Roses are probably one of the most widely grown plants in the home garden – whether planted in a bed of their own or planted in amongst other shrubs. They are also one of the best loved flowers throughout the world – they are certainly my favourite – their beauty, form and fragrance is hard to beat.
There is a myth going around that roses are fussy, difficult plants to grow. Nothing could be further from the truth. Once established, roses are one of the hardiest plants around – believe me – it is very difficult to kill an established rose bush! Often in abandoned gardens that have been neglected for years, you’ll still find a tough, resilient rose plant successfully blooming from amongst the tangled mess.
Roses have changed a great deal over the years, with breeders continually developing species that possess greater disease resistance, larger blooms and offer a wider colour selection. They are also bred to adapt to a variety of climate conditions.
It can be quite a challenge to choose a rose bush from the many varieties on offer. When looking for a rose plant the number one thing to be mindful of is whether it is suitable for your particular climate. As tempting as it is to make your rose selection based on colour, fragrance or form, check it’s suitability to your climate first. Then the fun can begin choosing the particular features you want in your rose.
Before rose plants are made available for sale, many years of research and trial testing go into identifying the extremes of conditions it can tolerate, and those under which it grows best, and this information is available for the rose gardener from a variety of sources. A good place to start is by asking your local nurseryman or wholesale rose grower/seller for advice. You could also get in contact with your local rose growing club which usually has a wealth of information available for rose lovers.
Reading through rose growing catalogues, books and websites (like this one!) can be a joy as well as informative. My all time favourite way of gathering information about rose plants is to visit the botanic gardens – there’s usually one in every city or region. They usually have a whole section devoted to roses – where you can see the different varieties on show and can experience firsthand their form, colour and beautiful fragrance – simply heaven!