Landscaping A Rose Garden – Choosing Garden Roses for Your Landscape

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Question: I love landscaping and want garden roses in my backyard. Before planting a rose garden what varieties or styles give me the most options in design, low maintenance care and minimal disease problems. Katy, Georgia

Answer: Roses are not only beautiful as cut flowers or when used in arrangements, roses are very useful and attractive plants and flowers when used in landscaping.


Rose garden landscaping is so popular. In fact, the White House has one. Presidents may change but the White House Rose Garden lives on.

Roses bushes and gardeners have enjoyed a long relationship which continues to this day where roses still enjoy great popularity today.

However, it should be noted that many believe the Knockout roses saved the rose industry.

The use of landscape roses creates a focal point and can make the exterior of any house more graceful and inviting. Selecting the right varieties to compliment and accent the home’s style, will contribute to overall success of your landscape and rose garden landscape design.

Choosing The Right Roses

Finding landscape roses isn’t difficult – you can find lots of varieties. The problem comes in choosing the right ones for your landscape needs.

Roses come in a number of classes, with each holding characteristics making them a great choice for use as landscape ornamentals.

For example, suppose you want to have roses growing up and over a trellis or archway – tall growing tea roses make for a perfect fit. Tea roses are known for their nodding blooms, and all who walk under the archway enjoy a beautiful display of roses in full bloom.

If a trellis is out and you’re looking to accent a wall then a true climbing rose is your best choice. The beauty of true climbing roses allows you train the plant into many different looks and effects.

When a vibrant splash of background color is what you want – the Floribunda rose is an excellent choice. The popular Floribunda rose varieties give all this color in the landscape with their large sprays of blooms.

The versatile rose can also be used as a ground cover or planted in front of other plants to give color and accent. These perennials can also be used as stand alone specimens and trained into a small tree or planted as hedges – the Rugosa roses being excellent choices.

The Goal Is Impact

The goal or impact of the rose is not the varieties or ways it can be grown – it’s the colors they offer in the gardening palette. What gardeners want are healthy plants that deliver impact in many sizes, styles, textures, colors and shapes. Roses do all of that!

When designing your landscape and rose garden choose the best color roses to compliment the color of your surrounding landscape.

A simple arrangement of pink roses deliver the perfect complement to a stone or marble entrance way and plain white tea roses offer a striking display against a dark red brick house.

Roses come in so many colors it should be easy to find colors which compliment and enhance any decorating or landscape scheme you come up with.

Mixed Colors Create Vibrant Color

Years ago it was popular to landscape using a single variety, today most gardeners like to incorporate a mix of different colors, species and styles of plants into the landscape. This creates a botanical garden full of vibrant color… Epsom salt help roses with bloom color too!

Roses do well in a variety of temperature zones and climates; make sure you choose the varieties suitable to your area. This translates into fewer maintenance issues, less pesticides and disease issues and overall a healthier landscape and flower garden design.

6 Tips On Making A Rose Flourish In Your Garden

1 – Fertilize established roses soon after pruning in the spring. Newly planted bushes will not need extra feeding the first year if bonemeal was added in planting. Apply small amounts of a complete fertilizer often, until mid-August. Work the material in shallowly.

2 – Mulch the rosebed soon after making the first application of fertilizer in the spring. A mulch will not only improve the appearance of the flower beds, but also reduce water loss from the well-drained soil, decrease the incidence of black spot and discourage weeds.

3 – Water the rosebed when necessary; if covered with a mulch, it will be necessary to water the bed only during times of extended drought. Apply water with a soaker, moistening the soil deeply. Roses should be watered early in the day so that the foliage has time to dry before nightfall.

4 – Spray or dust the rosebushes regularly with an all-purpose material so that insects, such as the tiny, sap-sucking aphids shown above, and diseases are kept under control. The war against these pests should be begun when the plant first starts growth and leafs out in the spring.

5 Start Japanese beetles control before they do the kind of damage. Weekly applications may be required using an all-purpose spray or dust, will give control. We like for gardening diatomaceous earth and Neem oil insecticide plant sprays as organic solutions.

6 Prevent black spot, the most serious disease of roses in all parts of the United States except the arid West. An all-purpose dust or spray, regularly applied from early spring on, will prevent the disease. Aim to prevent black spot; do not wait until it has already done its damage.

What About Old Garden Roses?

Some new to growing roses may assume a rose over 20 years old would be considered washed up and unworthy of planting. You would be wrong! Paul Zimmerman the rose expert / landscape architect at says… “To history it is a rose being of a class in existence before the year 1867.”

He likes to use the terms Antique and Old Roses. Old Roses were found in Europe before the very late 1700s. Antique Roses can trace part of their ancestry back to Rosa Chinensis (The China Rose). Imagine roses that are over a century old. They must be very tough and disease resistant.

Paul provides a list of Old Roses and Antique Roses for you to start your own Old New Rose Garden!

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