7 Tips to Help you Plan a Rose Garden.

If you need some ideas to help you plan your rose garden here are some tips that should be quite helpful.

  • Before you go out to buy your new roses it’s important to decide where you want to put them first.  If you only have a small space reserved for roses consider how many rose bushes you can plant within that space. This may seem elementary but believe me when you get to the nursery you’ll be tempted to buy more than you can use.  It’s happened to me many a time.
  • It’s also important to think about the colours that you want to have in your garden.  I’m always amazed by gardeners who will plant a row of white icebergs against a white wall.  You’ll be surprised how often something like this happens.
  • It’s a good idea to plant a standard rose or any tall growing rose in the center of a bed and then to surround it with a mass of low growing floribundas in a different colour beneath it. For example I planted five Amarula Profusions under a white iceberg and I’m waiting to see what that will look like in a few weeks. It should be stunning.
  • Sometimes individual roses can get lost or overlooked. So try to plant a few roses of the same variety next to each other.  This is always effective as it gives a good, solid splash of color to the garden.
  • A very important point to consider is the eventual height that the rose bush will reach.  You don’t want to mix low growing roses with tall varieties indiscriminately.  Small bushes can get lost and overshadowed by stronger growing varieties.
  • Remember to plant your tall growing roses at the back of the bed and place the shorter bushes towards the front of the bed.
  • Underplant your roses with a carpet of white alyssum or candytuft for a stunning effect. If you prefer a cloud of blue, you could use blue lobelia for a striking contrast. These annuals have shallow rooting systems and they won’t disturb your roses.
  • Also consider planting some specially fragrant roses near the pathway so that you can enjoy the perfume while you admire your roses

With these few tips in mind you will be ready to tackle that nursery.  Good luck. If you have any other good tips to plan a rose garden feel free to share them in the comments below.

How to Choose the Best Roses for your Garden

Choosing the best roses for your garden is easier said than done because there are so many beautiful roses to choose from at a nursery.

Whenever I visit a nursery, I tend to go home with roses that I didn’t have the faintest intention of buying.  And it happens every time.

Double Delight RoseMy problem has always been deciding which roses not to choose because I love them all.  Roses of every size, shape and colour.

Trying to select roses from a rose catalogue doesn’t help much either because all the pictures are so tempting.

So I find it helpful to draw up a list of qualities that I want from my new roses before I hit the rose nurseries.  But before doing this I run through a few questions like the following:

  • Am I going to go for perfume this time?
  • Do I want a particular colour?
  • Do I need a new climber for the pergola?
  • Do I want a few rambling roses for the bank?
  • Do I want a rose for a container?
  • Do I want a prolific and very free flowering low-growing floribunda?

Once I have decided what I need a particular rose for, I have a much clearer idea of what to buy.

For example if I want a bi-coloured rose with perfume I would choose Double Delight.

If I wanted a tall growing red rose to disguise a wall I would choose a row of Mr Lincoln.

I discovered my magnificent Kordes Brilliant climber by combining one or two requirements in this way. I have never seen a brilliant scarlet like this in any rose. I chose it both for its vibrant colour, its health and its ability to climb and cover an archway.

If you combine one or two requirements such as colour and purpose beforehand, it helps you to narrow down the choice.  And that is a great help when choosing new roses.

For tons of info about your roses check out:

How to Plant and Care for your Rose Garden

Yellow Roses bring Sunshine into your Garden

yellow rose.jpg

photo: flikr firecatstef

Add some yellow roses to your garden to bring happiness by the armful!

Yellow is a happy colour and yellow roses have always conveyed a special message of celebration.

People send them to celebrate happy occasions and to bring cheer into the lives of friends and loved ones.

You may have noticed how a patch of yellow roses can liven up a whole rose garden.

It’s as if a ray of sunlight has settled into the garden to show up all the other colours.

If you would like to grow yellow roses in your garden there one or two things to bear in mind before you go out to buy your rose bushes.

Unfortunately, yellow roses are notoriously difficult to grow successfully.  Many of them are prone to diseases such as rust and black spot.

So before you even think of visiting the rose nursery remember to consult your rose catalogue first to make sure that the yellow roses you have selected are disease free.

This is essential because when roses are in bloom at a nursery they all look wonderful.  They get specialist treatment there so you won’t see a sign of any rose disease or insect damage. Only when they are in your garden will you discover the problems.

So do your homework first before you allow yourself to be tempted.

For detailed info about growing roses check out:

How to Plant and Care for your Rose Garden

Heavy Pruning versus light Pruning in Roses

I have noticed how some gardeners prune their roses almost right down to the ground so that the bush is left with canes that are only a few inches above the ground.

I think it’s nothing short of murder.  I don’t think that this is what nature intended and let’s face it, pruning  is not a very friendly act at the best of times.

But there are advantages to pruning and that is why we do it.  It forces the bush to recover by producing fresh long canes and show-stopping roses.

So the bottom line is that we have to hit a compromise.  Which is why I go for light pruning.

I try to keep to the original shape of the bush without cutting it down too low.  I like my rose bushes to grow tall and bushy with lots of roses – a sort of natural look.

So I cut out dead branches and trim the tree well.  I cut off all straggly growth and remove ugly crossing canes that hamper the bush.

Once the bush has been cleaned I reduce the canes by 1/3 to a half of the original height if the bush has grown too tall and straggly.

After that it’s simply a matter of caring for your rose bushes and waiting for the first leaves to sprout.

Let me know what you prefer – heavy pruning or light pruning.  I would be interested to know your reasons too.




Spring is in the Air and it’s Rose Pruning Time!

While folk in the northern hemisphere are trying to keep cool in the heat of summer, here in the southern hemisphere we are still feeling the bite of cold winter mornings.  But the days are crisp and sunny with a promise of warmer weather.

One or two early birds have started building their nests and the sap is staring to  rise in the rose bushes.

Which means  pruning time!

The most  optimum time for pruning here is the middle towards the end of July or even in early August.

The important thing is to wait till  the eyes all along the rose canes start to look alive. Eventually the little red eye buds along the stems will peep out and begin to fatten.  Watch for this carefully because the roses need to be pruned before the eye buds on the stems burst into tiny leaflets .

I checked this morning but we have been having cold nights with frost – and the roses are still dormant.  The little side shoots are starting to bud ever so slightly  but they are not yet ready so I will hold onto my shears and wait a while before starting to  prune.

If you liked this article you may find the following articles interesting too:

Climbing Roses – How to Prune Climbing Roses
My Top Ten list of Fragrant Roses
How I chose the best Fragrant Roses for my Garden
When to Pick Roses for Fragrance

Climbing Roses – How to Prune Climbing Roses

How to get more Roses from your Climbers

There’s a special secret to pruning climbing roses.  But I have found that not many home gardeners take advantage of it.

The first thing to do is to take a good look at your climber first. From a distance.

You’ll probably notice how most of the roses are gathered at the top of the climber while the rest  of the bush consists of canes and leaves with very few flowers.

Now the idea is to get the climber to produce roses all along the canes rather than only at the top of the bush. You don’t want your climber to be bare all along the base.

So here’s the secret of pruning your climbing roses.

A climber must never be heavily pruned.  You need all those supple canes to be as long as possible.

You will only need to clear out the dead branches and weak side shoots and branches that cross over in an unsightly way.  Sometimes these cross-over branches interfere with the canes that you want to encourage – so these can safely be removed.

After cleaning up your climbing rose in this way bend each long cane right down to form an arch.  Then tie it down with raffia or a piece of old stocking.  These will be gentle on the canes.

Soon little side shoots will start developing all along the arched canes to eventually provide you with hundreds and hundreds of lovely roses. You will have arch upon arch thickly garlanded with your favourite roses.

For tons of info about your roses check out:

How to Plant and Care for your Rose Garden

When to Pick Roses for Fragrance

If you want to pick a bunch of fragrant roses for the vase it would be best if you picked them when they are almost fully open.

A rose in bud will not give out much perfume.  Also a rose that is over-blown will have lost most of its perfume.

The best time to check for fragrance in a rose garden is around midday when it’s warm – when the sun has had a chance to coax out the perfume.

If the weather is too hot or too cold your roses won’t be able to give out the best fragrance. The rose is too busy protecting itself against the heat or cold.

A happy, relaxed rose is a fragrant rose!

Red roses were traditionally the roses with the most fragrance but more recently because of cross breeding, fragrance is to be found in roses of every shape and colour.