Growing Gorgeous Roses

    • Mother’s Day is the perfect time to give a gift of a living plant. Roses, hydrangeas, colorful hanging baskets and beautiful house plants are sure to please her.
    • Flower seeds can be sown directly in the garden now. Cosmos, marigolds and zinnias will give you beautiful flowers all summer.
    • Gladiolus make wonderful cut flowers throughout the summer. Plant some every two weeks for continuous blooms.
    • Plant the vegetable garden this month, but remember that late frosts can still nip tender young plants.
    • Beautiful African Violets will decorate your indoor spaces with their masses of flowers in all shades of purple, blue and pink.

Growing Gorgeous Roses

Roses attract us for many reasons: for their color, their fragrance, the beauty of each flower and their stunning display in the landscape. They are probably the most loved flower the world over, both in the garden and for flower arranging.

Roses can be grown by almost anyone. The key to success depends primarily on finding a good site in which to grow them. Look for a spot that receives plenty of sunshine, is sheltered from prevailing winds, has good air circulation and water drainage, and enough space for the varieties you want to plant.

Most roses need at least six hours of sunshine per day during the flowering season to bloom to their full potential. If sunlight is scarce in your planting area, try a white painted surface as a backdrop for your plants. Reflected light can help turn a less-than-sunny site into a bright spot for roses.

Strong winds can be hard on roses. Roses are thirsty plants, needing large quantities of water to fill their abundant blossoms. They may suffer from dehydration if exposed to constant wind. If you live where there are strong summer winds, choose a site with some protection for your roses.

Good air circulation, however, is very beneficial to roses. Air movement through the plants keeps the canes and foliage dry, which cuts down on disease problems. A slope is ideal, allowing for good air flow, maximum sunlight and good water drainage.

Soil that drains well is very important for roses. If you have only heavy soil, add generous amounts of compost when you plant. To test how well your soil drains, dig a large hole, fill it with water and see how long it takes to drain. If it takes more than two hours to drain away, consider building raised beds.

Each type of rose has different space requirements and individual growing habits. Some roses spread more than others, and relying on severe pruning to keep a rose in bounds, is no substitute for giving it the space it deserves.

Roses need a lot of sunshine, moisture and nutrition to produce all those big, beautiful flowers. They don’t do well with competition from trees, large bushes or other heavy feeders. So give them plenty of room to perform their best.

Plant roses where they can be enjoyed the most along walkways, near entryways or next to a deck or patio. Consider the views from inside the house and plant roses where they can be enjoyed from there as well. A fragrant rose near an open window will perfume the whole room.

Roses are beginning their first flowering now, so it is a good time to look for the ones you like best. Turn your garden into a place of charm and beauty, by planting a bed of colorful and fragrant roses.

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