Rose was a pioneer of modern garden design in America. With Eckbo and Kiley he wrote a series of articles in the Architectural Record between 1938 and 1941. This was followed with a series of articles, by Rose alone, in Pencil Points. Seeing landscape architecture as existing somewhere between architecture and sculpture, his first article "Freedom in the garden" compared one of his own designs with a painting by Theo van Doesburg and a plan by Mies van der Rohe. He was influenced by abstract and constructivist art.