Old fashioned Roses
Julie Parker
My interest in gardening & wildlife stemmed from childhood days spent working in the garden with my parents & reading books on anything from robins to giraffes. As time has moved on these influences have stayed with me inspiring the creation my own garden & leading to interests in fish keeping & the natural world around me. I still love to read & hope that the knowledge I gain will make topical reading through these articles.

Rose Bouquet

Beauty and fragrance beyond compare; roses are a must for any garden

Worshipped by the ancient Greeks and Romans, today the rose is still one of the most coveted of all flowers, celebrated for its exquisite beauty and wonderful fragrance. As well as the classic tea rose used in flower bouquets, there are many other forms to choose from and all make wonderful garden plants. Modern shrub roses are disease-resistant and repeat-flowering, and are the ideal addition to a mixed border. Climbers will cover a pergola or arch with perfume and colour all summer, while ramblers can scramble up trees or over house walls– most ramblers bloom just once in early summer. Patio roses create dramatic displays in pots, or they can be used to edge the front of a bed. Within each of these categories there are literally hundreds of different colours, flower forms and scents to choose from, so whatever your garden size or style, there’s a rose for you.

Be Prepared

Roses like a sunny site, although some will bloom in partial shade. They are happy in most soils, except shallow chalk, and will also thrive in a raised bed or large container, given an annual dose of fertiliser and constant supply of water. To keep your roses happy, dig a bag of compost into the planting area to improve the fertility and condition of the soil.

Planting Tips for Roses

When you get your rose home, give it a good soak and then dig a hole twice as wide as and a little deeper than the pot. Add some Root Grow (this helps the roots establish) to the bottom of the hole, and mix a handful of rose fertiliser, such as Toprose, into the soil you have removed. Knock the rose out of its pot and place it in the hole. Check that the graft union, which is the knobbly area at the base of the stem, will be about 2cm (1in) below the soil surface after the rose is planted. When the rose is at the correct depth, fill around the root ball with the fertiliser-enriched soil and firm it with your toe to remove any air pockets. Water well, and then add a 5cm (2in) layer of compost over the soil, leaving a gap around the stems. To plant a climber or rambler, set one end of a bamboo cane in the planting hole next to the rose and the other against a support, such as an arch, or wires fixed to a wall. Plant as for a regular rose then tie the stems to the cane.

Caring For Roses

Roses are greedy plants and perform well if fed with a specialist rose fertiliser once a year in spring. Also add a layer of well-rotted manure over the root area (avoiding the stems) at the same time. Different roses require pruning in different ways, so ask one of our expert staff for advice about your particular plant. Most modern hybrid roses are pruned hard in early spring, while others, such as ramblers and species roses, are best left alone or trimmed back lightly after flowering to keep them tidy. Look out for suckers, which can affect the appearance of your rose. Suckers are vigorous shoots with seven bright green leaflets that grow from the base of the plant. Remove them promptly as the flowers they produce are often a different size or colour from the other blooms. Wear stout gloves and simply pull off the offending shoots at the base.

Star Performers

Dress up every aspect of your garden and patio with our range of gorgeous roses, many of which have won awards for their beautiful flowers, rich fragrance and disease-resistant foliage.

Rose of the Year

You’re Beautiful - A multi-award-winning rose, You’re Beautiful is a bushy plant that produces a succession of bright pink, lightly scented flowers on sturdy stems throughout summer. Ideal for a border or large container on a patio. Height: 90cm (3ft).

New for 2013

Inspiration - This beautifully shaped, award-winning hybrid tea rose has salmon pink flowers with a golden sheen to the petals. The healthy foliage and scent makes it a great choice for cutting. Height: 80cm (2ft 10in).

Bright Ideas - This eye-catching modern climber will create a splash with its bi-coloured dark and pale pink semi-double flowers. Train it up a sunny house wall, fence or arch. Height: 2.4m (7ft 9in).

Bright as a Button - Compact and free-flowering, Bright as a Button is a shrub rose. The blooms are pale pink with a distinctive red eye, and the foliage is disease-resistant. Height: 90cm (3ft).

Coming Up Roses

Celebrated rose breeder Peter Beales has dedicated his life to creating some of the world’s most beautiful roses, adding new varieties to his repertoire every year. Many of the roses in our centres were developed by award-winning breeder, Peter Beales MBE, whose company has won no fewer than 19 gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show. “My love of roses started when I was a child and saw the beautiful pale-pink alba rose ‘Maiden’s Blush’ in my grandfather’s garden,” says Peter. As a young man, he studied horticulture and attained an apprenticeship at the famous Le Grice rose nursery in Norfolk. Peter started his own business in 1968, focusing mainly on old-fashioned roses, which he and his team used to breed modern hybrids. The new roses are unique in that they have the same classic shape and scent as traditional varieties, but with the added benefits of disease resistance and repeat flowering. The company now grows 1200 varieties, and we offer a great selection, including Leah Tutu, Evelyn May, Ivor’s Rose and Macmillan Nurse.

Leah Tutu - The large sunny yellow flowers of this disease-resistant shrub rose appear throughout the summer, decorating beds and borders with colour and fragrance. Height: 1.2m (3ft 9in).

Evelyn May - Named after the mother of Peter Beales, the scented flowers of this pretty shrub rose are a mix of orange, salmon and yellow. It will also tolerate light shade. Height: 90cm (3ft).

Ivor’s Rose - Flowering continuously from summer till early autumn, this disease-resistant modern shrub rose has fully double cerise-red scented blooms. Height: 90cm (3ft).

Macmillan Nurse - Compact and neat, this shrub rose produces large old-fashioned-style white flowers with a subtle scent. It blooms throughout the summer. Height: 90cm (3ft).