The rose - garden plant of the month
By Paul Hervey-Brookes
Different types of rose
Nothing says early summer like the rose, the Queen of flowers, is a garden plant that should be in every garden. Roses also have a long history as a symbol of commitment, passion, romance, love and sacrifice. Their individual colours are also steeped in tradition. White is for purity and innocence, yellow is for friendship and joy but can be for jealousy. A lavender rose signifies enchantment and, of course, a single red rose tells the recipient ‘I love you’.
Bush roses, standard roses, climbing roses or espalier roses, there is one for every garden.
Maintaining your roses
Roses love sun and ideally like around six hours of sun a day and to keep them healthy regularly water them especially if they are newly planted or in a container.
Rose fertiliser given in spring will ensure profuse flowers during the season. A layer of chopped banana peel beneath the plant is a good alternative feed covered with a layer of compost.
The best time to prune is the end of February/beginning of March. Earlier pruning can result in fungal infections or frost damage to young, tender shoots. Although most roses are hardy a protection of fleece or jute overwinter is essential for those planted in pots. If you are cutting roses for the house, the best time is after 3pm as the food reserves are at their highest. Place them into water as soon as possible ensuring you remove all leaves below the water line.
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