Beginning a rose garden can feel like an overwhelming prospect – just choosing a rose to plant can blow your mind if you start looking at all the options out there. Books, designed to be "helpful", can make the situation worse. They contain so many hints, so much advice, so much of it looking contradictory – it is no wonder you want to toss them out the window and give up! Forget the books for now; what follows is some basic, uncomplicated, information to get your rose garden started.
Rose bushes need plenty of breathing space, so look at your available room and figure how many plants you can handle based on spacing them at least 18 "apart, further if possible. If you are planting miniatures in your garden, a foot to 15 "apart should be enough space. Do not overcrowd if you want your rose plants to be healthy and blooming.
Roses should preferably be planted in the spring, but no later than early summer. They need time to get their roots deep underground to survive cold and freezing temperatures. Also, most varieties of roses require around six hours of direct sunlight, so plan accordingly. Some roses are happy in the shade, however, so assess your garden space and watch the sunlight carefully. If you do not have lots of sun, check with the nursery to find a rose variety that is suitable for shady areas.
In the spring and summer, roses need to have a lot of water. You do not needlessly need to water your rose garden every day, only regularly and deeply, allowing water to see down into the roots. This is best accomplished by watering every few days, for a long period of time. Another good question for the experts: Which rose is best to plant? Usually, older, hardy breeds tend to be sturdier and easier to care for. Look for roses that have stood the test of time!
Do not be intimidated by the prospect of starting and taking care of a rose garden. Take your time, but do not hesitate too long; explore your options, watch your sun and talk to your nursery during the winter so that first thing in the spring, you will be ready to go and start your rose garden.