The Romantic Rose Garden!


Who doesn’t love a romantic rose garden? I have always loved the looks and smell of roses. The rose has been called the queen of flowers. When I was growing up my mom had a rose garden. She was a member of the American Rose Society. She would enter her roses in contests and would win ribbons. I have always been around roses most of my life. You don’t need a big rose garden to enjoy roses, there are small rose garden ideas you can do too. Just a couple to complement any garden or have a dedicated rose garden. The rose bush is a great companion plant to clematis, annuals, bulbs and evergreen shrubs.

In this post I will discuss the six easy steps for starting your romantic rose garden, the rose classifications according to the American Rose Society, the different rose names for each classification and how to care for your rose garden.

Pink Rose

Six Easy Steps for starting your Romantic Rose Garden

1. When choosing your rose bush, make sure there is one blooming rose. This way you will know what the peddles will look like and the fragrance. Look for rose bushes that are low maintenance and a bush compatible with your hardiness zone. A climbing rose may take more maintenance then a regular bush type.

2. Build your own trellis or arbor. It’s not as hard as you think. Just use material that will complement your garden aesthetics.

3. Placing the trellis or arbor. The trellis will need to placed on an angle. Create an area for a sitting area or birdbath, having a spot to sit and smell the roses. Keep roses away from walk ways to not snag clothing on the way by.

4. Prepare the garden bed. Dig the holes 2 times the size of the rootball but the same height.

5. Roses love full sun, so make sure your spot has at least 6 or more hours of sunlight, with well-drained, organically rich soil.

6. Soil should be moist but not drenched. Roses like to keep their feet dry so to speak and not sit in water,

Roses growing on Arches

Classification of Roses

The American Rose Society recognizes 35 different classifications and puts them into 3 categories;

Species Roses – this rose is the “wild” rose and found in a natural setting. May only have a single or 5 petal(s) and grow on shrubs ranging from 2 to 20 feet tall. These roses only blossom once a season, early summer, and are fragrant. These roses tend to be very disease resistant. Most of these are climbing roses.

Old Garden Roses – Also called Heirloom Roses or Old Fashioned or Antique. Any rose that existed before 1867. The old fashion roses, many have strong fragrances and some bloom only once in early summer. Varieties of old-fashioned roses including shrubs and climbers, also included are tea and China roses.

Modern Roses – Existed after 1867, the hybrid tea rose, named, “LaFrance” was growing in the garden. Most of the roses today are 80% modern roses. The blooms are usually one bloom to a long stem. Bloom cycles every 6 to 7 weeks

Species Rose Types

The species rose is the only rose that come true from seed. These roses grow in the wild and natural areas. The species rose is a bush type rose-bush, and some climbing. These roses have colors of white, pink or red.

Peach Rose

Names of Species Roses

  • Prickly Wild Rose
  • Prairie Rose
  • Smooth-Rose
  • Dog Rose
  • Carolina Rose
  • Rosa Glauca
  • Multiflora Rose
  • Shining Rose
  • Beach Rose
  • Silky Rose
  • Climbing Rose

Old Garden Roses

The old garden roses, Heirloom, old-fashioned roses or antique roses, these roses are also divided into 2 more categories; Heirloom roses; Alba, Ashyshire, Damask, Centifolia, Galica and Moss, these bloom once each growing season, and in early summer. The repeat bloomers; Bourbon, China, Hybrid, Noisette, Portland and Tea,

Names of Heirloom Roses

  • White Rose of York
  • Ayrshire Rose
  • Bourbon Rose
  • Cabbage Rose
  • China Rose
  • Damask Rose
  • French Rose
  • Hybrid Perpetual
  • Moss Roses
  • Rosa “Blush Noisette”
  • Portland Rose
  • Tea Rose

Modern of Rose Types

Shrub Rose – Large, spreading and easy to grow. This bush produces many blooms. Height and width 5 to15 feet. Many that are cold hardy.

Long-Flowered Climber – this has long arching canes and a great variety of blooms, different colors and forms. These can be trained climb a fence, trellis or arbor. These are similar to rambler roses, are hardier with smaller blooms.

Miniature – is a scaled down version of the hybrid tea and floribunda roses. These grow 15 to 30 inches tall, except micro mini’s that grow only 6 to 8 inches tall.

Grandiflora – similar to hybrid tea, has smaller blooms in clusters

Floribunda – Large clusters of color, short stemmed flowers. Has continuous blooms all season.

Plyantha – Compact but sturdy shrub rose. This bears large clusters of small flowers

Species Rose

Care of your Roses

When purchasing your roses, make sure you are planting according to your hardiness zone. For the cold climates of zone 5 and lower there is a mounding process. After the first frost, mound up mulch and soil, 12 inches over the base of the bush. This will help protect from the harsh cold. Roses like full sun, in deep, well drained fertile soil. Watch for black spot, mildew, rust and cankers. Roses need rich soil with plenty of organic matter. If your soil isn’t enriched, then add some compost or well-rotted manure. Roses like soil a little on the acidic side, 5.8 pH to 6.3 pH, neutral is 7 pH. Keep the garden clean, this will help keep away bugs and disease.

Pruning – use sharp pruners and make cuts on an angle, 1/4 inch above an outward-facing bud. Remove any shoots that emerge from below the graft. Each spring cut off any dead canes a few weeks before the plants leaf out. Snip back any that are growing out of balance. During the blooming season, pick off the side buds of hybrid tea roses if you want the largest blossoms, leaving only the tip buds. Remove all flowers as soon as they start to fade. Each group of roses have their own pruning specifications for maintenance and renewal of the buds.

Insects and Disease – Look at your plants frequently for signs of disease and insects harming your rose bush. Viruses, powdery and downy mildew, rust, black spot, cankers and other disease are possible invaders with a long list of insects and spiders mites, aphids, rose chafers and Japanese beetles. Use organic spray otherwise you could poison our pollinators, bees, hummingbirds and butterflies.

Beautiful Rose garden with arch and grass steps

Happy Planting!

As you can see roses might not be for the beginning Gardner. If you are just beginning, I would only plant 1 or 2 rose bushes and see how you do first. There is a lot of things that can make our rose bushes sick. Again I can’t advocate enough to use organic sprays for flowers and vegetables, to protect the hummingbirds, butterflies and bees. I hope I planted some rose garden ideas of how to create a rose garden.

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8 thoughts on “The Romantic Rose Garden!”

  1. Hi Chris,

    First of all I have to say that it is a pleasure to browse your website. You did an excellent job.👍  Being a flower lover in general, I always gather information on how to take care of them. Roses are ones of my favorite flowers, but to be honest I didn’t know there were so many species.

    Unfortunately, where I live now I no longer have a garden, instead my parents have, and my mother is really passionate about gardening. I have already bookmarked your article, because I am sure she will like to use the great tips provided in it to create a small romantic rose garden. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Great article on roses, I love roses, and my wife does even more than me. We have several different types and colours. I have found that not many today seem to have an exquisite, strong fragrance. Some look beautiful but have virtually no smell.

    Is their a certain variety that smells more or better than others? 

    • Hi Dave,

      Thank you for your comment.  I love roses too.  Here is a list of the most fragrant roses and if your are interested in mail order nurseries, check out Nature Hill Nursery, they have a large selection of all kinds of Roses.

      The Top Fragrant Roses

      Honey Perfume – Florabunda Rose Fragrant Plum – Grandflora Rose Radiant Perfume – Grandflora Rose Heritage – English rose Louise Odier – Bourbon Rose Madame Plantier – Old Fashioned Rose Fragrant Cloud – Hybrid Tea Rose Autum Damask – Oldest European Rose Double Delight – Hybrid Tea Rose Gertrude Jekyll – English Rose Just Joey – Hybrid Tea Rose Madame Alfred Carriere – Rosa (Climber) Madame Isaac Pereiere – Rosa (Climber / most fragrant in history) Mister Lincoln – Hybrid Tea Rose (set standard for red roses) New Dawn – Rosa (Climber) Roseraie de l’Hay – Rugosa Rose America – Rosa (Climber)

      Stop back for more gardening tips!  Let me know if you need more information about roses.  The roses are loosing their scent because they are being breed for beauty instead of scent.  The old Fashioned or English roses along with the list are the most fragrant.

  3. I have recently learned that roses planted in containers will require more frequent watering. This because potting soils are often lighter than garden soil. And the amount of soil around the plant is limited by the size of the pot.

    Watering container-grown roses once a day or even twice daily may be necessary. This is especially true if they are located in a sunny location and the weather turns hot.

    • Hi Able,

      Thank you for your addition to the post.  Yes any plant in a container outside might need to be watered more often, in addition to what you said about the soil, the temperature outside, when it’s hot it dries the soil fast too.

  4. I am passionate about all kinds of flowers, and because of their romance, roses are a particularly dear species to me. We managed to preserve two rose bushes that are over 40 years old and were planted by my grandmother.
    Otherwise, I don’t have a special corner to plant a rose garden, but I do have flowers around the backyard fence and a few smaller designed plantings with mixed flowers.
    These tips for the rose garden, nursery, and maintenance are very useful, thank you! I really always like to read your article because I always learn something new.
    Friendly greeting,

    • Hi Nina

      Thank you for your comments!  That’s awesome you saved those 2 rose bushes over 40 years old.  I have a couple climbing roses that were already here before we moved here.  I am going to move them an have them climb an arbor I just purchased, so they can climb.  Stop back for more gardening tips!


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