Ah, roses. From bud to bloom to falling petals, no garden, from cottage to contemporary, is really complete without at least a few of these dreamy flowering shrubs. Their wide variety of growth habits, sizes, colors, and textures can fill any niche in the home landscape, and as breeders have made improvements in disease resistance, they’re less work, too. As long as the site is right, there is no reason you can’t have roses in all parts of your garden. Here are five of our favorite ways to use them.
Sure you could plant an evergreen or conifer, but taller shrub roses (such as Cloud Ten™ Climbing Rose which can be a shrub or climber) planted close together make a beautiful and effective hedge to create privacy or to define property lines. Lower growers are spectacular used to outline a path or to divide one part of the garden from another. The secret to a dense hedge is planting shrubs closely, not more than 18” apart on center.
Here are three to try:
Climbers and ramblers such as Eden Climber® Rose are great choices to add interest to otherwise plain walls and fences, and provide shady, flowery cover to arbors and pergolas. Use shorter varieties on smaller trellises and pillars or tuteurs. A word of advice: many climbers get HUGE so be mindful of your space, and provide a sturdy structure.
These are long-legged beauties:
Plump-Up a Mixed Border
Roses can play a supporting role, too. Look for taller varieties such as The Charlatan® Climbing Rose (which may be grown as a large shrub) to add height and scale to the back of a border, and free-flowering, mid-sized shrubs to amp-up the summer show of mixed evergreen foundation plantings.
These are fat and sassy:
Romance a Container
Whether one eye-popping large shrub in a large container, or one of the new compact roses (such as Sweet Spot™ Peach Rose) alone or snuggled up with a mix of perennials or annuals, potted- up roses provide solutions for places where it’s difficult to plant such as hardscaped areas or around swimming pools.
Perfect for pots:
Thrills, spills, chills
While we love roses use in traditional ways such as climbers and formal plantings, consider using these blooming beauties as a landscape solution. Mass these surprisingly-tough shrubs in that sunny space where other plants might struggle; cover a slope with groundcover roses (such as Flower Carpet® White Groundcover Rose) that grow dense and help keep down weeds, or use roses trained as standards to add welcome height to front doorscapes.
These are problem solvers:
Keep roses happy:
Start by choosing the right rose. A large shrub rose in a too-small container or a rambler on a less than sturdy pergola can be a battle not worth having.
Roses love to eat; feed them about 3 weeks after the first flush of leaves and again just after the first flowers have faded.
While tolerant of drier conditions in subsequent years, water regularly during the first season;1-inch per week per shrub depending on your soil.
Mulch like you mean it! Apply 1-3 inches of well-aged organic mulch in spring and again in fall.
Major prune in winter or early spring (more here). but summer pruning can keep flowers coming on. Prune stems just above a set of five leaves.