An abundance of roses
enhances any garden
According to a poll held last year, the nationís
favourite bloom is the rose. One of the
benefits of growing your own is that you
can, if you wish, choose a variety that
produces a lovely fragrance.
Roses can be grown in most positions,
although they do like a good deep soil and
not too much competition from the roots
of other plants, especially trees and shrubs.
Ideally, this means a minimum of 50cm
all round, including the depth. The only
unsuitable spot is where they are overhung
by trees. Shade from buildings is not too bad
as long as they have at least four or five hours
of sun a day.
Roses appreciate good ground
preparation, so plenty of well-rotted manure
or garden compost should be mixed into
the soil. The best time for planting is late
autumn through to late spring, early summer.
It is best to avoid the summer and late
summer months, if possible, as at this time
of the year, they require lots of watering.
All roses, whether bare root or in pots,
should be soaked in a bucket for an hour
or two before planting.
Once planted and growing, roses
appreciate good, fertile soil. This means
feeding them, preferably twice a year,
in April and late June-early July using
an organically-based fertiliser. After the
spring feed, mulch with well-rotted
manure or garden compost.
Keeping the soil moist is important.
If it dries out, give them a good, deep
watering. This will make them repeat
flower quicker, grow stronger, and produce
better quality flowers. To encourage better
flowering, take off the dead flowers. If you
donít, you are likely to get hips, which will
prevent more flowers.
If you want to propagate your roses, take
cuttings from the more vigorous varieties
such as the ramblers and the big shrub roses,
which tend to be more successful, rather than
the hybrid teas and floribundas. The best time
to do this is around September or October.
It is important that the cuttings,
approximately nine to twelve inches long,
come from the current yearís growth. About
two-thirds needs to be buried in the soil, and
then left undisturbed for at least twelve
All roses benefit from pruning, the aim
being to encourage an attractive plant that
flowers freely, and is healthy. The best time
to do this is between Christmas and the end
of February while the roses are still quite
Reduce the height down to about a third
or half depending on how tall you want the
flower to be, cut out any dead or diseased
stems, as well as any that are getting too old.
Climbers should have the side shoots reduced
to about three to four inches with any new,
strong, main stems tied in.
Planting alliums amongst roses can help to
deter aphids. If, however, they do become a
problem and there is no sign of natural
predators, beneficial predators can be bought
from most garden centres, which will mop up
the pests. Or simply squash them with your
finger and thumb!
As there is so much choice when buying
roses, David Austinís catalogue has 900
different varieties, the Royal Horticultural
Society recommends that you look out for
their Award of Garden Merit. This is
symbolised by a trophy on plant labels.
If roses capture your imagination, you
might want to investigate the benefits of
joining the Royal National Rose Society.
t. 01727 850461. e. firstname.lastname@example.org