As today begins the Rose Week celebrations it was an easy choice to select the Rose as our plant of the week. From the ancient Babylonians to modern day its grown for its beauty and scent with so many varieties, there is a rose suitable for any garden.
Until taking over the garden centre I had never really been a fan of roses, opting more for the low maintenance architectural plants that fitted into the small urban gardens I had the pleasure of creating. I like many others saw them as hard work and could not see their value as they would be bare in winter. How wrong I was arriving in the May, I was soon to enjoy the ultimate garden favourite with its glorious colour and scent through June and beyond.
Roses they can be grown in borders, containers, over arches, pergolas and as groundcover and come in such a diverse range of colours once you get the bug you wont be able to resist their seductive charms. All roses can be beautiful however add the dimension of fragrance and you have exceptional roses.
The range of colours and their symbolic meanings also make them a marvellous gift. In terms of a bouquet/bed of red and white roses would mean I love you intensely and my intentions are honorable or could be you showing your Cork colours. Alternatively for gardeners just across the border you can mix yellow and greens to show your symbols of friendship and caring (but not on match days).
In terms of caring for your roses we’ve all heard that to grow beautiful roses requires chemicals and systemics (adds in harmful to bees at this point).Not true and you can grow them organically following the advice below.
Start off selecting roses that are resistant to diseases and create wonderful soil by adding lots of organic matter. Water the roots, not the foliage and feed them regularly in the spring, after pruning and while they are in bud in mid-summer with a seaweed feed. Promptly remove diseased or damaged wood and clean-up fallen leaves and debris and consider companion planting to deter bugs. (Alliums to repel nematodes, nasturtiums to trap aphids, alyssum, geranium, rosemary and thyme to attract beneficial insects).It’s hard to avoid black spot on your roses. If yours become infected, reach for organic solutions. Don’t reach for systemic pesticides that are going to throw everything out of balance. The main thing is to learn to expect and tolerate a little imperfection.