Although roses have a reputation for being difficult, many types today are easy to care for. This is particularly true of floribundas.

The floribunda varieties are planted extensively at Georgia's Callaway Gardens because they require less maintenance than hybrid teas and grandifloras, says Fred Galle, director of horticulture. "They are more heat resistant than other types and to some degree can withstand disease. With a little planning, gardeners can enjoy the floribunda roses each year with a minimum of care."

While they will never present a strong appeal to the perfectionist who delights in the magnificence of individual blooms, they will satisfy those who are unwilling or unable to meet the more exacting requirements of hybrid teas.

Capacity for high bloom production renders them highly desirable for providing continuous garden color even through late midsummer when many hybrid teas are resting, according to specialists. The greater average hardiness of the floribundas and their comparative ease of culture constitute additional arguments in their favor, making gardening maintenance less expensive.

Floribundas bear their flowers in clusters, and individual blooms closely resemble hybrid teas. The flower are smaller but the plants are rarely without a lot of blooms from spring until heavy frost.

Because they will tolerate more neglect than most other roses, floribundas are particularly good for colorful bed plantings.

An American Rose Society symposium panel was asked: Which eight floribundas make the best well-balanced inflorescence (flowers collectively)? The answer was, in the order of preference, Europeana, Ivory Fashion, Gene Boerner, Fire King, Vogue, Iceberg, Cathedral and Sarabande. Which eight are the most prolific bloomers? The answer was Europeana, Iceberg, Gene Boerner, Ginger, Betty Prior, Redgold, Little Darling and Roman Holiday. Which eight produce the most beautiful individual flowers? The answer was Little Darling, Angel Face, Gene Boerner, Ivory Fashion, Cupids Charm, Daily Sketch, Sea Pearl and Apricot Nectar.

The rich dark red glow of Europeana always attracts attention, especially in mass planting. Gene Boerner is an all-around quality floribunda; Ivory Fashion rates high for its individual flowers; Little Darling is loved for its exquisite individual small flowers on a large bush.

To grow roses successfully, the soil should have good drainage and lots of organic material, such as compost or manure, mixed with it. Roses grow at least six hours of sun daily, preferably morning sun. Early morning shade allows the leaves to remain moist with dew, which favors leaf diseases. Don't plant them close to trees or large shrubs that might compete for moisture and nutrients. keep them well watered during dry weather and fertilize them when needed.