One of my favorite flowers is the rose. Now I don’t mean just any rose, but old-fashioned roses, those that were popular hundreds of years ago.
Most of these roses were bred for growing in the garden, but there are also some varieties that are ideal for growing in containers so there is something for everyone when it comes to old-fashioned roses.
Roses make a spectacular statement when planted in any garden. They are so versatile; they can be used in several ways. Since many of the climbers are vigorous growers one of the best ways to deal with them is to weave the canes onto a single tall post. I also like to create a rustic teepee from three tree limbs and let the roses twine around the poles. And if you’re looking for a colorful alternative to a hedge, many of these beauties are ideal planted in a row.
While these are all great suggestions, for me one of the best ways to use old-fashioned roses is to plant them just like any other flowering shrub in the garden, integrating them among perennials and annuals to create a beautiful mixed border.
Now, many gardeners shy away from roses because they have a reputation for being fussy. I find that old-fashioned roses can actually be quite easy to grow given the proper conditions.
When planting roses I pay particular attention to where I place them in the garden. They need to be located in an area that gets four to six hours of direct sunlight a day and plenty of air circulation. This will cut down on fungal problems later in the season. And for soil, roses thrive in a rich loam that’s well drained.
To give my roses a boost, I like to amend my existing garden soil. I take two parts existing soil to one part homemade compost to one part well-rotted manure and then I mix it all together in the wheelbarrow. As far as the size of the hole, you want to make sure that it’s at least wide enough to spread all of the roots out and about 14 to 18 inches deep.
The placement of the bud union (that part of the plant between the roots and limbs) either above or below the soil line is important. The bud union is the most susceptible part of the plant and if you live in areas where you have extremely cold winters you’ll want to bury it about 1 to 2 inches below the surface of the ground for protection. But in milder parts of the country you can actually plant it with the bud union about 1 inch to 1 1/2 inches above ground level.