Game of Thorns 2023

It’s the most wonderful time of year: Game of Thorns! Nothing excites a gardener quite like springtime. The anticipation of seeing your dormant plants coming back to life is such a thrill. I started many of my roses several years ago, which means they’re really starting to take off. As always, here are the first roses in my garden to bloom – some of the best roses to grow, in my opinion!

Game of Thorns 2023 Winner: Plum Perfect

I was surprised when I reviewed my previous garden posts to see that Plum Perfect has never before won Game of Thorns! That’s pretty wild to me considering it’s the biggest, most badass rose that I have but apparently it’s never bloomed first before. This year it bloomed at least a week before all of my other roses and already in early April, it’s quite literally covered in huge purple blooms. It is truly a sight for sore eyes.

Plum Perfect rose

This rose is without a doubt the crown jewel of my garden. By the time it went dormant for the winter, Plum Perfect was as tall as I was and had pretty much given me nonstop roses April-December. If you plant one new rose this year, let it be Plum Perfect! Read more about this stunning rose here.

Plum Perfect rose

Plum Perfect Rose

Plum Perfect Rose

Show Your Stripes

This gorgeous rose is still pretty small and only has a couple of blooms at a time but each one is absolutely beautiful. My readers often confused this with my other striped rose, Scentimental, but Show Your Stripes is a bit more purple/pink whereas Scentimental leans more read. Scentimental also distrinctly has white whereas Show your Stripes really has two shades of pink. Read more about this 2020 Rose of the Year winner here.

Show Your Stripes rose


This little rose has been a slow starter but I love it so! Its red blooms are quintessentially perfect roses. It greets everyone who comes to my house and blooms well into December every year. Read all about Bordeaux here.

Bordeaux Rose

Bordeaux RoseBordeaux RoseBordeaux Rose

Bordeaux Rose

Don Juan

This rose just gets better and better! I made some mistakes early on with this climbing rose but I’m finally getting it on track. I added chicken wire on the side of my house to train the rose along the wall. Won’t that be so pretty? The color is such a deep red and this rose is pretty much problem-free.

Don Juan rose

Earth Angel

This rose has barely started to bloom. It’ll get much showier but I was so happy a few days ago to inhale its sweet scent for the first time in months. I absolutely adore this rose. The blooms range from pale pink to cream to stark white and look more like peonies than roses with their antique shape. It’s very hardy and is one of my only roses to never have a bought of blackspot. Read more about this fabulous rose here.

Earth Angel Rose

Peggy Martin

What I previously thought was the Seven Sisters rose is a gorgeous climber gifted to me by a friend. I hacked it last year to start training it along my fence so it’ll probably take another year to really recover it’s shape but it’ll be worth it! I’m training it to be behind my veggie garden. Won’t that be beautiful? It’s awash with dozens and dozens of tiny pink blooms.

Peggy Martin climbing rose

Chicago Peace

This is a new rose I planted last year and holy smokes. This is the biggest rose bloom I’ve ever seen. The photo doesn’t even do it justice. It’s almost the width of my hand, fingertip to wrist! This is going to be a real showstopper when it grows big and tall. 

Chicago Peace Rose


This is probably the most famous of my roses and for good reason: she’s a stunner. No two blooms are alike and every one looks hand-painted. The best part? Its beauty pales in comparison to the scent. That’s right, it smells even better than it looks! Read more about this show-stopper here.

Scentimental rose

I still have a few roses that have yet to bloom. I’ll keep you posted!

Happy growing,

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One Comment Add yours

  1. Simply beautiful roses – lucky you!

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