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Understanding Garden Roses

Jun 15, 2008
For many centuries garden roses have been on of the gardeners favorite plants. Way back, during the time of the Roman Empire, many of the gardens of southern Rome featured an abundance of roses. Throughout history famous gardens have often featured roses and, during the seventeenth century, at Chateau de Malmaison, near Paris, France, Napoleon's wife developed rather extensive rose gardens.

Giving roses to a loved one is something of a long held tradition and the blooms have long been associated with love and romance. However there are plenty of other things that can be said by presenting the blooms to a person because, over the years, different colored rose blooms have become associated with different meanings. Love and romance will always be the most popular, especially when it comes around to Valentines Day when the sales of red roses increases dramatically.

Roses are available in a massive range of colors and tones ranging from black to pure white. (black roses are actually not black at all, rather, they are the darkest shade of red possible). White roses may appear plain but they are one of the most useful colors available because white will go well with almost any other color available. If you create a border fully of roses you may find yourself overwhelmed by the shear choice available and while many opt to plant in one color others create fascinating contrasting color schemes.

Roses are incredibly versatile plants and as well as the wide choice of color there is also a selection of different types of rose available. Possibly the most popular types are the Floribunda and Hybrid Tea types of roses. Telling the two types apart is rather easy as the Floribunda rose will produce it's blooms in clusters whereas the Hybrid Tea type will produce a single bloom on a single stem.

As an alternative to the usual HT and Floribunda types of rose you may be interested in the type known as "full standards". Full standard look as though they are small bushes on a pole and are often seen in containers on decking and patios. They are created by grafting around three strong stems onto one long stem of around 1m in height. The effect is dramatic and such flowers are highly suitable for use as a focal point, even in the smallest of yards.

Although I do not have many roses in my own garden I do like to use climbing roses. Climbing roses can be used in a number of ways and are most useful when trained to grow and cover something that would, ordinarily appear a little plain and boring (such as a wall or fence). Another way in which to use climbers is to allow them to grow up and around some of the larger trees in your garden. Furthermore climbers can be grown in containers if given support or a small trellis.

Finally a more unusual type of rose is the miniature rose. As miniature roses only grow to about 25-40cm they can only be used in certain circumstances as they are easily swamped by other larger and more vigorous plants. Usually miniature roses are used at the front of borders or in containers and they are available in a reasonable range of colors which include pinks, reds, lilacs, yellows and white.

If the brief introduction to garden roses above has led you to consider adding them to your garden then I would advise that you read a little more about them first. Caring for roses requires you to have specific knowledge. Of course it is possible to grow them without this knowledge but if you really want to get the best from your plant it really is worth the extra time and effort to learn exactly what is required to maintain a healthy and colorful bush.
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