Fitting Roses Into Your Landscape

Before choosing roses for the garden, you should think carefully about your landscaping needs. Only when you have determined these can you select the varieties that will best accomplish your goals. Here are a few guidelines.

Choose a garden style. Look at your house and grounds—their forms, colors, textures, and scale—and those of the surrounding neighborhood. What roles do they suggest for roses? Think of your favorite rose plantings. Are they formal or informal? Grand or humble? Public or private? You’ll be happiest with a garden style that is close to your heart.

Decide where you will place your roses. Do you want to fit them into the existing garden, or create new areas for them? Consider the practical factors, such as climate, drainage, and the distribution of shade. These can influence—and inspire—the design of a rose garden.

Decide whether you need roses for special uses, such as hedges, fences, screens, fragrance, or cutting.

Estimate how much time you can devote to the garden. This, too, can influence the design and the choice of plants.

Set a budget. Quality plants and ornaments are an investment you may want to make over several years.

Start with a simple plan. You will get quick results that you can enjoy immediately and elaborate upon later as time and money allow.

Plan on paper. Use graph paper and colored pens to sketch out a plan. If you draw your plan to scale, you can use it to calculate the number of plants you’ll need.