Roses that Light Up Your Life: How Roses Brighten Your Home

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On one of his visits to America, the late rose hybridizer Francis Meilland remarked that the American does not use and grow roses nearly so extensively as he should. 

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Seldom are the different rose types used as borders, edgings, screens, hedges, entrance plantings, or for masses of color with evergreens and shrubs in residence plantings. The home gardener is not exploiting the long season of bloom that roses can supply. 

Tall-Growing Floribundas

Wouldn’t you like to have a hedge 6’ to 8’ feet tall in bloom all summer which would screen off that objectionable building or ugly fence? 

The tall-growing grandifloras are capable of creating such a hedge alone or combined with some of the taller-growing hybrid tea roses, such as:

  • Charlotte Armstrong
  • Peace
  • Pink Princess to afford a wider range of colors and still create the desired results. 

Planted in a staggered row, 2 ½’ feet apart, they will form a nearly everblooming screen.

Creating a Hedge

To create a hedge to 3 ½’ feet for use along property lines or to define a motor turn, the floribunda, with its bushy, compact, everblooming habit of growth, may be used advantageously. 

However, remember that to create a strong color effect in a hedge or border, use all of one variety or at least a large number of each variety rather than a patchwork, varicolored mixture. 

Low-Growing Floribundas

The low-growing floribundas such as Sarabande, the brilliant oriental red 1960 All-America winner, along with Lavender Girl and Goldilocks, are excellent performers. 

Try them along walks, for spots of color in front of evergreens, a wall where height isn’t needed, or as a border to a terrace or patio. 

Again let me stress the use of large quantities of one variety for effect. If the plants are spaced 2-’ to 2 ½’ feet apart, roses will grow into a mass.

Overlooked Shrub and Hybrid, Perpetual Roses

Quite often overlooked are shrub and hybrid perpetual roses, the most maintenance-free of all, which deserve a place on almost every home ground. 

They require no special soil preparation, are disease resistant, and bloom continuously until the snow starts to fly. 

Imagine a rose that can be planted in a shrub border, receive no more care than other shrubs and still bloom most of the summer.

Hybrid perpetuals may also be used in borders, but the most novel use I have seen them put to is filling the requirements of a climbing rose. 

Frau Karl Druschki is an excellent variety. I have seen it trained to an arbor and thoroughly covering a space 15’ feet wide and 10’ feet high. 

Climbing Peace

This last October, when I saw it, it was still in bloom. Topping the list for vigor and size is Climbing Peace. We do an injustice to plant it where it doesn’t have at least 20’ feet in which to spread out and 10’ feet in height.

I have seen Climbing Peace produce canes 20’ feet long, so if trained out in both directions, it could almost cover a space 40’ feet wide. Climbing Peace must attain its maximum size before it blooms well. 

Restricting it to a small area will only sacrifice the number of blooms it produces. Other vigorous climbers are New Dawn, a shell pink, Spectacular, red, and White Dawn.

Restricted Pillar Rose

The more restricted growing types of rose climbers, commonly known as pillar roses, produce upright canes 8’ to 10’ feet tall and are good plants to train against a chimney or to a restricted trellis where the more vigorous growing climber would get out of bounds. 

Some of these are the following:

  • Coral Dawn
  • Morning Dawn
  • Blaze 

Max Graf

Hard-to-maintenance banks or terraces can be masked with a rose ground cover. The best is Max Graf, an excellent low-spreading, glossy foliage, pink flowering rose that needs no spraying or other maintenance. 

Spaced three to five feet apart, Max Graf will cover the slope. Remember to prepare the soil thoroughly in each planting pocket because most sloping areas are lacking in good soil. Other groundcover types of roses are Rosa wichuraiana and Rosa nitida, both very hardy. 

Miniature As An Outdoor Plant

The miniature rose is often overlooked as an outdoor plant. Miniatures may be planted in rock gardens, porches, and window boxes, as edgings along flower beds and rose gardens, borders along walks and terraces, and in small gardens by themselves. 

Some of the most popular kinds are Pixie and Cinderella, both white; Red Imp, Robin and Midget, red; Bo-Peep and Tinker Bell, pink; and Baby Gold Star, a yellow one. 

The blooms are miniature, from ¾” to 1 ½” inches across, while the plants seldom exceed 10” to 12” inches tall. The miniature will perform excellently when placed 10” to 12” inches apart in well-prepared soil.

Hybrid Tea Roses

Hybrid tea roses are used extensively in beds of geometric design to create a garden effect. But keep in mind that floribundas and grandifloras may be used with hybrid teas. 

Grandiflora roses, being tall growers, are excellent for a background row in a side bed or a center row in a bed visible from all four sides. 

Floribundas, lower growing, are suited for the foreground where they won’t obscure plants behind them.

Tree Rose

Lastly, the tree rose, a type more specialized in its use and exacting in its growth requirements, is used almost entirely as a point of interest in planting.

Place the tree rose at the end of the garden or in line with a long walk as a focal point or at regular intervals in beds on each side of a long walkway to create an alley effect. 

In all instances, the tree rose is a plant of special interest. However, I should also add that in the colder sections of the country, the tree rose needs special winter protection. 

44659 by George M. Hart