Garden Design with Pollinator-friendly Roses

I am building a new house in the Kansas City area with land to design a garden. It is flat farmland, 1/2 acre, no trees, mostly southern exposure. I have grown and worked Modern roses for many years. Now my interests are moving towards a naturalistic design (e.g. Tallamy, Vogt, etc.) so my goal is to have much less turfgrass than normal and many natural areas.

A large part of the naturalistic design is to support a habitat for birds, bees, butterflies and other pollinators. My understanding is that roses with less petal counts and/or open centers support pollinators better since the pollinators can get into the pollen easier. This seems to lead me to antique roses (Species and OGRs) vs. Modern roses, or does it?

This kind design probably moves me to the concept of having a garden with roses, vs. a rose garden. Any suggestions on how to design with this kind of rose component? Pros/cons? Are these roses available?

Thank you.

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There are a ton of shrub roses in particular introduced each year that have a more open type of bloom for pollinators. This weekend the ARS just completed the annual International Rose Trial Celebrity Judging for roses that were entered by Breeders in 2022. Two of the top winners fit your need:

Gold Medal and Best Landscape Shrub: Up For Anything - sold thru Antique Rose Emporium, breeder Andrew Borocco

Best Floribunda, People’s Choice Award: True Happiness sold by Altman Plants and bred by Ping Lim

You might also want to consider the Floribunda ‘Sunset Horizon’, and any of the ‘Pretty Polly’ series of polyantha roses. The pollinators LOVE these and they are practically fuss-free. Here’s ‘Sunset Horizon’. We have several in the Carter Center rose garden (no-spray garden), which are exceptional, and the ‘Pretty Pollys’ are too.

Lyda Rose. I’ve grown this for many years and it is always covered in bees.
My garden style tends to be what you’ve described. I find that using plants such as meadow sage, asters, lavender, phlox, gaura, kniphofia, solidago, - they all draw in the pollinators.

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Have you considered single roses? Their very open blooms should surely attract the bees! Stephen Hoy has hybridized some beautiful ones.

Thank you for the reference. Yes, those are probably all good for what I am looking for. I found his newsletter where he shows them off. Paul Zimmerman had a link to all of them.

Thank you for the feedback. I need to change my perspective from type of rose to characteristics of the rose. Look for pollinator friendly roses, regardless of type/class. There are many good references on what type of blooms different pollinators are attracted to.