BY SUE MONTGOMERY | HORTICULTURALISTS
This is a wonderful time of year to enjoy roses. If you have roses in your garden already, why not add to them and if you don’t have roses, there are so many beautiful varieties to choose from.
DESIGNING A ROSE GARDEN
Planning a rose garden is not as hard as you may think. Because roses are spaced 1m apart, you will have a good idea of the number of roses you need.
Decide if they should be in rows or clumps, taller at the back and shorter towards the front border of the bed.
PLANTING BARE-ROOTED ROSES IN WINTER
Using a garden fork, dig a rough walled hole at least 50x 50cm to accommodate and spread out the rose roots. Do not add fertilizer or animal manure. Remove the rose from the packaging and dip in seaweed solution, Prune off any broken roots and give the rose stems a trim to the outward-facing buds.
Create a mound of soil in the hole and spread the rose roots down over the mound and start backfilling the soil. keep the crown above the soil.
Water thoroughly, add a light soil or compost to fill the well so the crown is just above the existing soil level, which allows space for a light application of lucerne mulch or pea straw.
After rain, check roses as they dislike wet feet.
WHAT TO PLANT AMONG THE ROSES
The appearance of your rose garden will be enhanced by planting lots of other plants amongst the rose. The added benefit is that they will also attract a host of predator insects.
Herbs like garlic and parsley will deter aphids while spring-flowering daffodils and other flowers will encourage the early breeding of ladybirds by providing necessary food for them.
Standard rose allow a lot of areas underneath to plant low growing herbs, vegetable bulbs, annuals and perennials.
All sorts of perennials with spires of striking colours look sensational around rose.
Because rose require adequate ventilation to prevent fungal disease, regularly prune perennials when they have finished flowering to maintain healthy rose foliage