Celebrating Beautiful Roses

Over many centuries there is perhaps one flower that has inspired more poets, artists and gardeners more than any other and that is the Rose – associated with romance, high summer, heady perfume and  spectacular displays of blooms over arches and doorways.  
Available in varieties from delicate low growing ground cover to ambitious ramblers reaching tens of feet high amongst the branches of mature trees or creating a wall of colour across a building
Roses are an extremely versatile group, they can be planted almost anywhere in the garden, be it formal or informal, with other plants or on their own, from the intimate to the grand scale - and they are the perfect plant to grow on a structure for a spectacular and timeless display.
We have put together some ideas on how you can make the most of growing roses:
Rose in the Mixed Border 
This is generally a bed with a mix of roses and other planting -  English roses and modern shrub roses are excellent for a mixed border, perhaps with the addition of some old roses and floribundas and, for the front, the new ground covering roses.
Traditionally a mixed border would be primarily perennials, although in fact both annuals and biennials can also look superb and are often less invasive - flowering shrubs can also work very well with the more informal roses. 
Any color flower can look beautiful with roses and the contrast of the large blooms of the roses with the small blooms of  perennials or even annuals creates a particularly effective look. As well as looking great the mix of planting helps to widen the biodiversity and attracts beneficial insects to keep the planting healthy - don’t allow plants to grow right round the base of the roses, as they will compete for water and nutrients. 
A Rose Border 
This is a border purely of roses but, unlike the formal rose garden, has a much more informal feel to it -  English and modern shrub roses are often the best choice, as they offer a long flowering season, strong fragrance and have good disease resistance. 
Some of the older rose varieties would also fit in perfectly along with floribundas and ground cover roses for the front of the border. 
Climbing Roses
Climbers and ramblers are among the most romantic of all roses, twining their way along pergolas, around fragrant arbours, or framing a view as their blooms billow from an arch or obelisk. 
Part of the range for 50 years, Agriframes’ Round Arch is a classic – use it alone or as a series of arches along a path, perhaps with a different climbing rose trained up and over each one. The Monet Arch replicates the graceful shape of the arches at Giverny, and its optional lattice infill makes it especially easy to train stems into place for good coverage. The square Elegance Door Arch lends itself perfectly to supporting a rose around a doorway so you enter or leave the garden through a cloud of fragrance. Its intricate wirework melts into the background making the rose the star. 
In borders, create height and a floral focal point by training a smaller climbing rose up an Obelisk. Try a rambler such as ‘Open Arms’, which reaches a fraction of the size of other rambling roses, or a short climber such as creamy-peach ‘Claire Austin’, pink ‘Strawberry Hill’ or yellow ‘The Pilgrim’. Keep tying in the stems to a support such as Agriframes’ Classic Obelisk – available in four different finishes – and create a pillar of fragrant flowers. The Rose Obelisk is shorter and is ideal for training shrub roses into that covetable ‘lobster pot’ shape: when their stems are bent over horizontally, they produce more flowers. 
Remember that growing on walls, they will need support – they will not self-cling and they will need pruning so consider how high you want them to climb and choose a variety which fits your plan.  Adding a Screen or Trellis to your wall will make it easier to train your rose and will create some structure while your rose matures.
Roses in Planters
Pots planted up with roses are an excellent way of having roses closer to the house, on a patio or deck and makes it easier to appreciate their beauty and fragrance and close quarters.
Generally it is best to use the biggest planter you can to give the rose a good amount of soil to establish i and also to remain stable as the plant grows taller - climbing roses can do very well in pots against a wall or structure too and and an arch with statement planters either side would make a stunning entrance to any garden.
Rose Hedging 
A hedge of roses can be superb with a mass fragrant flowers for many months of the year. The hedge can be formal or informal according to whether it is a boundary within the garden or along the property line. Decide on the height you want it to grow to and match that to the variety of the rose - select a variety that drops its spent flowers cleanly to avoid too much deadheading - English roses, modern shrubs and floribundas usually work best.
Buying Roses 
Roses are produced as either grafted or own root and sold as either bare root or container/potted plants. 
Before you get started, check out what growing zone your garden is in and research roses that grow well in your zone. Selecting the right rose for your climate is important to having success with growing roses. Most rose nurseries will have that information either on their website or in their catalog - the American Rose Society has a useful guide.
Bare-root roses arrive with no soil around the roots and will have no leaves attached. They are only delivered during the dormant season, beginning in January in the warmer climates and from March to May in the colder climates. They are generally only available by mail order from specialist rose nurseries and should be planted as soon as possible -  they establish very well and you will usually have blooms during your first season.
Container roses are those bought in pots in which can be bought and planted year round although that is subject to your local climate. They can be bought from either garden centers or specialist rose nurseries. They have the advantage of being able to create an instant impact although they will need a little more care to get them established if planted during the warmer months. 
Traditionally the advice is to grow roses in as much sun as possible and at least six hours per day. However some can be grown in less sun and, in warmer climates, shade from the afternoon sun can be an advantage. Growing them too close to trees and shrubs is not ideal even if they are not  in shade as the tree roots will compete for water and nutrients. 
Soil Preparation 
Along with choosing a good variety, this is crucial to your roses growing well, staying healthy and of course producing copious amounts of beautiful flowers. Roses ideally like a humus rich soil that holds the water well. What they really don’t like is a sandy soil that drains freely or a heavy clay that holds the water too much and bakes in the sun. The good news is that just about any soil can be improved by adding really generous amount of well-rotted organic matter which can be easily bought from your local nursery or garden center - taking the time to do this before planting will really help ensure you get the best from your roses.
Whether bare-root or in a container, it is very important to give the rose a good soak before planting. A bare-root rose should be soaked for at least an hour or two or even overnight and left in the bucket until the moment you are ready to plant - don’t let the roots dry out at any point.
A container rose should be soaked for an hour or so to ensure the compost is completely soaked through. Leave it to stand for about 30 minutes to allow excess water to drain away. 
Having prepared your soil really well, as described previously, dig the planting hole, which should be about 12” across and 18” deep. Lower your rose into the planting hole and, if you are using mycorrhizal fungi sprinkle it over the roots. 
Before refilling the hole make sure the rose is at the right level. In colder winter areas – USDA zones 7 and below – the bud union - the bulge where the graft has been made - should be two to three inches below ground level. In areas warmer than zone 7 the bud union should be at or slightly above ground level. 
Press the soil down firmly and create a small mound of soil around the rose about 18” in diameter so that water gathers and travels straight down to the roots rather than spilling out onto the surrounding soil.. Water it in really well and finish off by mulching deeply. Newly planted roses especially container roses should be watered regularly and generously until they are well established 
Wherever you’d like to beautify your garden with a rose, Agriframes has a support to help create a stunning feature to bring extra romance to your summer garden.