Many of you may know that Ian’s Dad, Peter, the original gardening guru, is the founding father of the nursery and the inspiration behind Ian’s love of all things horticulture. He spent many years creating beautiful gardens and has recently put together his own rose collection. This is a list of his favourite roses, the ones he has planted in his own garden and those he has used in others over the years. Luckily, he has also shared some of his secrets to help us keep them in tip top condition.
Roses are some of the most popular and beautiful flowering shrubs, but may seem daunting to newer gardeners. Growing roses for beginners doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, with proper planting and care, anyone can become a successful rose gardener.
Roses are best planted in late spring or in early autumn, ideally after the last and before the first frost. Planting early enough in autumn gives the roots enough time to get established before the plants go dormant over winter.Planting roses properly will ensure they get off to the best possible start, and giving them the care they need afterwards will keep those beauties blooming.
Here are Peter’s top tips to help!
Make sure the area you are planting in has good soil with decent drainage; is relatively sheltered from wind, but gets at least half a day’s summer sun, to encourage new flowers.
The planting hole needs to be deep enough and wide enough to accommodate the plant’s roots. For each rose, dig a hole roughly twice the width of the plant’s roots and the depth of a spade’s blade. Mix a generous amount of compost with the soil that was removed from the planting hole and use some of this mixture at the base.
Carefully tease out the roots of container plants, helping them to extend outwards, so that the young plant is less susceptible to drought in summer. Fill the hole partially with the soil mixture and add a slow release fertiliser.
Water thoroughly, and then finish filling the hole with the remaining soil. Water again, then mound loose soil around canes to protect the rose while it settles into its new site. If you’re planting several rose bushes together, space them at least 3 feet apart to allow enough growing room as they mature.
Feed roses in March and the middle of July with a rose fertiliser, sprinkling a hand of the feed on top of the compost around each rose. Potted bush and standard roses will need an extra feed in the middle of May.
Newly planted roses need far more water than an established garden rose. Water well and often. If a containerised rose dries out, the water will not be taken to the roots but will flow around the outside of the plant. If this happens, place the container in water and let the rose soak up the water. This will ensure the water reaches the centre of the rose.
To dead head your rose and encourage new flowers, cut the stem down just above a leaf located 1 to 2 down to make sure that your rose will repeat flower through the summer. Cutting to an outwards facing leaf will create a nice well rounded shape.
Pruning is another aspect to consider when caring for rose bushes. This often takes place once leaf buds appear in spring. Make cuts about 1/4 inch above the bud eyes and prune out any twiggy or unhealthy branches. Once a year, you can also place a thick layer of mulch around the base of the plant. This will help keep the rose roots moist and cool, and will also prevent weed growth.
Starting a rose garden and knowing how to take care of roses shouldn’t be intimidating. In fact, it’s easier than you might think. Just give them what they need and before you know it, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful blooms.