5 of Our Favorite Ways To Design With Roses

5 of Our Favorite Ways To Design With Roses

5 of Our Favorite Ways To Design With Roses
white roses in border with purple catmint flowers

Photos: Doreen Wynja

From bud to bloom to falling petals. No garden, from cottage to contemporary, is really complete without at least a few of these dreamy flowering shrubs. A variety of growth habits, sizes, colors, and textures means there's at least one rose that can fill any niche landscape. And, breeders have made improvements in disease resistance, growth habit, and bloom time so they’re less work, too.

(Above) Nitty Gritty™ White Rose is combined with the light-purple flowers of catmint to create a dynamic border planting that evokes a whimsical cottage garden aesthetic.

The prolific blooms of roses can serve as striking focal points or be mixed with other plants to create a colorful and dynamic landscape. Additionally, disease-resistant roses like the Monrovia exclusive Eau De Parfum™ series offer a lovely fragrance that can be enjoyed by garden visitors, making them a great choice for creating a soothing oasis that appeals to all the senses.

Beyond their aesthetic appeal, modern roses are also hardy and require relatively low maintenance, making them ideal for both novice and experienced gardeners. Incorporating roses into your garden design can not only increase its visual appeal but also provide a sense of accomplishment and pride as you watch your roses thrive year after year.

Here are five of our favorite ways to use roses to give your garden a boost, plus rose care tips that will keep you growing confidently for years to come.

1. Create Structure

(Above) Snow Hill Meadow Sage and Grace N Grit™ Pink BiColor Shrub Rose are combined in front of a hedge of false cypress to create a structured and layered border.

(Above) Shrub Roses like this Grace N Grit™ Yellow are just the right size and shape for full-sun foundation plantings like this one. 

Sure you could plant an evergreen or conifer. But, taller shrub roses planted close together make a beautiful and effective hedge to create privacy or define property lines. Lower growers are spectacular used to outline a path or to divide one part of the garden from another.

The secret to a dense hedge is planting shrubs closely, about 2′ to 3′ apart on center, depending on mature size.

Favorite Roses for Garden Structure

Eau De Parfum™ 
Bubbly Rose

Big, fragrant, and champagne-colored flowers bloom repeatedly on this disease-resistant shrub rose from early spring tuntil first frost. Full sun. Up to 4' tall and wide. Zones 5-10.

Grace N' Grit™ 
Pink Shrub Rose

Upright bouquets of beautiful, pink, double roses on a fuss-free shrub that will endure the trials of a long, hot summer with an unwavering blooming zeal. Full sun. Up to 5' tall, 4' wide. Zones 4-9.

Grace N’ Grit™ 
Yellow Shrub Rose

Outstanding disease resistance and proven to thrive coast to coast in heat and humidity as well as dry, hot summers. Full sun. Up to 5′ tall, 4' wide. Zones 4–9.

2. Add Color and Dimension to a Bed or Border

(Above) Flower Carpet® Red groundcover roses mingle with the vibrant purple of VIBE® Ignition Purple Salvia and the silvery foliage of Silver Carpet Lamb's Ear in a colorful mixed border.

(Above) Nitty Gritty™ White Rose is combined with the airy, light-purple flowers of Junior Walker™ Catmint can be combined to create a charming, easy-care border planting.

Roses can play a supporting role, too. Look for taller varieties to add height and scale to the back of a border. Also, free-flowering, mid-sized shrubs to amp-up the summer show of mixed evergreen foundation plantings.

Get a power-planted look by massing two or more groups of 3 roses in a long border or along the foundation. 

Favorite Roses for Adding Dynamic Visual Interest

Seaside Swirl™ Blush 
Rugosa Rose

Terrific amounts of beautiful blooms on a smaller, far more compact plant than others of its kind. A great, easy-care option for tough conditions. Full sun. Up to 3' tall and wide. Zones 3-9.

Nitty Gritty™ 
White Rose

This very fuss-free groundcover rose produces an abundance of white blooms while offering excellent disease resistance and a self-cleaning habit. Full sun. Up to 3' tall, 4' wide. Zones 4-9.

Flower Carpet® 
Scarlet Rose

A profusion of brilliant, scarlet red flowers blooms from spring through fall over glossy, dark-green foliage is mildew and black spot resistant. Full sun. Up to 3' tall, 4' wide. Zones 4-10.

3. Provide Vertical Impact

(Above) Cecile Brunner Climbing Rose is a favorite for climbing a trellis or arbor in a classic cottage or country garden.

Climbers and ramblers add interest to otherwise plain walls and fences and provide shady, flowery cover to arbors and pergolas. Use shorter varieties on smaller trellises, pillars, and obelisks. Trained onto a trellis, climbing roses are perfect for providing a colorful vertical accent and a classic cottage garden look. 

The secret to getting the most from climbing roses is to plant a second kind of climber. One that blooms at a different time along with it at a ratio of 2-to-1. (two roses for every secondary vine). Clematis, jasmine, and even grapes are good climbing companions.

Favorite Climbing Roses

Cecile Brunner 
Climbing Rose

Tall, vigorous rose with small buds that open to fragrant, light pink, double blooms in large sprays. So romantic! Full sun. Up to 20′ long. Zones 4–11.

Heavenly Ascent® 
Pink Climbing Rose

A smaller climber with large, very fragrant, classic pink flowers that bloom abundantly and continuously. Full sun. Up to 8' tall. Zones 5-9.

White Lady Banks 
Climbing Rose

Blooms spring to early summer with clusters of fragrant blooms on thornless branches. Great for chain-link fences. Full sun. Up to 20′ long. Zones 6–9.

4. Add Elegance to a Container

(Above) Grace N' Grit™ Pink Shrub Rose is perfect for large containers thanks to the prolific, self-cleaning blooms and its fuss-free nature.

(Above) Nitty Gritty™ Pink Rose offers a low-maintenance way to add flower power to a large container. 

Roses look fantastic in containers, whether you use one eye-popping shrub, like Grace N Grit™, in a large container or one of the new compact roses with a mix of perennials or annuals. Potted-up roses provide solutions for places where it's difficult to plant, or hardscaped entrances and patios where you want to bring the blooms up close.

Roses set deep roots so be sure to provide a container that’s at least 18″ deep. Repot with fresh soil every three years.

Favorite Roses for Containers

Grace N’ Grit™ Pink 
BiColor Shrub Rose

Ideal for a large container, or a row of containers, for a flowery privacy border. Full sun. Up to 5′ tall, 4' wide. Zones 4–9.

Nitty Gritty™ 
Peach Rose

Perfect for containers, this hardy own-root rose has soft peach double blooms. Nearly carefree color for patio containers. Full sun. Up to 3' tall. Zones 4–9.

Itsy Bitsy® Peach 
Miniature Rose

This little cutie blooms in abundance throughout the growing season, with small deep yellow and orange blooms with light blushes of pink. Full sun. Up to 18" tall, 24" wide. Zones 5-9.

5. The Most Romantic Groundcover

(Above) The beloved White Iceberg Shrub Rose creates an elegant display when massed as a blooming groundcover on a terraced outdoor staircase.

(Above) Flower Carpet® White Rose is planted en masse to create a low-maintenance, sophisticated, and sparkling white groundcover in an entryway garden.

Mass these surprisingly tough shrubs in that sunny space where other plants might struggle. Edge a driveway or pathway, surround a swimming pool, or cover a slope with dense groundcover roses for stunning impact. Plus, growing roses en masse as a blooming groundcover is a gorgeous way to keep down weeds.

Favorite Roses for Groundcover

Nitty Gritty™ 
Pink Rose

The magenta-pink double blooms provide astonishing warm season color, adding great low-maintenance curb appeal to the landscape. Full sun. Up to 3' tall, 4' wide. Zones 4-9.

Flower Carpet® Amber 
Groundcover Rose

Peachy-amber blossoms are fragrant with excellent heat and humidity tolerance.  Full sun. Up to 3′ tall, 4' wide. Zones 4–10.

Flower Carpet® 
White Rose

A fuss-free shrub with sparkling white blooms over an extra-long flowering season. Full sun. Up to 3′ tall, 4' wide. Zones 5–10.

Rose Care Tips 
(Get the Full Rose Care Guide Here)

  • Start by choosing the right rose. A large shrub rose in a too-small container or a rambler on a less-than-sturdy pergola. This can be a battle not worth having.

  • Roses love to eat. Feed them about 3 weeks after the first flush of leaves. Then again just after the first flowers have faded.

  • While tolerant of drier conditions in subsequent years, water regularly during the first season. 1-inch per week per shrub depending on your soil.

  • Mulch like you mean it!  Apply 1-3 inches of well-aged organic mulch in spring and again in fall.

Previous Post  Next Post 
2023-04-11 23:07:00

Please login to comment.

Don't have an account?

Sign Up for free