Inula Royleana
Midwest Gardening
Ideas for Roses

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Using roses in your landscape and gardens is easier than ever.  There is a rose for every purpose.

By now you know that new varieties of roses make it possible for even beginning gardeners to grow beautiful roses.  But many gardeners have a hard time thinking of roses beyond traditional rose gardens and cottage gardens.  Truly, there is a rose for every purpose.  Just be sure to carefully define your purpose, then narrow down the roses that will fill your needs.  The trap so many of us fall into is getting wooed by all the beautiful roses out there.  We may find a rose that will look perfect in our plan, but requires more maintenance, or sun, or shelter than the planting site can provide.  Believing that we can coax the rose into thriving is a mistake, creating extra work that may not even help.

Be patient in your search, find a rose that fits your requirements.  Several things should be on your checklist to consider, and most likely you can even find a suitable rose in the color you prefer.  Determine the following first:

  • Hardiness - do you have the time and interest to protect tender roses?
  • Tolerance of your soil conditions - are you willing to amend your soil deeply to accomodate a favored rose?
  • Are you willing to commit to a regular spraying schedule or will you need highly disease resistant plants?
  • Can you consistently feed and compost “heavy feeder” or do you need feed once in spring shrub roses?
  • Will you religiously prune in spring?  Many shrub roses require little or no pruning.
  • How tall?  How wide?
  • How much sun?
  • How much water?  Be sure the watering requirements of plants in a mixed bed are similar.
  • Bloom early or late? or repeatedly? or continuous?

Now find the roses that are suited to your specific need.  Narrow down your selections by appearance and color.  But first things first!  Here are some ideas about how to use roses all over your property!

Create a lovely and fragrant entry garden with shrub roses, perfect for welcoming.
Entry garden, therese bugnet, morden blush, fru dagmar
Therese Bugnet Rugosa, Morden Blush Canadian Parkland, Fru DagmarRugosa

Add a bright spot to underplantings with roses
Explorer Rose in the landscape, Captain Samuel Holland
Explorer Rose Captain Samuel Holland

Edge a driveway with a rose hedge
Hero and Iceberg rose driveway border
  Hero and Iceberg Roses

   Roses can add dramatic accent to a wall
Double Pink Knockout roses, Sky Pencil holly, and Evergreen candytuft.
Double Pink Knockout roses, Sky Pencil holly, and Evergreen candytuft.

Use roses in a border garden with perennials
Fairy Rose border garden
Fairy Roses

Plant roses in masses for stunning effect
Knock Out
Knock Out Roses

Hide the house?  In ideal conditions shrub roses do get quite large!
John Cabot rose full grown
John Cabot Canadian Explorer Rose

Create layered hedge rows
Knock Out rose accents
Knock Out Roses

Sprinkle roses into a cottage garden

Roses sprinkled into a cottage garden

Roses add colorful accent to statuary or a lawn ornament
Knock Out
Knock Out roses overtaking a birdbath

Create a fragrant patio garden with roses
rose garden  patio accent

Add color and vertical interest to a bare wall with climbing rosesRoses climbing with euonymous

Roses climbing with Euonymous

Fill a slope with shrub or rambling rosesRoses in the landscape, fairy rose and queen elizabeth

Fairy Roses and Queen Elizabeth

Plant roses in containers and put them everywhere!

Roses in containers

When you are agonizing over finding the perfect spot for your rose, remember - roses are tough!  This one is growing out of a crack in the sidewalk!

Rose growing out of a crack in the sidewalk
There are endless ideas for using roses in your landscape and gardens.  Plant them where you can enjoy them most.  Choose fragrant varieties near patios, garden walks and entry areas.  Choose everblooming and easy care shrub roses in more distant areas of your property.

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