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Our top tips for growing a romantic rose garden

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Here at Sloane & Sons Garden Furniture, we are conscious that we are part of realising people’s ideal lives.  We often find ourselves considering the special moments our customers are creating by purchasing our carefully crafted hardwood garden benches.

For instance, imagine that warm summer night in your garden.  You have worked hard to nourish and cherish your roses, and you sit now, with your partner, admiring your work.  The scent of the blooms is sweet, and the sun falling below the rooves are casting long delicious shadows.

If this sounds like your perfect idyll, you can easily make it a reality.  With the right ingredients, you can have your romantic evening with your loved one.  Let’s guide you through the steps to take to bring your hope of the most romantic rose garden to life.

#1 Choose the right roses

Roses are notoriously challenging to grow – or so people say.  However, the right rose in the right place can be relatively low maintenance.  When selecting the rose from the garden centre, make sure there is at least one flower in bloom.  You would want the garden centre to present the rose in a -larger 2-gallon container and be supported by canes.  The stems of the roses, also known confusingly as canes, should be thick and appear healthy.  You would hope that the rose is free of disease and has clearly been well-shaped and pruned.

If you choose a climbing rose it will naturally sprawl itself and produce a lot of flowers without much pruning.  The lowest maintenance plant is called Knock Out.  However, the most fragrant rose is called Honey Perfume, and the bush least likely to succumb to disease is called Bonica.

#2 Support it with trellis

It might be that your vision of a romantic garden includes your roses framing your garden furniture. If you do choose a climbing rose to achieve this effect, you will need a trellis for it to grow over.   You can undoubtedly buy ready-made trellis from most garden centres.  However, building your own trellis is much easier than it sounds – and a lot cheaper than you would imagine.  You can also better recreate the aesthetic that you desire if you build your own trellis structure.

#3 Carefully shape the trellis

Ideally, you want the roses to develop over and around your seating area.  Yet, roses come with thorns, and it is a good idea to have a good deal of space to walk between the bushes and your garden furniture.  Therefore, when shaping the trellis, be sure to consider the distance between you and your flowers.  It should be far enough to be practical, but the roses need to be close enough that you can delight in the scent.

#4 Preparation is everything

The reason roses get a reputation for being tricky is that people fail to prepare.  If this is you, then as the saying goes, you should prepare to fail.  If you give the rose everything it needs, it can take care of itself.  You need to make the hole you dig two times wider than the plant’s root ball.  The hole should be about the same height as the root ball, so the top of the ball is only lightly covered in soil.

You should dig this hole in a sunny spot.  A rose will flourish in full sun, where it will enjoy more than six hours sun a day.  The soil should be well-drained and fertile.  You should look to feed the soil with organic material before planting the rose.

#5 Manage your watering carefully

If you are in the midst of a particularly rainy period, then you will not need to water the roses.  However, in the summer, your rose will need watering three times each week.  If you start to see yellow leaves, it means you are overwatering.  The soil needs to be moist, but you must avoid saturating the soil.  Roses do not do well if they are sat in water.

#6 Pruning

If you want your rose to flourish, you are going to have to be brave and do some pruning.  Most roses prefer to be pruned back in February.  The reason climbing roses are easier to grow is that they do not mind when they are pruned – as they will flower from new growth.  If you choose another type of bush, one that will struggle if you prune at the wrong time of year, check the details on the label for the right timing.

Cut back the dead and damaged canes.  You should also remove any branches that grow across the middle of the plant and prevent sunlight and air getting to the inner bush. Any cane that grows excessively tall should also be pruned back.

Anna Sharples

Anna is the marketing and office manager for Garden Benches - a premium supplier of high-quality wooden benches and other outdoor furniture.

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