Ev­ery­thing’s rosy

Rutherglen Reformer - - Classified -

Va­ri­eties look­ing stun­ning in­clude Su­per Trouper, You’re Beau­ti­ful, Aphrodite and Lady of Shalott, as well as English old rose hy­brids such as Gertrude Jekyll and Darcey Bus­sell. While they used to be grown on their own in ded­i­cated beds, they’re now grown in mixed borders with other shrubs and peren­ni­als. But given the huge va­ri­ety of roses on sale, you have to be care­ful what to plant and where to achieve the best re­sults. Com­pact roses with an up­right habit are suit­able for small gar­dens where beds are only 1m (40in) wide, so choose com­pact flori­bun­das, pa­tio roses and smaller English roses. For larger borders, you’ll get a great ef­fect plant­ing less vig­or­ous va­ri­eties in threes, which will grow to­gether to ap­pear like one big shrub. Larger shrub roses are best planted singly fur­ther back in the bor­der. Good plant part­ners in­clude clema­tis, which can climb through the roses and en­joys the same con­di­tions and sim­i­lar feeds. In mixed borders, soften roses with airy spec­i­mens such as cat­mint or laven­der or mix it up with lady’s man­tle (Al­chemilla mol­lis) and gera­ni­ums. If you want a longer sea­son, it’s worth look­ing for re­peat-flow­er­ing shrub roses. So, how do we keep our roses bloom­ing? By midsummer, the first flush is usu­ally com­ing to an end, so you’ll need to tidy up shrub and bush va­ri­eties by dead-head­ing and re­mov­ing clus­ters of faded flow­ers. When the flow­ers of flori­bun­das and hy­brid tea roses have faded, re­move the whole truss, cut­ting the stem just above the sec­ond or third leaf down. This will help con­serve the plant’s energy to bear a reg­u­lar suc­ces­sion of new flow­er­ing shoots. They’ll need to be fed with a dose of gran­u­lar fer­tiliser and wa­tered thor­oughly if the ground is dry. Watch for signs of fun­gal dis­ease, in­clud­ing black spot and mildew. They may need reg­u­lar sprays with a fungi­cide to keep dis­eases at bay. Look out for colonies of aphids on the stems, which also have to be sprayed. Make sure the area is well­weeded and sur­round­ing shrubs and peren­ni­als don’t swamp them – cut or ty­ing back con­flict­ing shoots and branches. If you dead-head them now, re­peat-flow­er­ing roses should bloom again in late sum­mer pro­vid­ing you fed them ear­lier on in the sea­son. If you want cut roses for in­side, don’t take more than a third of the flow­er­ing stem with the flower and cut just above an out­ward-fac­ing bud, so that you don’t weaken the bush. Don’t cut flow­ers from newly-planted bushes in the first sea­son. TLC will lead to re­peat­flow­er­ing blooms and a de­li­cious fra­grance for those balmy sum­mer evenings.

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