With orange, almost bronze center petals that fade to pink, just one of its flowers looks a little like a sunset.

By Better Homes & Gardens
Updated August 26, 2020
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Credit: Courtesy of Heirloom Roses

Roses always look elegant in a garden, but there's something extra special about two-tone blooms. "Distant Drums" is a variety that's been around for a few decades, but its sunset-colored flowers never get old. When it blooms, the center of the flower is a light orange, almost bronze color that fades to light pink or purple around the edges. As the season goes on, the blooms can fade to be mostly pink. This shrub rose will bloom continuously throughout the summer, and it also looks stunning as a cut flower (the blooms are usually 3 to 4 inches wide, so just a few of them can easily fill a vase).

How to Grow "Distant Drums" Roses

'Distant Drums' is hardy in Zones 5-9, and needs a spot in your garden with full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sunlight) and moist, well-drained soil. It usually grows up to 3 or 4 feet tall, and about 3 feet wide. In addition to its gorgeous double blooms, the flowers also have a spicy sweet smell that's usually compared to myrrh. One of the best parts of growing 'Distant Drums' is that thanks to its unique flower color, no two blooms will ever look exactly the same.

If you want to add one to your garden, the best time to plant is either early spring, after the last frost, or in the fall, usually at least six weeks before the first frost in your area. If you buy a bare-root plant, you'll need to soak the roots in water for at least two hours. Dig a hole that's at least a foot deep and 2 feet wide, then set the plant in the hole and spread the roots evenly around it before filling the hole and watering well. For container-grown roses, plant them like you would any other garden plant in a hole that’s twice as wide and as deep as the rose's pot, then fill with soil and water well.

Shrub roses, including "Distant Drums," bloom on new growth instead of the previous season's stems, so to encourage the best flower show, you'll need to prune the plant every year. While the plant is still dormant in the spring (just before the last frost of the season), cut back any dead stems that were killed over the winter.

Once "Distant Drums" is established in your garden, it helps to deadhead the blooms once they start to wilt. This will encourage the plant to produce even more flowers, and it'll help keep your garden looking tidy by removing blooms that are past their prime. This variety also has good disease resistance, so it's less likely to be troubled by common rose problems such as powdery mildew.

Far from your typical rose, "Distant Drums" will add unusual two-tone color to your garden and have all of your neighbors asking about them. This beautiful rose will quickly become one of your favorites, thanks to its stunning blooms and easy growth. If you love its sunset colors, try planting it alongside another multicolor rose variety such as "Peach Lemonade."

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