Roses are perhaps the most popular and versatile of all garden plants. They’re effective when grouped together, planted on their own as a specimen or mixed in with perennials or shrubs. Some roses can be grown as ground covers while other may be trained to grow on arbors, trellises and other garden structures. Many varieties bloom continuously, with diligent deadheading, throughout the entire growing season. Others still are treasured for their fragrance.
Before attempting to grow a rose garden, become familiar with their requirements as well as the conditions of your garden. Design you garden on paper before planting. Roses prefer at least six hours of full sun a day. They also prefer a fertile, well drained soil (roses won’t grow well in wet soil) with a pH be between 6.5 and 7. Roses should be planted in the garden in places where there is easy access since roses require frequent watering and deadheading (the process of removing spent blooms). Become familiar with roses you plant. Knowing the mature size of a rose will prevent excessive pruning and unnecessary transplants.
Roses are one of the best plants for enhancing a garden wall, fence, arbor or other garden structure. Climbing roses are vigorous growers and can provide a garden with a colorful privacy screen. Roses covered arbors are a classic way to create an interesting passageway into a garden space or patio. Arbors are usually free standing garden structures and are available in a number of styles and designs.
Let rambling roses take over a bare, sunny corner of your yard. Vigorous growing pink, white, red or yellow rambling roses will send out long shoots from the base of each bush, and quickly create a colorful groundcover. With many showy flowers on the old stems they bloom once each season. Easily trained with flexible stems the rambling rose is also perfect for growing in arbors or trellises.
Roses work exceptionally well when incorporated into an entrance garden, just be sure to keep them at a distance from walkways as their thorns can be quite painful. They can create a focal point by being planted and trained to grow up a lamp post. The use of columns to support roses has a long history. A pillar is a central post around which the rose's canes are coiled. By coiling the canes around a column, they are forced to grow more horizontal than if trained vertically by running up the sides of the column. This technique creates both more new growth, and more blooms.
Roses, planted in containers, are a wonderful way to turn your patio into a colorful garden space. There are many varieties of roses that grow very happily in containers. You can turn your patio into a haven of serenity with terracotta or wooden planters holding miniature roses in just one color, or a full spectrum of blooms. Fragrant rose varieties or roses are excellent for gathering spaces such as patios and decks.
Roses are wonderful companions to a wide variety of plants. Consider planting low growing annuals, such as portulaca or verbana, around your roses.
Roses are the quintessential garden plant and no sunny garden is complete without them. With proper planning and care they’ll provide your garden years of colorful and fragrant flowers.
Next: Gardening with Roses