The beauty of the rose garden can never be underestimated. Belonging to the genus Rosa, roses have dominated literature and history by being associated with beauty, love, war and politics. Botanically the genus Rosa has 150 species dispersed around the northern hemisphere.
Cultivating roses in gardens probably began in China around 5000 years ago. Various anecdotes and references to the rose are also available during the Roman period and 15th century England. Josephine, Napoleon Bonapartes wife, was believed to be very fond of this flower and took great interest in cultivating a rose garden a little away from the heart of Paris. In the late 18th century, cultivated roses were introduced to Europe from China. Modern day roses are usually traced back to this ancestry.
Kinds Of Roses
If you would like to cultivate your own rose garden, there are five kinds of roses to choose from:
1. Species rose. These are the variety of natural roses as gifted to us by genus Rosa. Vigorous and disease resistant, they are naturally abundant in the northern hemisphere. You may often find them lying on the ground or climbing upright with simple 5 petaled flowers varying in shades from white to pink to crimson. They mostly bloom in early summer and the most familiar species is Rosa rugosa owing to easy maintenance and disease resistance. Rose lovers may grow them in their rose gardens owing to their historical significance and easy maintenance.
2. Old European garden roses. This revered assembly represents the hybrid group of roses that prevailed prior to the 18th century and include Gallica, Damask, Alba, Centifolia, and Mosses. Rose gardens of this group enjoy a reputation of thriving better on cooler zones.
3. Repeat blooming old roses. This hardy group of roses are a gardeners delight. They usually grace a rose garden with their exquisite bloom & fragrance, tolerance to cold climes and disease resistance. However these roses lack recurrent bloom throughout the summer.
4. Modern Rose. Consisting of hybrid tea, floribunda and grandiflora, this species was born in 1867 when hybridzer Jean Baptiste Guillot cultivated La France in his rose garden.
5. Shrub roses – While all roses are shrubs, this group of roses generally refers to those of the genus that do not fit into the other groups. They can add variety to any rose garden and are marked by their rounded shapes, free flowering, winter hardiness and disease resistance. Popular members of this group are English Garden Roses,David Austin Roses, Sub-Zero Roses, Dr. Buck Roses, Kordesii Roses, Canadian Explorer Roses, Parkland Roses, Meidiland Roses, Hybrid Rugosa and Hybrid Musk.
Selecting The Rose
After finalizing the group that you would like in your rose garden, you may have to choose the grade of rose. It is important to remember that you need to choose a variety that will suit the size of the garden and the local clime.
Grafted roses, which you may purchase for your rose garden, are usually based upon American Nursery Standard grades 1, 1 1/2 and 2. Grade 1 plants are supposed to be the best of the lot and are therefore premium priced. Usually they have three or more canes with 3/4 of an inch in diameter. The roots are usually large and well developed. Second in the order of quality are the Grade 1 1/2 roses; they are usually marked by two strong canes and can be nurtured to the Grade 1 quality. Grade 2 roses are usually termed as the “bargain” or “cheap” roses.
Buying The Rose
It is very important to enquire and then decide on the right source to purchase plants for your rose garden. Choices are rampant. Your local garden centres, retail outlets or the mail. It would be wise to select a reputable dealer who would ensure quality.
A rose garden needs good care and nurturing. Ensure that you seek proper advice to plant and prune the shrubs, add the appropriate fertilizer, secure pest control treatment and take special care of the shrub during winter. Proper care and technique added to your enthusiasm will guarantee you a blooming rose garden the next summer.
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