Hey sleepyhead, it is time to wake up
You can feel it in your bones and see it in those tentative sprouts emerging from the chilly ground and the swelling of the buds on the trees. The birds are getting excited. The calendar has certainly assured it. You know it. Yes, spring is upon us and there’s no better time than now to get a jump on the growing season by waking up your landscape roses.
We know it has been a corker of a winter. The deeper the winter cold, the later the moment when your roses start to pop, but come they will. And to make the most of your landscape roses, a few tweaks are suggested to bring on a glorious summer-long display.
If there are no roses in your garden, now is a good time to plan for a few of those hardy landscape roses that thrive with a minimum of fuss and care. Landscape roses are bred to form lush, manageable mounds with little need for pruning. New varieties promise disease resistance and repeat blooms that cloak the bushes in color. Visit your favorite garden center, or if you cannot find the varieties you want, many bare root roses are available by mail order. Look online for landscape roses.
What a better way to welcome spring than to make way for a rose or two? Just think, in a few more weeks wave after wave of color will arrive in the masses of blooms. From Anthony Tesselaar Plants, come these three easy steps to get you started and keep on going with landscape roses:
1. Pick the right rose in the first place. It’s easy to fall in love with a rose at face value — literally by its flower — but slow down long enough to check how it grows below the neck before you make a decision. Look to fill your garden with rose bushes that are lush and softly mounded because you also want the plant to look good in the landscape. Also, pick a rose that’s super easy to grow so you don’t have to fuss with complex pruning, or spraying to deal with aphids and black spot.
2. Set your landscape roses up for a season of flowers. This is easy and achievable if you’re lucky enough to have something like the extended flowering of the Flower Carpet series of roses already growing in your garden. All you need to do is walk outside with your hedge clippers and give each bush a uniform cut back by two-thirds. Rough and ready does the job — the proof will be the flower cover you’ll enjoy in the weeks that follow.
3. A little bit of weeding and feeding wouldn’t hurt. If the thought of doing either of these is freaking you out, don’t bother. Established landscape roses tend to hold their own against the weeds: runner grass growing up through a bush doesn’t look fabulous, but to each their own. And they seem to cope without regular feeding. But if you don’t mind pulling the weeds out from around the base of each bush and tossing around your preferred form of fertilizer, you’ll be rewarded with even more flowers. Mulching is the icing on the cake.
Sound easy? Well that’s pretty much what landscape roses were designed for. So if the idea of roses as being fussy and needing a lot of work gives you pause, think again. Today’s landscape roses are well-mannered and love to show off all on their own. And when you come to think of it, isn’t that what we are looking for in a garden plant?
Lynette L. Walther is the recipient of the Garden Writers Association’s Silver Award of Achievement, and she gardens in Camden. Got questions, or comments? Visit her blog, and join in the conversation at: gardeningonthego.wordpress.com or ”friend” her on Facebook to see what’s new in the garden day-by-day.