Roses cover the range of people’s desires. Two people will look at the same variety in different ways. Some will say they like the flower, another loves the scent, some will see a thornless stem and others will see how healthy it is. We all want different things and the same applies to selecting varieties for the garden.
When selecting roses the first item to consider would be the area available for the plants. Generally most roses do need around 1m square so measure the area available to decide how many can fit into the garden. It must be mentioned that Shrub roses like Austin’s and some modern roses do grow more than 1m square so if considering these varieties be aware and ask advice.
I feel it is important to plan a theme to the garden. This can be in the form of a design or colour plan for I do not feel a mixed up jumble of rose varieties possibly cowering under the canopy of a 2.5m giant.
Most gardeners select roses in the following ways. The first criteria we almost always find gardeners ask for is flower colour, next is purpose in the garden then items such as health, flower style, fragrance or thornless. For more information check our fact sheet on Garden Design.
Now we have decided what roses we should look for, we must now find out what variety names fit these criteria and try to find an image of it or better still try to find a plant to look at. Most major rose specialist’s growers will have a catalogue and the better ones would have spent the time photographing the varieties they grow. This gives you a good idea of the flower colour, flower style and when reading the description some idea of the fragrance, size of the plant and repeating ability.
The ultimate in being able to make the right selection would be to see the plant growing. When seeing the plant you can decide if the colour is accurate in the summer heat, if the fragrance is pleasant or how tall or small it grows. Each state would have gardens to visit and in most cases a label would give you the name of the variety. If no label exists it may be possible to photograph the variety and email through to a rose specialists. Most important to also included foliage as this is vital for identification.
Our garden is open to the public to see how the plants grow. In the garden over 800 varieties are grown to show the flower, smell the scent, look at the health and shape of the plant and see what size it grows.
One point to consider. Not all rose varieties are grown by all nurseries. Our specialties are old rose varieties not grown by other growers, Australian bred Roses, Rose for Landscaping and varieties suitable to handle hot summer sun. It is important to plan alternatives as what you choose may not be available and valuable time may be spent selecting another rose variety to fill the design