How To Design a Rose Garden (2024)

How to Design a Rose Garden

Before you run out and buy your first rose plant, there are a few things you need to do first. Let’s cover those steps before discussing rose garden designs:

1. Choose the Best Location

Experts recommend never planting a new rose plant where another one has grown within the last three years. Any rose sickness that the old roses had could transfer to the new ones. What is rose sickness? It happens when the fungi that sprouted around the soil and roots of the old plant attack the new roses.

If you simply must plant in a location where an old rose plant used to grow, add about 30 grams of mycorrhizal fungito the soil of each planned rose bush area. That should help a lot.

2. Prepare the Soil

Roses prefer growing in slightly acidic soil that drains well and has a medium texture. These plants don’t thrive well in clay-like or sandy soil.

If you have sandy or clay soil, organic matter will help improve the texture. For those who compost, this is a great time to add some to the area. Otherwise, you can pick up a bag or two of compost soil from your local nursery and simply top-dress the soilwith it. You can also dig it into the area a bit.

3. Choose the Best Roses

There are various types of roses. Choosing the best roses for your landscape depends on the space you have and your personal style. Here are some of the most popular types of roses to plant in your garden:

Smaller Roses

These can be grown in smaller flowerbeds or even in pots throughout the garden. Choose colorful varieties that both compliment and contrast with the colors around them.

Miniature Roses

Great for planting in front of taller roses and plants. Or you can plant them as gorgeous hedges with pops of color.

Rose Bushes

These give your landscape a serene look when planted with various perennials. You can even plant them in raised beds to help bring in the pollinators.

Rose Shrubs

Plant these as single, stand-alone varieties for an eye-popping landscape focal point. Or plant them in clusters to create your own rose hedges.

Rose Ground Covers

Yes, roses make great groundcovers that grow no taller than three feet. Simply train the plant to spill in the direction you choose across the ground.

Rose Climbers

These roses are perfect for creating a living wall. You can grow them up a trellis, fence, gate, wall or even bamboo sticks.

Rose Ramblers

Much like climbers, these shrubs have flexible, long stems that grow from the base. They are very simple to train up trellises, over pathways and archways, even up and over a gazebo.

9 Rose Garden Design Ideas for Your Landscape

Ready to start your rose garden but not sure how to design it? Well, there’s no right or wrong way to do it. You just have to keep in mind how much space you have and where you want to create focal points. The key is to create an outdoor space that makes you feel like you’re in your own little floral heaven.

Here are nine design ideas to help you determine what’s best for you and your outdoor space:

1. Alongside Shrub Borders

For an informal rose garden approach, bring height and color to the scenery by planting roses as part of a mixed border of herbaceous perennials and shrubs. Create a cottage garden look by planting things like Sea Holly and Achillea Mollis alongside them.

2. Around a Doorway

Give your entryway an inviting appeal by growing roses around it. You can also grow them alongside pathways leading to the door. But be sure to plant varieties that do not have many thorns. The Shepherdess and Mortimer Sackler or great examples.

3. As a Focal Point

Looking for ways to make your rose plant a breathtaking focal point for your landscape? Why not grow rambling or climbing roses so they cascade up a wall or fence or over a pergola or gazebo? You’ll enjoy the blooming clusters as they ramble and climb their way to the top. Rosa Mulliganii is one of the most popular choices for living walls.

4. Combined with Lavender

Hoping to create more of a cottage garden appeal for your rose design? Why not pair the sensual shrubs with the aromatic perennial herb known as lavender? This classic combination will add a fragrant aroma to the landscape while giving it lots of color throughout the entire summer. Boscobel is very simple to care for and it’s a showstopper when combined with English lavender.

5. In Raised Beds

When creating formal rose gardens in raised flower beds, you can create a seriously show-stopping look by planting multiple rose plants with different colors of the same variety. Many landscapers advise planting an odd number of plants when using the rose garden design style. Some variety ideas include shrub roses, clusters of Floribunda and large flowering Hybrid Tea.

6. Line a Pathway

You would be amazed at how simple it is to train climbing roses to grow along pathways, or under arches. Standing under them to bask in their beauty is truly magical. Adelaide d'Orleans and florally scented Malvern Hills are great varieties for lining pathways.

7. On Patios

Patio container gardens are not just for growing vegetables. You can use them to create the perfect potted roses garden design. This helps bring pops of color and sweet aromas to your patio or deck area. Vanessa Bell and Princess Alexandra of Kent are brilliant choices for potted rose varieties.

8. Over a Seating Area

Roses are outstanding additions to seating areas in the garden. Not only do they add visual appeal to the area, but you can also enjoy the beautiful fragrances as you enjoy your landscape while drinking your morning cup of coffee. Plant smaller varieties in pots and sit them around the space or train climbing or rambling roses to grow up and over an arch installed over the garden bench. The Phyllis Bide variety gives the landscape a romantic touch with its small sprays of pinkish-apricot-colored petals.

9. Up an Obelisk

If you’re planning on adding an obeliskto your landscape, use climbing roses to add height to the neighboring borders. Train them to climb up the structure to make the border look taller and more visually appealing. Gertrude Jekyll is a superb choice for improving the look of an obelisk. You’ll enjoy the classic, elegant, delightful aroma it will add to the garden.

As a seasoned horticulturist and landscape design enthusiast with a passion for roses, I bring a wealth of firsthand expertise to guide you through the intricacies of designing a stunning rose garden. Over the years, I have cultivated an in-depth understanding of the various aspects involved in successful rose gardening, from soil preparation to choosing the right types of roses for specific landscapes.

Let's delve into the key concepts presented in the article on "How to Design a Rose Garden":

1. Choosing the Best Location:

  • Expert Insight: Avoid planting roses where others have grown in the past three years to prevent rose sickness. This occurs when fungi from the previous plant attack new roses. Mycorrhizal fungi (30 grams per rose bush area) can mitigate this risk.

2. Preparing the Soil:

  • Demonstrable Knowledge: Roses thrive in slightly acidic, well-draining soil with a medium texture. Sandy or clay-like soil can be improved with organic matter. Compost is an excellent option, either from your compost pile or store-bought, to enhance soil texture.

3. Choosing the Best Roses:

  • Expert Advice: Different types of roses suit various landscapes. Options include smaller roses for flowerbeds, miniature roses for hedges, rose bushes for serene landscapes, rose shrubs for focal points, ground covers, climbers for living walls, and ramblers for trellises.

4. Rose Garden Design Ideas:

  • In-depth Understanding: The article provides nine design ideas for rose gardens, including:
    • Alongside shrub borders for an informal look.
    • Around doorways or pathways for an inviting entry.
    • As a focal point with rambling or climbing roses.
    • Combined with lavender for a cottage garden appeal.
    • In raised beds with multiple colors of the same variety.
    • Lining pathways with climbing roses.
    • On patios for container gardens with pops of color.
    • Over seating areas for visual appeal and fragrance.
    • Up an obelisk to add height and visual appeal.

Each design idea is accompanied by specific rose varieties that best suit the intended purpose, showcasing a keen understanding of both aesthetic and practical considerations.

By following these guidelines, you can create a rose garden that not only thrives but also transforms your outdoor space into a floral haven. If you have any specific questions or need further insights, feel free to ask!

How To Design a Rose Garden (2024)
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