Gardens: guide to growing roses

NOTHING says summer like a beautiful budding rose, and growing roses requires very little gardening skill or experience.

By following some basic steps and ensuring good aftercare, your new plant will last for years to come.

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, with a pH level of between 5.5 and 7.0 (testing kits are available in most garden centres).

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Luke Chamberlain, horticultural manager at Dobbies Garden World, Edinburgh, gives his advice about how to plant roses in your garden.

He says: “Dig a hole slightly larger than the pot size or root system of your rose bush.

“Spade some compost into the hole to loosen the soil. Mix the soil you took out of the hole with more compost.

“Remove the rose from the pot and carefully place in the hold, planting the rose crown slightly deeper than the original soil. Shovel the extra soil around the new plant and gently firm the rose into its new home before watering well.

“Remember not to crowd your new plant. Climbers and shrubs don’t mind the company of other plants, but most prefer to mix with other roses or non-invasive plants.”

After planting, it is important to care for your roses to ensure they look their best.

Luke adds: “For the first three to fourweeks after planting, you should water your rose often, as the top two inches of soil are liable to dry out.

“Four weeks after planting, start soaking the bed every two weeks or so, in the morning if possible, for the best results.

“Water at the roots and avoid watering the foliage directly, as this will cause fungal disease. Begin fertilising approximately three months after planting. Protect your plants during the winter months by adding a few extra inches of soil to the base of your plants, to provide extra heat.”

n Dobbies Garden World, Edinburgh, is offering free advice throughout the summer at its Garden Grow-How talks. They take place every Saturday and Sunday between 11am and 2pm.