Always Room for Roses – Landscaping a Rose Garden

Elizabeth-Park-Rose-Garden-Hartford-Connecticut

It’s a warm summer evening, and you are looking over your garden. You view the explosion of color along your border made of low growing dark red and deep burgundy roses (whose colors mean “unconscious beauty”).  Climbing white roses (symbols of purity and reverence) sprawl lazily along your back fence, while other rambling peach colored roses (a call to “gather together”) cascade cheerfully down the trellis leading to the front yard. You take a cool sip from your glass and smile smugly.

You are glad you didn’t listen to all those naysayers, who claimed that growing roses was difficult and time consuming. Hah! After you learned about landscaping a rose garden, you knew there is always room for roses. Landscaping a rose garden is not hard once you understand some main concepts and principles involved. If you’re a techie like me a hedged bush like the one above, also gives you the opportunity to add gadgets like outdoor projectors and outdoor audio devices, without spoiling the view.

Choose Landscape Roses

Don’t be surprised when you head out to your garden center that you don’t find any rose plants labeled “landscape”.  Technically a landscape rose is any rose that is a low maintenance bush or groundcover and is the cornerstone when landscaping a rose garden. Landscape and groundcover roses are varieties of roses that are considered to be compact in size, very disease resistant, require little pruning, grow quickly and bloom almost continuously during the season.  Of course all roses are in “landscapes” and no rose is a true “groundcover “since they can’t kill off the weeds that grow underneath.

“Landscape” rose varieties are often planted along roadways and in small parkways and were so nicknamed for their ability to survive all manner of neglect and abuse. They generally grow about 4-5 feet. On the other hand “groundcover” roses are short (under 2-3 feet high), vigorous growers that can reach widths of over 4-6 feet hence their nickname.How to Pick Landscape RosesWhile browsing at the garden center, not only should you look at plants for their growth and size at maturity, but also for their robustness. A cold hardy landscape species is best for the home gardener who doesn’t have a lot of room or a lot of time to fuss with them.

A good landscape shrub or bush ideally will bloom all season long with just a bit of fertilizer every 4-6 weeks. The bloom heads should naturally wither away and fall off on their own without a lot of deadheading (removing dead blooms to increase the number of flowers). They should also be resistant to black spot and powdery mildew so you won’t have to spray for fungus. But even the toughest of roses require a minimum of 6 hours of sunlight, regular watering and insect control measures for mites and thrips.

All roses should be pruned back to 50% with hedge trimmers for the winter.Filling in Your Rose Garden  Although it is tempting, you really should fill a garden completely with rose shrubs. Often master gardeners use other plant life as contrast pieces to balance out the garden’s palette. You can use Rock Cress (Arabis caucasica) planted in 3-12 dozen bunches (so they grow in round 1 foot high masses) to fill the spaces underneath a groundcover rose.  Or by planting Candytufts (Iberis sempervirens) around the base of a taller landscape rose shrub.Landscaping a rose garden can be easy once you know which plants to use.

Deadheading Roses

The phrase “deadheading” at first sounds both complicated and mysterious. The word alone�”deadheading” sounds archaic. And it is. Gardeners have been deadheading roses and other flowering plants, for centuries. But if you ever wanted to understand the correct procedure for deadheading roses then read this article to learn more

What is deadheading anyway?

Deadheading is a very old term for what is actually a simple pruning process to remove the spent flowers or the “dead”  “heads” from plants. All species of flowering plants have one single goal: to bloom, let the blooms die back and then spread their seeds to reproduce. Some species of roses are “self cleaning”: the heads fall off as soon as they turn brown. But with other roses the flower “head” stays on a very long time before finally withering and dropping off.

Deadheading for a longer blooming season

The natural flowering cycle is to bloom, fade away and set out seeds. Deadheading causes the plant to grow more and more flowers to replace those that have been removed. So the more you “deadhead” your roses, the more blooms you will have. This trick is just not good for getting your roses to bloom for longer periods but is also makes for a healthy plant.

Pruning for appearance

Many perennials, like roses have flowers that turn brown and ugly when they die back and your planting bed can take on a shaggy or unkempt appearance when your roses have row after row of unsightly plant tops. So by removing these old heads you will greatly improve the overall look of your rosebeds.

Deadheading roses for health

As rose buds grow, bloom and turn brown and die, they make excellent breeding grounds for various molds, mildews and diseases roses can be prone to.Deadheading your roses frequently and cleaning up all the old leaves and browned heads helps control many of the diseases such as black spot, powdery mildew and botrytis blight.

Pruning for to prevent seeding

Another excellent reason for deadheading roses is to prevent the germination of seeds. Huh? I know you never see any “rose seeds” in your garden store do you? But after the petals and head falls off a rose hip or seedpod appears. These seeds can grow into unrecognizable offspring vastly different from the parent plants! So deadheading stops this potential problem.

Basic Rose Care

Roses are not as difficult to grow as people make them out to be, if you know and understand how to care for them. While rose care can be slightly time-consuming, which is why advanced rose gardeners are often people who work from home or who have more leisure time. But even someone with a busy lifestyle can learn basic rose care if they do these simple tips:Feed heavy and frequently. Roses need lots of fertilizer. Fertilize every 6 weeks until the first sign of frost.

Plant roses in loose, very well drained soil (they don’t like wet roots) with lots of organic matter. Keep covered with good compost.Water, water, water. Roses need lots water, even in the winter months. You will know if you over water if the bottom leaves turn limp and yellow.