What could be more quintessentially British than the English rose? With hundreds of varieties to choose from, there’s bound to be one to suit every taste and colour palette, making the perfect addition to any garden.
I am very fond of the few rambling roses that I inherited in my urban garden. They flower from spring until autumn producing eye catching blooms in various shades of pink and yellow against the backdrop of green hedging. But the thing that I love most about my roses is their opulent fragrances, ranging from rich and sweet to fruity fresh citrus. These soft velvety sumptuous flowers bring sophistication to my garden, and I’ve decided that I want more of them!
At this year’s RHS Chelsea Flower Show I was determined to track down the award winning expert rose breeder David Austin and his team to get their top 5 tips for amateur gardeners like myself.
Above: Mr David Austin at his rose stand giving advice to beginners and professionals
So here they are, 5 top tips for growing perfect English roses that give you repeat flowering from May until November:
- Positioning: roses like at least 4 hours of sunshine a day, so position them in a sunny spot that gives them this minimum light level.
- Pruning: Don’t be scared to really prune back your rose bushes in January. This ensures their health and vigour, rest assured your plants will grow back stronger.
- Feeding: Feed your roses twice a year in spring and summer, this gives them an extra boost. Use an organic rose feed with a good balance of NPK minerals.
- Dead heading: To encourage continuous flowering, dead head your roses with a pair of pruning shears for a clean cut.
- Mix up your roses: be adventurous, use roses in beds, borders, as climbers and as hedging plants alongside perennials.
David Austin have 200 varieties of hybridised English roses that are selected for their fragrance, disease resistance and repeat flowering. For best results plant your new bare root roses in November.
Giveaway: We have teamed up with David Austin for a special giveaway inspired by RHS Chelsea 2014 of their super fragrant Gertrude Jekyll Rose voted England’s favourite scented rose. We have 3 Gertrude Jekyll English Rose plants to give away to our lucky readers. For your chance to enter just leave a comment or your top gardening tip for growing roses, or Like us on Facebook, Follow us on Twitter, and Retweet the giveaway. Good luck!