Add roses to your garden this year
Ask someone to name a garden plant, and roses will probably spring to mind.
Roses are the epitome of a well-kept and well-adorned garden and with so many types, there’s one to suit a range of situations. With so many roses on the market though, it can be bamboozling what to go for. Rest assured - here’s a helpful summary so you can make the best decision for the type you want.
What type of rose for me?
These roses have been bred to produce rich, bold individual blooms that unfurl throughout the summer, often giving off intoxicating fragrance and acting as a magnet to insects on the wing.
The charm of this category of rose comes from the clusters of many blooms borne from one flowerstem. They are repeat-flowering so you’ll enjoy the floral display all summer long. Fragrant floribundas are a delight to the nose as well as the eyes.
Want to add vertical impact to your garden? Decorate walls, fences or structures with climbing roses. They can soften stark walls or divert attention away from nearby eyesores. They’ll also bring fragrance to head-height - which is an added bonus to you.
Now I have my rose, how and where should I plant it?
- Get your rose off to the best start by planting it in optimum conditions. Here’s a rundown for good planting.
- Before you plant your rose, soak the roots in a bucket of cold water for a couple of hours.
- Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots without cramping them.
- Loosen the soil at the bottom of the hole and add soil improver for a good head start.
- Position the rose centrally in the planting hole with the graft union level with the soil surface.
- The graft union is the point where a grafted stem is joined to a rootstock; you can recognise this as the bulge towards the bottom of the main stem.
- Position the rose at the same depth as it was at the nursery; this is usually easy to spot because of the dark soil mark on the stem.
- Fill the planting hole with soil to cover the rose’s roots and firm in gently.
- Water well to settle soil around the roots.
- Water all newly planted roses regularly, at least weekly, until well established, and keep the area around your new roses free of weeds which will rob the rose of nutrients in the soil.
How can I keep my rose flowering?
You can enjoy a long-season of roses in summer by dead-heading individual flowers that have started to wither. The rose plant will then put energy into producing more flowers rather than producing seeds in the form of rose-hips.
Roses appreciate a lot of water too, especially during hot spells. Ensure you water each evening or each morning, so not to scorch leaves form the midday sun and lose lots of water through evaporation. Why not kill two birds with one stone and water and feed the rose plant at the same time with a product like sulphate of potash.
Anything else I should know?
If you want your plant to produce lovely flowers year after year, make sure it’s well watered and well fed. Make sure it’s healthy too by pruning out dead, damaged or diseased stems as they arise. A good, robust pair of secateurs will do the job nicely.
At the end of summer it’s wise to prune stems back by about a third. Reducing the length of stems keeps the plant tidy, less congested and less likely to suffer from wind-rock in the winter which loosens the roots and causes the stem to become less stable.
Do this at the end of the season and next year you’ll be rewarded with even more blooms.