Guide written by:
Albert, Manager of a gardening service, Leicester
Rose bushes are perfect for decorating your garden, driveway or terrace. Upright or trailing, climbing or in clumps: choose your rose bushes based on their flowers, their size and where you plan to put them. From the smallest to the mightiest rose bush, come and smell the roses!
Choosing the right rose bush for you
Choosing a rose bush is no easy task. To begin with, there are an impressive number of varieties to choose from. Their uses and characteristics are also many and varied. But then, some are just more beautiful than others, right? In beds, pots, direct sunlight or half-shade, it's important to choose the right variety for the location. At the same time, our choice will depend on what we want from the plants in terms of height, type and flowering season and the level of nurture we're prepared to put in.It's a bad idea to choose a rose bush purely on aesthetic grounds. Indeed, the most beautiful roses typically require the most fastidious care. If you don't have the time to look after labour-intensive plants, they can quickly become weak, diseased and can flower poorly, and it'll break your heart!
To make the right choice, it's worth considering all the main types of rose so you can be sure to get the one that will suit you best:
- Standard or weeping rose bush (or tree), to add real value to an area of your garden, reaching between 1 and 1.5m in height
- Old rose, great for bedding, with a delicate, abundant bloom
- Climbing rose, great for a pergola or trellis, with long stems and abundant flowers
- Large-flowering rose bush, standalone or in a bed, producing magnificent scented flowers
- Clump rose, for beds and pots, solitary or accompanied by other plants
- Lanscape rose bush, for embankments and beds, prolific bloom
- Mini rose bush, for pots, planters, trays, borders or beds, easy to combine with other plants due to its modest size.
Note that each of these types of rose bush comes in a number of variants. Before deciding, carefully read any information provided by the retailer: mature size, light preferences, hardiness (including cold resistance), spacing and common uses.
What types of rose bush are there?
Standard and weeping rose
There are some rose varieties in the form of a small tree, with a long, bare trunk crowned with a ball of roses. These are called 'standard' roses and generally measure between 1.2 and 1.5m tall when fully mature. Weeping roses have a similar appearance, except that their flowers trail downwards.
Standard and weeping roses need to be supported with a stake when planted out. They're fairly robust, and prefer sunny or partially shaded areas. To get the best out of them, you should space them at least a metre apart and only plant a small number.
Note that standard roses are generally grafted and require little maintenance.
Very popular with rose lovers, an old rose will really beautify your garden! They typically produce delicate, double flowers with a distinctive scent. The name 'old rose' refers to a particular style of cultivation, rather than any tangible characteristics of the subtype. Growing in a bushy form, these roses are perfect for beds and floral borders, on their own or in combination with other flowering shrubs.
Bear in mind that this type of rose bush requires pretty regular maintenance - watering, fertilizer and occasional anti-disease treatment.
A real friend to the gardener in its capacity to embellish walls and facades, the climbing rose comes into its own when trained up a pergola or along a trellis. You could even set up a few wrought iron bars along a wall and train the rose stems onto those. The main stems produce smaller branching stems which in turn produce a plentiful bloom.
Watch out for the adult size of these bushes, as some can grow very large, so make sure you've got space to accommodate them.
An absolute classic, this type of rose can produce beautiful, highly perfumed flowers, great for making bouquets! Can be planted in borders, beds or standalone. Height at full maturity is between 80cm and 2m.
In terms of maintenance needs, they're generally not too demanding, but it's important to know that their foliage is quite sensitive to ailments such as mildew and blight, so be ready to apply fungicide as soon as you spot the first symptoms.
Landscape and mini rose
Landscape roses win the day in terms of hardiness and vigour. They're great on embankments, beds and borders. They do have a slightly wild look about them though, with tougher blooms, many small flowers appearing together in a clump. They require little maintenance, and can be pruned with shears or even a hedge trimmer! Be sure to remove any dead stems each year.
Mini roses are great in mixed beds, in open ground or in pots. They combine well with annuals and also require minimal maintenance. Note that they'll need watering regularly if grown in pots.
Learn more about garden design...
To find out more about garden design, follow our editors' advice and check out their other guides:
How to choose your pruning shears?
How to choose your hedge trimmer?
How to choose your fertilizer?
How to choose your watering can or sprinklers
How to put up decking over studs?
How to choose your pergola or gazebo?
How to choose your planters?
How to choose your parasol and accessories?
How to choose your gazebo?
How to choose your pergola or gazebo?
How to choose your garden furniture?
How to design and decorate your garden?
How to choose your decking boards?
How to clean your decking?
How to landscape and decorate your garden?
How to choose your outdoor lighting?
How to choose your lawn?
How to choose your lawnmower?
Guide written by:
Albert, Manager of a gardening service, Leicester, 48 guides
For several years I have been running a garden service with a clientele of both individuals and companies. I manage a team of gardeners and ensure the creation and maintenance of green spaces. At the same time, I bring my expertise to my clients in terms of the maintenance and improvement of their gardens. In fact, as a trainee and working in the hospitality industry at the beginning of my career, I focused on landscaping in a local community where I acquired solid technical skills through in-house training and the follow-up of major projects in a rapidly changing town. On a personal level, I am equally oriented towards the art of gardening. With my wife, I created our garden from start to finish and I maintain it carefully, the same goes for the vegetable garden. As for DIYing, it’s not to be outdone. Yes, gardening is also tinkering: pergola, hut, pavement, fence, and so on...There is always something to do in a garden. After working well together, my wife and I are proud of the result and delighted to be able to take full advantage of a friendly and warm environment. So, let us give you advice and help you in your choice of tools, maintenance, or improvement of your garden, nothing could be simpler.