In the Garden
In the Garden Home
Fertilizing your roses: A step-by-step guide
Planting Roses: A How to Guide
Pruning your roses: why, how and when
Mulching: benefits and how tos
Selecting the Right Rose
Summer Rose Care Tips
Late Summer Roses
Gifts from Your Rose Garden
Christmas Treats for the Birds
Perennial Companions for Roses
Birds: Our beautiful garden allies
Getting Your Roses Ready
Eat Your Roses! Rose Recipes
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Selecting a Rose for Your Garden
When summer is finally
here and our gardens are starting to bloom, we may find some empty
spots we need to fill. Or there may be plants we want to replace.
And what better plants to add to your garden than roses!
In this issue of In the Garden, we've got some tips on
how to pick the right rose for you and your garden.
How many times have you gone to a garden center with the idea
that you're going to get some new roses for your garden. But, then
when you see the selection, you start to wonder about what color
rose you might want. Or, what about the size or fragrance? And,
how much care will it take. Even the best garden center help can't
tell you what you want.
So, before you go shopping, take a minute to go through the following
"checklist" to help you figure out what you want! Please note: alot
of the things we list below are sort of "like, duh" things that
most people know. But, it's easy to forget to think about them before
you visit your local garden center.
Know what Roses Need
First things first. You may know what you want, but do you know
what your roses need? If you want a rose that blooms all the time,
you'll need to know a bit about what the rose needs to grow and
Here's a quick list of the basics that roses need to grow and
- Sun - at least five hours a day.
- Soil - it has to be well drained. Mucky, wet soil will
rot the roses' roots and it will die. And the more fertile soil,
the better. Roses don't come from nothing. Rich soil produces
- Compost - lots of organic matter added to the soil when
planting will improve your soil and produce healthier roses.
- Water - at least one inch of rain a week. If it doesn't
rain, install a soaker hose and let it run on low overnight once
a week. Consistent moisture keeps the roses healthy.
Know what You Want
Figure this out before you go shopping, and your shopping experience
will be much more rewarding. It's just like grocery shopping --
if you make a list, you're less likely to forget things.
- Color - Roses come in pinks, mauves, reds, whites and
yellows, with variations on these. If you want to mix roses together,
but you're not sure about the color, get some colored pencils
and color on white paper the various colors you want together.
Then, you'll see if you like how the pink looks next to the mauve
- Fragrance - many newer roses don't have any fragrance.
If fragrance is important to you, be sure to look for roses that
can produce the fragrance you want.
- Repeat bloom - many Old Garden Roses bloom just once.
And some roses bloom in "flushes" throughout the summer. While
others bloom nonstop. Think about what you want or what you're
willing to accept. If the rose is the right color, is fragrant,
but blooms three times in the summer, that may be good enough.
But, if you want continuous blooms, you may not get the color
or fragrance that you want.
- Cut flowers - if you like to bring your cut rose blossoms
inside to enjoy, ask yourself if it's o.k. if the rose only lasts
one day in a vase. Or, do you want it to last a week? All roses
can be cut flowers, but some last longer than others.
- Screen or hedge - if you want to plant a hedge of roses,
figure out the ultimate height and width that you want. Then,
figure out the color, or mix of colors. If you pick a rose that
you really like for a hedge, but it grows 3 feet taller than you
want the hedge to be, then plan on pruning alot. But, if you like
to prune, then go for it. Just know what you're getting yourself
into before you buy.
- How many? Do you want to turn an acre into a formal
rose garden, or do you just want one plant? Go through your garden
before you go shopping to see what you have room for. Otherwise,
if you buy plants on impulse, and don't have room for them at
home, you may have to give them away or dig up other plants to
Know Your Garden
- Analyze your site - Walk through your garden to see where
the conditions are right for roses (sun, soil, water) and see
the spots where you'd like to add roses.
- Know how much space you have - A rose at a garden center
may only be a foot or so tall and wide. But when it's full grown,
will there still be enough room for it in the spot you picked
- Surrounding colors - If you know what color rose you
want, do you know if it will look good next to the other plants
you'll be planting it near?
- Surrounding textures - Most gardens are a mix of perennials,
vines, shrub and trees. Will you like how the rose looks next
to your other plants? For inspiration or examples, visit public
gardens to see how they blend their roses with other plants.
- Garden structure or ornament - If you buy a climbing
rose, do you have something for it to climb on? If not, don't
wait too long to get it some support, or you'll probably have
to do more pruning than necessary to train it. Think about what
the trellis or other structure will look like in your garden,
also. There are lots of beautiful garden ornaments and structures
available that will really improve the appearance of your garden,
and provide support for your roses.
The most important thing to remember when picking out a rose is
to do what you want. There are no wrongs or rights in gardening
if what you do makes you happy. So, create a garden that pleases
you - do what you want and work with what you have. Happy shopping!