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 that can fill any niche in the home landscape. And, breeders have made improvements in disease resistance so they’re less work, too. Here are five of our favorite ways to use them.
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 to 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.
Deep-salmon blooms contrast beautifully against the dark green, semi-glossy foliage on an upright, bushy habit. Full Sun. Up to 6′ tall. Zone 5 – 9
PLUMP-UP A MIXED BORDER
Roses can play a supporting role, too. Look for taller varieties to add height and scale to the back of a border, and 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.
Splendid blooms are beautifully contrasted by dense foliage on a bushy, yet compact form with exceptional disease resistance. Full sun. Up to 6′ tall. Zone: 5 – 10
PROVIDE VERTICAL IMPACT
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.
The secret to getting the most from climbing roses is to plant a second kind of climber that blooms at a different time along with itat a ratio of 2-to-1 (two roses for every secondary vine). (Clematis, jasmine, even grapes, are good companions.)
Blooms spring to early summer with clusters of fragrant blooms on thornless branches. Great for chain-link fences. Full sun. Up to 20′ long. Zone: 6 – 9
ADD ELEGANCE TO A CONTAINER
Whether one eye-popping large shrub in a large container, or one of the new compact roses alone or snuggled up with a mix of perennials or annuals, potted- up roses provide solutions for places where it’s difficult to plant such as hardscape or around swimming pools.
Roses set deep roots so be sure to provide a container that’s at least 18″ deepand repot with fresh soil every three years.
Compact and bushy, this will easily fill a medium-sized container for a nearly continuous display of bright orange-red color. Full sun. Up to 2 ft. tall. Zone: 5 – 9
THE MOST ROMANTIC GROUNDCOVER
Mass these surprisingly tough shrubs in that sunny space where other plants might struggle. Edge a driveway, surround a swimming pool, or cover a slope with groundcover roses that grow dense and help keep down weeds.
When using roses as groundcovers,remember to line the bed with weed-barrier fabric (available at garden centers) before planting and top with mulch.