The beauty of Knockouts is their disease resistance and low care. But perhaps you look around your neighborhood and realize that lots of people have red Knockouts. These roses have their virtues. No one wants to spend a lot of time and money spraying chemicals on plants, and certainly not in these times when beneficial insects are so important. And then there's you! Many of the chemicals used on roses must to be applied with protective clothing. Indeed, the growing of hybrid tea roses was once considered "a man's job" because of the toxicity of the things used to obtain perfect roses (and only a sissy would use protective clothing)!
Are you looking for rose than can be grown as either a shrub or a small climber? Sam McGredy, the hybridzer who moved from Ireland to New Zealand, has your solution. Dublin Bay is a beautiful, unfading rose (it holds its color in bright sunlight) with velvety flowers and is extremely easy to grow. It blooms all season, laughs off disease, and is an extremely popular rose in Europe but easy to find in America. How good is this rose? When my in-laws asked for a climbing non-rampant red rose, I purchased it for them, having had great success with this, my very first rose. They have been screaming my praises ever since. Years ago White Flower Farm put it on the cover of its catalog and trumpeted it as the best red climbing rose ever grown. I mentioned growing it as shrub because it is only 8-10 feet and makes a nicely balanced plant. I have grown it as both. It had won scads of awards on several continents (I stopped counting at 18).
Are you seeking a zone 4 hardy non-fading, arching rose? Take a look at Navy Lady, which I purchased last year. This rose is fairly new. It is from the Canadian Explorer program (hence the hardiness). It has dark wine red semi double velvety flowers and reblooms from June and through several sharp frosts. It grows three feet tall and three feet wide. It is extremely disease resistant and, as a bonus, has a light fragrance. It's so wonderful I have ordered a second one.
Are you seeking a very double red rose and don't mind if it turns a bit fuschia in Bright sunlight? I suggest David Austin's 'The Dark Lady', an exquisitely formed flower with rapid rebloom, excellent hardiness and even some scent. It blends beautifully with other plants. Austin has developed many red roses over the years, but this is one of the best, with its tremendous disease resistance.
Another great red Austin is Tess of the D'Urbervilles. Beautiful, disease resistant and slow to fade, it blooms from spring to fall in flushes. The flowers are full and last a long time. This one can be grown against a trellis, in which case it will perform as a semi-climber. Some roses are rampant and get control - not this beauty.
But if you want a big and bodacious for an arbor (this one extended a foot over my 7 foot 6 inch arbor) I heartily recommend Quadra. Quadra is a rose from the Canadian Explorer program. Roses from that program were bred for severe weather. (This rose is hardy in Zone 3.) It starts into growth very early in the season and blooms through frosts. The huge red flowers are not just double, but quartered. It is completely disease-resistant, and will quickly cover an arbor or a pole since the canes are extremely flexible and can be wrapped around almost anything before they harden. This rose blooms constantly. And because it is so tough, you can even leave it on an exposed trellis all winter.
Take a look at these wonderful and easy roses for flushes of color from spring to fall. You'll turn heads for the nicest possible reasons.