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Rose Garden Ideas

If you’ve always shied away from growing roses because you believed their press, it’s time to put away your misconceptions. Far from being the finicky, pest-ridden creatures that they’re made out to be, roses are surprisingly easy to grow and maintain. Roses have five basic needs:

Plenty of sun! With very few exceptions, roses love the sun. Choose a spot for them that gets at least six full hours of sun per day, and they’ll reward you with beautiful, showy blooms.

Lots of Water! Roses are thirsty little critters, too. Plan on giving your rose garden a good daily drenching to supplement rain – and add a second if rain is scarce.

Control Pest-y Critters! Roses ARE prone to attract pesky bugs like Japanese beetles and aphids. There are all sorts of natural treatments if you object to a weekly-or-so spraying with a pesticide designed for roses. On the flip side – the only time that I saw major problems with infestations were my grandmother’s prize blue-blood strains. Hybrids and ramblers seem not to be bothered much at all.

Feed them! You’ll get more, fuller and more colorful blooms if you feed your roses once a month with a good, balanced fertilizer.

Pick your roses! Seriously – roses love to be pruned and groomed. The more you pick your roses, the more you’ll get.

So – have you got a spot in your yard that gets at least six hours of sun a day, is close enough to the garden hose that watering is easy, and is easily accessible by paths and walkways? In that case – you have a great spot for a rose garden.

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A few ideas for rose garden designs you might not have considered are:

A Rose Fence Garden
Climbing and rambling roses are ambitious climbers. You can completely cover a chain link fence with a plant every 2-3 feet. Start with bare-stemmed root stock, and train new growth along the chain links and support frames. Within 3-4 years, you’ll have a full wall of blossoming roses.

A Corner Rose Garden
Got a bare, sunny corner in your yard? It’s the perfect spot for a climbing rose garden. Start with a few large boulders or rocks, plant 3-5 ground-cover or rambling roses, and stay out of the way. Within a few years, you’ll find you’re spending more time containing them than trying to make them grow.

A Centerpiece Rose Garden for Your Front Entrance
My mother gets credit for this one.  She simply planted a rose bush at the base of her driveway lamp, and trained a few stalks to grow up along the lamp post. The result – stunning! Red roses twine around the pole, and over the top of the lamp and spill around the ground at its base.

A Patio Rose Garden
Miniature hybrids and tea roses are quite happy growing in terracotta pots and other containers. If you have a sunny patio, try filling a large strawberry jar with a couple of tea rose bushes, and plant the pockets with trailing alyssum and purple lobelia.

A Mixed-Up Rose Garden
Roses love to share – especially with garlic and onion plants. The tall, spiky foliage of onion, garlic and chive sets camouflage leggy rose stalks. Add a border of low-growing ground cover, and let the roses provide shade for shrinking violets and impatiens. Added bonus: garlic and onions keep away many rose pests.