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  • Writer's pictureAron Pinto

Landscaping Ideas: Rose Gardening 101

As the weather improves for those selling their Waterloo Region home the outside of their home takes on a greater significance, especially the landscaping around it. And right now, as Spring arrives, it’s a great time to take at long hard look your landscaping – whether you are selling your home or not – to see how it can be improved.

Rose gardens have been popular since the Middle Ages and they are still some of the most stunning choices for a themed outdoor landscape you can create. Lots of Canadians avoid rose gardening though as they are under the impression that it is a particularly tough thing to get right.

That is not really the case though, as long as you learn some of the basics. And a well-tended rose garden can provide color, charm and even beautiful scent to a garden and can certainly be a real boon when selling your home.

With all of this in mind, here are some basic tips for creating a truly impressive rose garden.

Picking the Right Spots

Roses do fare better under certain conditions than others. A spot that receives what rose gardeners call ‘full sun’ is the best choice. This is a spot that gets a decent amount of sun all day, starting in the early morning.

Not every garden has such a spot of course but usually if you can make use of whatever the sunniest spots in your outdoor space are you should be in good shape.

Roses also need plenty of space to spread out their roots as they grow so plan your space so that each rose bush will be at least ten to 12 centimetres apart.

The Right Varieties

There are lots of different varieties of rose and people actually make their living creating new ones every year. In terms of variety, this is great but can make a trip to the local garden center a tad overwhelming!

There are some species of rose that are a little easier for the novice rose gardener to handle than others. Here is a little about the best of them:

The Knockouts

One of the biggest enemies any rose gardener has to be prepared to tackle is disease. In a bid to help the amateur an expert rose grower, Bill Radler spent years cultivating several varieties of rose that are far more disease resistant naturally and are known as Knockout Roses.

Knockout Roses are large shrub roses, with colorful elegant full heads and several inner layers of larger petals. Most are capable of blooming every 5 to 6 weeks in the growing season and tend to bloom for a few days longer than many other varieties.

The Climbers

Not all roses have to be lined up in neat rows of bushes in a well-manicured flower bed. Climbing roses are stunning to look at and very easy to grow as they are a lot hardier than many other species. Climbing roses are a specialty of Canadian rose growers and there are a number of particularly gorgeous home-grown varieties you should look out for including the Candian Explorer, a world-famous climber that was especially cultivated to withstand cold climates.

Tea Roses

Tea roses are the intensely bright, long-stemmed blooms that most often end up in florist shops. They have smaller heads than Knockouts and are a little harder to keep disease free but there are still some easier to cultivate varieties that first-timers can be on the lookout for.

Rose Care Basics

Most roses thrive if they receive just an inch of water each week during the growing season. That water should come from a hose or a simple watering can though, not a sprinkler. Very wet rose blooms are far more prone to disease so while you cannot stop the rain you can avoid drenching them with the concentrated spray from a sprinkler. You can choose to feed your roses a specialist rose food via the soil as well, but make sure that it is suitable for the varieties you are growing before you use it.

To prevent disease deadhead your rose bushes regularly. This simply means twisting off dead blooms that are prone to infection and also spoil the overall appearance of the plant.

Finally, roses only need to be pruned once a year, usually at the beginning of the growing season. Take the time to learn how to prune properly to avoid chopping off too much and stunting your plants.

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