Now that summer is well underway our roses are blooming and looking wonderful. With their great beauty, tremendous variety, and luscious scent, it’s easy to become passionate about roses. Like Oscar Wilde, who could “resist anything except temptation,” those who give in to the temptation of roses are richly rewarded. In addition to being beautiful flowers for arrangements, roses lend themselves to a wide variety of crafts, providing everything from petals for creating potpourri, to the vitamin C-rich seed pods (called rose hips) for rose hip tea.
Some of our favourites at the moment are:
Rosa ‘Coconut Ice’ – not only does it have a fabulous scent, it also boasts large, strongly fragrant, double, white-speckled, bright pink flowers from late spring into autumn.
Rosa ‘Ice Cream’ – A compact Hybrid Tea rose with attractive coppery-bronze leaves and an abundance of large ivory-white flowers from summer into autumn. Spicy cinnamon scent. Excellent for cutting.
Rosa ‘Fond Memories’ – A repeat flowering patio rose. Small clusters of petit ginger-orange blooms fading to apricot with a glowing yellow centre are produced repeatedly throughout the summer into the autumn. Dark green and glossy foliage provides a perfect backdrop for the flowers. Hardy. Good disease resistance.
Rosa ‘Iceberg’ – A popular variety producing sprays of slightly fragrant, double pure white flowers from pink buds, summer to autumn. Good disease resistance. Repeat flowering if dead-headed. Moderately prune in March.
Rosa ‘Eyes for You’ – A fragrant Floribunda rose with dark green leaves. Beautiful cream flowers with a purple eye produced from summer to autumn.
Rosa ‘Eye of the Tiger’ – A cluster flowered bush rose producing semi-double, golden yellow flowers with rich red eye and good scent from summer into autumn.
Rosa ‘National Trust’ – a deciduous, upright, hybrid tea type rose. It has glossy, green leaves and crimson-red flowers that are slightly fragrant, blooming from summer through until autumn. What a beauty!
Rosa ‘Tequilla Sunrise’ – Large-flowered rose with glossy dark green leaves. Pretty fully double yellow flowers with scarlet margins.
When choosing roses, it’s helpful to know some of the terminology and uses:
- Hybrid tea roses. These are tall, long-stemmed roses ideal for cutting. They are usually the kind you send from the florist. In the garden, they are often featured as single specimens.
- Floribundas. Developed during the last century, these roses are shorter and bloom more freely, setting clusters of blossoms rather than a single bloom on a stem.
- Shrub roses. These can be tall or kept trimmed. They can be treated like a hedge and bloom from spring through fall. Their foliage fills in. Aside from the great beauty of their flowers, which are borne consistently over a long season, shrub roses boast a natural disease-resistance, grow in a variety of climates and require very little attention (very little pruning required) – they are impressive to say the least!
- Tree roses. These elegant roses grow in a cluster at the top of a stake. Tall ones can frame a doorway or line a walk. Smaller varieties can be grown in containers on the patio or porch.
- Patio roses. These grow two to four feet tall, bloom all season, and are well suited to growing in containers in small spaces. Sometimes they are planted in hedges as foundation covers. The foliage tends to be dense.
- Climbers. Climbing roses can form dramatic cascades grown over an arched trellis or trained over a fence, pillar, or post. They are sometimes used to create a privacy wall.
Don’t forget: Roses are heavy feeders and thrive best in rich, fertile soil. They will benefit from specific nutrients to help their growth to enable them to produce flowers. We recommend:
Bayer Garden Toprose – Britain’s best-selling granular rose feed which boasts the perfect balance of nutrients for bright and beautiful roses and shrubs. It also contains long-lasting nitrogen for balanced growth and Iron and Magnesium to guard against premature leaf drop. We would suggest using in Spring after the roses have been trimmed back and then again when they have had their first flush of flowers.