Planting a Rose Garden involves the following: (a) Design; (b) Choice of varieties; (c) Preparation of the soil and planting.

Design will depend very much on available space and personal taste. It may vary from the simple bed of Hybrid Tea Roses surrounded by turf, to elaborate designs which include climbers and ramblers on walls or rustic arches and fences, together with uniform borders of Floribundas, standards and weeping standards, and several beds of Hybrid Teas. There is certainly more interest in a garden which contains several types as well as varieties of Roses.

Colour again is a matter of personal choice. Some prefer a galaxy of hues, but a few well chosen shades which blend well together are likely to create more pleasing effects.

As far as possible, choose an open, sunny site for the Rose garden and if a wall is to be used for climbers, make sure that new plants do not suffer from lack of water. A wall often effectively shields a plant from natural rain.

Before deciding on types and varieties, it is good policy to visit a Rose nursery and order plants when they are in flower. This is the only way to make quite certain that no mistake has been made when planning for specific colour effects.

Roses will grow succesfully on a wide range of soils if the following points are borne in mind:

1. They grow well above a clay subsoil, but resent roots planted in pure clay. In very clayey areas, growth will generally be

improved if a bucket of sand is mixed with the soil covering the roots.

2. A very acid soil will require liming. A soil with a pH of 6.5 is ideal, but Roses will grow within a range of pH6 pH7.

3. During hot, dry summers Roses require ample supplies of water.

4. Waterlogging is very bad for them. In order to produce a soil of good texture well drained but not drying out in summer, it is essential to cultivate deeply and incorporate large amounts of organic matter. This is true for both sandy and clay soils. Peat soils are acid and contain enough organic matter, but tend to be short of mineral nutrients and are often badly drained; they should be treated with lime and artificial fertilisers.

Deep digging will improve the drainage but for severe waterlogging it may be necessary to construct special drains. The term 'organic matter' refers to any decaying plant or animal residue e.g. spent hops, compost, farmyard manure, leaf-mould, grass mowings, peat etc. Having produced a soil of good texture with such materials it only remains to dress it with a base fertiliser.

Use a complete fertiliser that contains a balance of nitrogen, phosphorus and potash. There are special Rose foods available that contain a good balance of these ingredients, plus the trace elements. Fork these materials into the top 6 ins. of the soil.

As it is not recommended that roses are planted in freshly manured or fertilised soil, it is preferable to prepare the bed at least 6 weeks in advance of planting, otherwise omit any fertiliser. Planting time is June, July and early August.

Roots of the roses must not be allowed to dry out, so it is necessary to delay planting. Put the plants into a trench and water thoroughly, to carry the soil into contact with the roots and to exclude air pockets.

Before planting, the roots may need pruning to remove any damaged portions and extra long roots should be slightly shortened.

Make the planting holes wide enough to accommodate the roots without having to bend or force them into position, and let the depth be such, that when the operation is completed, the union between stock and scion is slightly below or at ground level.

Planting distances depend on the type of Rose and variety. An average distance between Hybrid Teas is 18 in. but more vigorous ones, such as 'Peace', require 24 in. Floribundas may be planted at the same distances but vigorous climbers and ramblers trained on fences and walls must be allowed at least 6 ft. between individual plants.

Newly planted Roses should be hard pruned during JulyAugust. With Hybrid Teas (whether bushes or standards) shorten back all strong shoots to about 4 in., cutting these immediately above a bud. Very weak, thin shoots should be removed entirely. Ramblers and climbers should be cut back to leave the strongest growths about 12 in. long.Weeping Standards are Rambler Roses budded high up on tall briars and should be treated like any other rambler.

Pruning methods will depend on the class of Rose concerned, but there are some general rules which apply to the pruning of all Roses.

1. Keep a constant look out for sucker growths from the base. Rose varieties budded on briar stocks frequently send up basal shoots, and if ignored, the plants eventually develop into large briar bushes, while the original varieties die of starvation.

It is often possible to recognise suckers by their smaller and greater number of leaflets usually 7 in number. When in doubt, scrape soil away from the base and determine the origin of growth. If this appears at or above the union of the graft, it is a desirable shoot. If from below this area, it is definitely a sucker and should be removed by paring close to the stem with a sharp knife.

2. Remove all old wood. Unlike the plump smooth new canes, this is comparatively scaly or ridgy and carries only spindly growths. Old canes are cut as closely as possible to the graft union, or just above the junction of a solid new cane.

3. Shorten back new canes to an eye that is pointing in the direction where new growth is required. Make the cut about in. above and sloping back slightly behind the eye.

4. Where, in our climate. it is not desirable to cornpletely expose the centre of the bush as the wood needs some protection from the summer sun, it is preferable to eliminate any crossing growths which rub against each other. Shorten one back to a suitably placed bud.

5. Remove all weak shoots, i.e. short, twiggy growths which will never produce good blooms.

6. Dead or diseased wood must always be eliminated.

After these main points have been dealt with, pruning should proceed as follows:

Teas and Hybrid Teas
Cut the remaining strong shoots back to about six buds during JulyAugust. Trials have shown that for garden display relatively light pruning allows the bushes not only to produce earlier blooms, but in greater quantity. For show purposes cut back to three buds.

Early Winter pruning is practised in coastal areas. This results in earlier flowers, but is risky in very cold climates because hard frosts in July may damage the tops of the pruned shoots, which will have to be cut back again at the end of August.

Hybrid Perpetuals
Treat in the same way as Hybrid Teas, but as they are usually much more vigorous than the latter, prune less severely. Hard pruning on an already vigorous variety may induce such an amount of vegetative growth that the formation of flower buds is suppressed. Hybrid Perpetuals should be cut back to about eight buds, but if an embarrassing amount of wood and leaf is produced, a good method is to arch over the strongest shoots and peg their tips to the ground; flowers will then be produced all along the arched shoots.

Polyantha Pompons
Prune in JulyAugust in the same way as for Hybrid Teas, but cut strongest stems to about half their length.

Weak and old stems are removed completely and the young growth shortened by about one-third. Good side shoots can be cut back to half their length. Some modern Floribundas have a growth habit similar to the Hybrid Teas, and pruning methods will closely approach those advocated for that class.

A true rambler is one which produces many strong new growths from the base every summer, as in the case of 'Dorothy Perkins'. Pruning is carried out in late summer when flowering is over and entails the complete removal of all the old flowering stems at ground level, the new young shoots of the current season's growth being tied in to take their place.

Unlike ramblers, all climbers have a permanent framework of old wood, the new growth at the end of each branch being called a 'leader'. 'Emily Grey' is a typical example.

Pruning is done in Winter, when the leaders are shortened by two-thirds in the early life of the plant only. This induces strong young branches which are required when a wall has to be covered. Older climbers only need the leaders tipped by about one-third of their length. Lateral shoots are shortened to four or five buds. As with the vigorous Hybrid Perpetuals, climbers produce more flowers if their branches are trained obliquely, or even horizontally. Upright training tends to encourage much growth at the top, with long lengths of bare, unsightly wood towards the base.

Climbing Sports
These are really Hybrid Tea Roses, a variety of which will occasionally become extremely vigorous and adopt the habit of a climber. Pruning is the same as for ordinary climbers. A notorious example of an already vigorous Hybrid Tea adopting a climbing habit is that of 'Climbing Peace'. Flowering can become almost non-existent if nothing is done to curb excess vigour. Training shoots towards the horizontal position will increase flower production, but if this is still unsatisfactory, prune in December instead of July.

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