What is your favorite "class" of rose?
I am very much a newbie when it comes to antique roses, I have acquired several Austins since this spring, I love them and overall they are doing very well for me so far, but those don't really count as being "antique". They have however spurred a desire in me to learn about & possibly collect a few "real" antique roses. I love the idea that these old roses have been around forever & have become a part of history that you can still touch & even participate in, that is so cool.
However, to a newbie such as myself it seems as though the list of classes, subclasses, species, etc of antique roses is long and daunting to understand. I have gathered little bits & pieces of knowledge from the forums, and from a few books that I have read in the past few months, but I still feel largely overwhelmed by the topic.
I know that climate, space, and a whole host of other factors will go into choosing the right variety, but I was just wondering if any of you have a favorite class of antique rose, and why?
My garden is fairly small so sadly I cannot have some of the ramblers & other types that can grow huge and unruly. I live in east Tennessee, in zone 7a, in a humid, warm valley & my biggest garden concern so far is Blackspot. I do not use any chemicals in or near my garden, but I am not opposed to experimenting with any sort of organic blackspot remedy I come across, as long as it isn't too costly.
If you have any favorite classes or types, or even just some words of wisdom you would like to share with me for the beginning of my antique rose journey, I would really appreciate anything you have to say!
Thanks a bunch!