Rose Garden Ideas

Roses are incredibly versatile and can be used to create stunning displays whether as part of a backyard planting scheme or in a traditional formal rose garden evoking the grandeur of stately homes and palaces. From romantic rose archways to fragrance filled borders there are many rose garden landscaping options to choose from - here we explore some of the most creative and inspiring rose garden ideas to help you enjoy as they mature over many years.

Front Yard Rose Garden Ideas

Creating a beautiful rose garden in your front yard is an excellent way to give your house real kerb appeal and set the scene for anyone arriving at your home while using roses as part of an ornamental scheme in entertaining areas of your garden ensures guests will be wowed by the scent and colorful blooms on show.  structure and layout are key to creating real impact.

front yard rose gardens

Use Garden Arches for Climbing Roses 

Garden Arches are a great investment and the perfect way to frame an entrance or transition between your front and back yard, creating a cascade of blooms overhead when trained with climbing plants. 

Quintessentially English, a rose covered arch is typical of an English rose garden, characterized by well-organized borders and symmetrical patterns, bursting with masses of color. A classic and timeless garden which often mixes flowers with fruit and vegetables and uses traditional materials for a more informal design. 

When trained with roses, an arch will improve each year as your plants establish. Depending on the size of your arch, you will need to choose either a rambling rose or a climbing rose to train over the structure. A rambling rose can grow to 50 or 60 feet high if allowed to and tends to flower just once with clusters of blooms on delicate stems while many climbing roses flower repeatedly throughout the summer and will produce larger, individual blooms on stems that will need to be tied in to form a framework against the arch. For best results, buy two plants and plant either side of your arch, where the structure meets the ground ensuring that there is still sufficient room to pass easily through the arch.

rose arch

An Impactful Rose Obelisk 

A rose obelisk is a great way to create impact in your front yard and works particularly well when placed in pairs to frame a path, entrance or doorway. A popular choice for adding height to borders the Classic Rose Obelisk lends itself to vertical growing for hard stem climbers and allows you to showcase a rose that might otherwise get a little lost amongst the lush growth of a herbaceous border.

Most climbing roses prefer full sun so make sure to place your obelisks in a warm area of the garden and ensure the soil is deep, fertile and well-drained. Though tempting, roses should never be planted in the center of an obelisk as this will make it difficult to train the rose to cover the structure. For best results, plant your roses to the side of your obelisk, typically around 10 inches away from it and incorporate a generous amount of well rotted compost or manure in the hole to get the plant off to a great start. For traditional shrub and tea roses that needs some support we recommend the Shrub Rose Obelisk for a timeless and practical solution.

rose obelisk

A Mix Border Planting

One of the most versatile ways to grow roses is to add them to your borders amongst herbaceous and annual planting, especially as you have the freedom to mix varieties and colors together - almost any type of perennial or biennial will look great with roses - try lavender, foxgloves, tulips and peonies for a timeless and elegant English rose garden feel with vibrant color, varying height and interesting texture.

mix border planting

Backyard Rose Garden Designs

Creating a beautiful rose garden in your backyard is a great way to add charm, color and stunning fragrance to your outdoor living space. Generally more secluded than a front yard, a backyard rose garden is sure to ‘wow’ and delight guests - especially those visiting your garden for the first time!

A Stunning Pergola Walkway

For backyards with pathways or different sections, a rose covered pergola makes a stunning feature walkway to lead your guests from one area of the garden to the other. Use along a pathway to create a aisle effect and sense of movement in the garden - when trained with roses, your pergola will transform a path into a spectacular walkway with color and fragrance along the way. 

Do remember to prune rosesannually to promote repeat flowering and stronger stems. The best time to prune climbing roses is generally late Autumn and rambling roses should be pruned in Summer, immediately after flowering.

As a large structure, a pergola is best paired with climbing roses that will improve in density over time, some reaching extraordinary heights. A rambling rose is another great alternative for early Summer blooms. We recommend  'The Albrighton Rambler' - a hardy rose that produces an abundance of cotton candy pink flowers.

rose pergolas

A Gazebo for Architectural Interest

If you want to add focus for entertaining or relaxing in your backyard, a gazebo is another large scale structure that pairs beautifully with roses. Providing architectural interest all year round our larger size gazebos have plenty of room for a garden table and chairs - perfect for a summer tea party or alfresco dining spot. 

For the uprights of your gazebo, train your rose as you would an obelisk or pillar, training the stems in an upwards spiral so the plant has an easier chance of spreading itself onto the roof. Once the rose has made good progress along the uprights, begin to weave it across the beams, tying the stems loosely as you go. This will encourage the rose to fill out laterally, with the goal of covering the whole structure. As a result, your gazebo will provide a great source of shade - a perfect spot to escape to on a sunny day! 


Rose Garden Designs for Small Yard

Having a small yard shouldn't stop you from achieving an amazing rose garden. From vertical gardens and hanging baskets to miniature rose bushes and container gardens, there are plenty of options for creating a rose garden that fits your outside space.

Use Pots & Containers for Added Variety 

If space is limited in your garden, potted roses work wonderfully as a nod to an English Rose Garden. Miniature types can grow in fairly small pots as long as there is enough depth for the roots to establish and despite their smaller size, they are surprisingly hardy. A tip if you are working in a smaller space is to limit your color varieties - we recommend choosing one or two hues to keep the design clean and not too busy.

Characterized by its bushy, rounded shape, a patio rose is another great idea for a small backyard. Low maintenance and easy to grow, a patio rose is ideal for balconies, window boxes and container planting - If your doorway catches enough sun a container either will create a standout entrance that really elevates a simple space.


Cover Your Walls, Fences & Drainpipes

Most gardens have a fence or wall which may not look the part so training your rose over your fence or adding screens in front of an unsightly wall is a great way to transform this area - Planting the roses in a staggered pattern can help to create visual interest that can be further enhanced by adding a few low-growing perennials.

Growing roses on drain pipes can add interest in a normally forgotten area and helps utilize every inch in gardens with more limited space. Climbing roses can be trained to grow alongside drainpipes and will provide a stunning display of vertical blooms throughout the summer months. We recommend using our Elegance Drainpipe Cover to create this perfect look. 

rose fences

Caring for roses

Caring for roses is not difficult but is essential to ensure the best display and longevity of your plants. Alongside full sun, well-drained soil and annual pruning, it’s important to remember the simple things like watering your roses regularly to maintain good moisture levels in the soil - A really thorough watering once or twice a week is more effective than little and often.

Mulch annually with well-rotted horse manure and remember that roses are hungry plants so consider using a rose feed to provide your rose with key nutrients and promote flowering in Summer. As well as this, make sure you can reach the top of your structure in the future when your rose has reached its full height - you may need a tall ladder!


Plan Your Visit: Where to Find Rose Gardens

We’ve listed some of the most renowned and beautiful rose gardens to visit here in the US and in the UK. Where will your inspiration take you?

Rose Gardens in the US

Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden,  at The New York Botanical Garden

This garden offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of over 650 varieties of roses. This stunning garden is the perfect place to spend a leisurely afternoon admiring the vibrant blooms. 

peggy rockfeller

The International Rose Test Garden, Portland, Oregon

Home to over 8,000 rose bushes in over 500 varieties. This lush garden is a must-see for any rose enthusiast. 

portland rose test garden

 The Huntington Rose Garden, Southern California

This garden features over 4,000 bushes of roses in over 100 varieties and is the perfect spot to take in the beauty of the San Gabriel Mountains.

 The Huntington Rose Garden, Southern California

The Boerner Botanical Gardens in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Another great place to check out if you’re looking for a spectacular rose garden. This garden has more than 4,000 roses in over 100 varieties and it is truly a sight to behold.

Rose Gardens in the UK

Kew Royal Botanical Gardens

Located just outside of London in Richmond, Kew is a must-see destination for rose lovers. Home to both historical and modern varieties, the gardens feature more than 3,000 different types of roses. Wander through the gardens and take in the beautiful sights of blooming roses in all shapes and sizes. From climbing varieties to old-fashioned blooms, there is something for everyone to enjoy here.

Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew 

Sudeley Castle Gardens

Situated in the heart of the Cotswolds, Sudeley Castle is home to an extensive rose garden. Blooming with over 400 varieties, this is one of the best spots in the UK to see roses in full bloom. Whether you’re looking for something traditional or something a bit more modern, you’re sure to find it in the gardens of Sudeley Castle.

Mottisfont Abbey Gardens

Located in Hampshire, Mottisfont Abbey is home to a stunning walled rose garden. With more than 200 varieties, the garden is a sight to behold in the summer months. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the abbey gardens and take in the beauty of the blooms.

Mottisfont Abbey Gardens

RHS Garden Wisley

This garden in Surrey is home to more than 1,500 different varieties of roses. From climbing varieties to old-fashioned blooms, there is something for everyone to enjoy here. Take a stroll through the gardens and take in the sights and smells of the roses in full bloom.

RHS Wisley