Roses naturally grow in the form of a bush. The size and shape of the bush depends on the specific variety and can be influenced by the conditions under which it grows.
Most commercially available roses are grafted onto an understock. Bush roses are grafted onto a short understock and standardised forms of roses onto a longer understock.
Roses with a long branching form are often used as climbing roses.
Sometimes the branches are fairly thin as well as long, giving a rambling habit. Others have thicker branches giving a stiffer upright habit. This often, together with the flower characteristics, defines the suitability for a specific climbing purpose.
Although most modern climbing roses are repeat flowering, there are some once a year flowering varieties that are still very popular - usually because of the spectacularity of their show. (Some of these can be very large - the largest shrub in the world is considered to be a white banksia rose growing in America).
Standard ("standardised") roses have an elongated stem, raising the height at which the bush growth is displayed and allowing the beauty of the rose to stand out uncluttered by its surrounds.
This pleasing effect is often used to create instances of dramatic colour for focal points or massed flowers.
Standardised roses are commonly available in two heights. The one most used in the garden is 80-90 cm stem height and is usually meant when referring to a "standard rose". A shorter stem height is also available (see Patio Standard Roses).
Note that stem heights remain fixed, only the bush top grows.
Patio Standard Roses are a shorter form of standard rose, with a usual stem height of approximately 60cm.
They are often used in pots or smaller gardens in situations that suit their scale.
Weeping standard roses have a tall stem and branches that arch over towards the ground.
They are spectacular features when in flower, often reaching close to the ground with a weeping habit.