Gardening: Let a timeless classic take root

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Everyone loves a timeless classic and the garden rose certainly ticks that box.

A popular choice, roses are renowned for their colour and fragrance, and the best part is that they require very little gardening skills or experience to grow.

Roses are best grown in a sunny spot, sheltered from strong winds, says Andrew Gold, plant manager at Dobbies, Edinburgh.

“Roses benefit from plenty of room and air, so don’t plant them under trees or too close to a wall,” he says.

“Be sure to pick a spot that is well lit in the morning and receives at least six hours of sunlight a day.

“Also ensure your spot has plenty of drainage as roses can suffer in wet soils.
“Roses root quite deeply, so dig a hole slightly larger than the pot size or root system of your rose bush and spade in some compost. Choose a neutral soil as most roses won’t tolerate extreme acidity or alkalinity.

“Plant the rose crown slightly deeper than the original soil and shovel extra soil around the plant. To keep your garden smelling of roses all summer long, sufficient after care is also essential.

Andrew adds: “For the first three to 
four weeks after planting, you should 
water your rose often, as the top two inches of soil is liable to drying out.

“After this time, it is advisable to start soaking the bed every two weeks or so – and to achieve the best results, do this in the morning.

“My top 
tip is to avoid watering the foliage directly as this can cause fungal disease – always water the roots. Begin fertilising approximately three months after planting.

“Don’t be afraid to dead-head your roses – doing so encourages the plant to produce more flowers.

“Following these simple, easy-to-do steps will ensure your roses will always be the pick of the bunch!”

nAndrew Gold is plant manger at Dobbies, Melville Nursery, Lasswade. 0131-663 1941, www.dobbies.com.

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