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Roses only or a mixture.

Discussion in 'Roses' started by Mike Allen, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. Mike Allen

    Mike Allen Gardener

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    At one time it was the in thing for rose beds and borders to be just that. No underplanting etc. Look grand when the roses were in bloom. Then come the fall and winter, the picture was lots of thorny twigs sticking up. Easy to maintane but very bland. The preparation of a new rose bed called for a lot of hard graft. Ideal for a grave digger perhaps as in the Royal parks of London and some local parks and gardens, the beds would be dug out to a depth of six feet. Loads of leaf mould and fresh soil would be filled in. The roses would be planted and that was all that. Usually the attending gardeners cared for the roses only.

    Now more and more rose growers, private and commercial fill the beds by underplanting. This has various benefits. Helps keep weeds down and offers a year-round attraction. preparation has also changed. Althogh perhaps a mini digger might be used to replicate the older method but, digging out to a depth of six feet is seldom done now for rose gardening. Even double digging and illegitimate child trenching has been given up.

    Mostly single spit digging is employed, adding an assortment of chemical fertilizers etc, then a hole taken out, rose bush popped in, fill in and firm. Then the planting of all sorts to cover the soil. So simple question to my forum friends. What's your method of rose growing?
     
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    • Marley Farley

      Marley Farley Affable Admin! Staff Member

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      I have to say all mine are underplanted as I hate the bare twigs look.. I have a mixed border on one side with 6 different roses in amongst everything else.. I love the mix..

      My grandfather was a rose grower he had a huge garden and his were all planted on their own no underplanting.. He planted it to look like a church window and when looked at from the upstairs windows it did and they were a magnificent show.. Walking amongst the beds was wonderful too as he loved scented roses as well as colour.! :SUNsmile:

      Oh and yes, I still double dig.! :yes:
       
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      • Sandy Ground

        Sandy Ground Total Gardener

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        I'm a little bit divided on this one.

        One the one hand, I'm a bit old fashioned and have therefore not underplanted any of my roses. The simple reasons being that I think they have an unsurpassed beauty, and prefer them to have a lot of free flowing air around them.

        On the other, I can see that they would look a lot better if underplanted for exactly the reason stated above. To hide the bare twigs look.

        The way I have planted mine should allow for a certain amount of changes (=additions) later this year or early next.

        Edit: Speaking to Tantau (@wiseowl will know these) and their advice is to space at around 60cm for quite a few of their varieties.
         
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        • wiseowl

          wiseowl Friendly Owl Admin Staff Member

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          Good morning I have tried both methods but their are advantages for both methods but as a personal preference my Roses stand alone with no under planting:smile:
           
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          • Sheal

            Sheal Total Gardener

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            I created a rose bed in my last garden and was considering under planting it when I decided to move house. Keeping the weeds at bay was becoming a chore so I thought about Lavender or ground cover plants.

            Nine floribunda roses in the bed but not all can be seen.
            139.JPG

            After removing the turf I double dug and followed that by digging in horse manure. With a hungry, sandy soil to contend with I covered the bed twice a year with home produced compost and fed them three times a season with either chicken manure pellets or blood, fish and bone.

            Having moved house and area I had decided not to grow roses in my new garden because of the upkeep but that isn't to be. I have one at the moment and will have another three come bare root season at the end of this year.....it may not stop there! No formal beds though, these roses will have a different growing habit to suit my garden and with less maintenance.

            I think once roses have got a grip on us they are difficult to give up. :)
             
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            • ruletheworld

              ruletheworld Apprentice Gardener

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              Very well said!
               

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