As one of the most beautiful and distinctive flowers, roses have a reputation of being high maintenance and difficult to grow. However, with a little know how and care, rose gardening can add an attractive and fragrant mainstay to your gardens. Modern hybrids and winter hardy varieties have made rose gardening simpler and more rewarding than ever before.
Roses come in colors from white to almost black, and every shade in between. In addition to a kaleidoscope of colors, roses come in a number of varieties that have different growing habits, from low growing shrub roses to elegant climbing roses. One of the most enjoyable parts of rose gardening is choosing varieties and colors.
The key to successful rose gardening is choosing an ideal location for planting. Roses need full sun and well-drained soil to thrive. Rich soil containing plenty of organic matter is preferable, but roses tolerate most soil types. Prepare your garden bed before selecting plants, so that the plants you choose can be put in the ground immediately.
When purchasing roses, there are two options: bare root and potted. Bare root roses are less expensive because they are packaged and shipped in their dormant state, but potted roses provide an excellent, quick start for your rose garden. Potted roses take root and bloom more quickly, and are a good choice for beginning rose gardeners.
Once you have prepared the garden and chosen roses, it is time to begin planting. This is the hard work of rose gardening; each hole should be large enough to accommodate the entire root system of the rose, and deep enough to plant the rose to the crown.
Pruning and Care
Rose gardening also involves some ongoing upkeep. Roses should be pruned in both spring and fall to maintain plant health and encourage new growth. Pruning should clear out any dead or weak branches and cut back twiggy, non-productive growth.
Winterizing your rose bushes is an important part of rose gardening, especially in areas with cold or snowy winters. Simply mounding mulch around the base of each rose bush and anchoring it in place with a collar or cage will protect your roses from winter chills.
With a long, rich history, rose gardening is known as the hobby of royalty, Southern belles and modern gardeners alike. All it takes to enjoy this hobby yourself is a little knowledge and a patch of garden space.