel, as Mr. Christopher, a journalist, embarks on a personal pilgrimage to find the history of the Old Garden Roses. This is not a picture book, but it is an excellent read for times when you just don't feel like opening another textbook.
Brent Dickerson: 'The Old Rose Adventurer' (pictured here), 1999, and 'The Old Rose Advisor', 1992. These volumes are absolutely necessary for students of Rose History! Together, these two books represent the most comprehensive collection of documents to be found anywhere. Not a "coffee table book"! This is serious content!
Des Kennedy: 'Crazy About Gardening', 1994. This is not a textbook, but a personal view of the author's gardening experience. The alternative title, 'Humorous Reflections on the Sweet Seductions of a Garden' says it all.
Ralph Moore: 'All About Miniature Roses', 1966. This is a very early book by one of the most creative rose breeders of this century. Ralph Moore is considered to be the Father of the Miniature rose. See the link above for the online version of the book.
Roger Phillips/Martyn Rix: 'The Quest for the Rose', 1993. This is a "companion book" that mirrors that BBC series of the same name. Some good historical info, and many good reference photos.
Roy E. Shepherd, 'History of the Rose', 1954. This is also an excellent text that goes into great detail about the history of the rose. Some of the content has been shown to be inaccurate, but then history is a living thing, and nothing is static as the years pass. Still a very useful book.
Suzanne Verrier: 'Rose Gallica', 1995. This is likely the best book on the Gallicas that we have. Suzanne has done an exemplary job in putting this volume together. Great photos and content alike. (For those of you interested in the Rugosas, Suzanne has written an equally beautiful book titled simply, "Rugosa Roses".)
Ellen Willmott: 'The Genus Rosa', a reprint of the 1914 volume. This is an exhaustive book that attempts to classify the species Rosa. Some of the species listed have changed names, or been otherwise reclassified, but this is still a useful guide to the species forms.
Various Authors: 'Botanica's Roses', 1998. The first edition of this significant book is sadly marred by many mistakes in the text and the photos. Be sure to get the second edition, which includes corrections. Otherwise, this is a comprehensive volume that is a very detailed resource for both beginner and seasoned rosarian alike. There is now an inexpensive paperback edition available for under $20 that is every bit as useful as the larger volume.
Modern Roses IX. Still a valuable resource after all these years. This is a listing of the roses in commerce, and any details about their perentage, etc.