Roses are still probably some of our most popular garden plants, although the attitude towards them has changed somewhat in the last decade. Hybrid tea and floribunda types have declined in favour, partly because of the skill required for pruning and partly because of the increasing popularity of the cottage garden which suits today’s more traditional architectural styles so well and which is better served by the less formal shrub, or ‘species’, types of rose.
There are few gardens, however, which cannot accommodate a few of these delightful plants to good effect.
Modern miniature, bush and standard roses have a long blooming period with probably one of the most beautiful flowering habits of any ornamental plant.
They are tolerant of a wide range of reasonable soil conditions.
Many have a strong scent.
Shrub roses introduce something different into the shrub or mixed border — many have coloured thorns or hips to increase their value as garden plants.
They make good cut flowers.
They require some knowledge of pruning techniques to keep them at their best. (Though research has it that an annual cutting back all over is just as satisfactory.)
They do not like hot and dry or waterlogged conditions or shallow soils.
Climbing forms require some training. Standards need staking.
They get their fair share of pests and diseases.
Most of them have thorns.
They look rather uninteresting in winter.