The RHS Garden Rosemoor is a rose delight – here are the 5 lessons we'd take from it for our rose gardens

Take valuable lessons on growing roses from one of the finest rose gardens in the country

RHS Rosemoor Queen Mother's Rose Garden
(Image credit: RHS/Jason Ingram)

The RHS Garden Rosemoor, in Devon in the UK, is beautiful year round, but in the summer it explodes with roses. Every kind of rose adorns the glorious Queen Mother's Rose Garden, and formal arrangements vie for visitors' attentions with cottage garden-style romantic vistas with arches, garden benches, and swathes of shrub roses in every color imaginable. 

If you want to learn how to grow roses, then RHS Rosemoor is a great place to learn from, and these are the top lessons we'll take from its spectacular rose displays. 

1. Let rambling roses cover garden benches

Queen Mother's Rose Garden at RHS Rosemoor

(Image credit: RHS/ Guy Harrop)

Rambling roses have a special, romantic quality that adds country charm to any garden. Unlike climbers, ramblers grow in a horizontal fashion and tend to be vigorous, so can cover a substantial area in a couple of years. Choose one of the best garden benches, and let your rambling rose do its thing, wrapping the bench in an intimate, fragrant living fence. 

Rambling roses make for one of the best garden privacy ideas without the harsh look you sometimes get with a wooden fence. 

2. Bigger is not always better

Roses in bloom at RHS Rosemoor

(Image credit: RHS/Guy Harrop)

Sometimes, our love of fancy hybrid roses bypasses more delicate varieties. If you want that relaxed, country-style look or are looking for wildlife garden ideas, look towards the Multiflora rose, or multi-flowered or Japanese rose as it's also known. With clusters of small, single flowers, it looks gentle yet distinctive. 

David Austin Roses also has some gorgeous small, single-flowering varieties, including Kew Gardens and Francis E. Lester.  

3. Every rose garden should have a rose arch

The Queen Mother's Rose Garden at RHS Rosemoor

(Image credit: RHS/Jim Wileman)

A rose arch is a rose garden classic, and is a perfect way of creating a secluded spot. Rose arches are easy to create and will work in larger gardens or as part of small garden ideas in an urban setting. The beauty of arches is that they can accommodate either the best climbing roses or rambling roses, or both, giving you a huge variety to choose from. 

4. Plant shrub roses in waves of colour

Roses at RHS Rosemoor

(Image credit: RHS/ Jason Ingram)

Have the space for growing multiple rose varieties? Take your cue from this breathtaking display at Rosemoor's rose garden. Shrub roses in complementary colors have been planted in densely packed swathes, creating a wave-like effect. A sea of roses we wish we could drown in. 

Avoid planting your shrubs too far apart, or you won't get the solid color effect.

5. Combine roses with cottage garden plants

RHS Rosemoor cottage garden

(Image credit: RHS/ Jason Ingram)

Roses have been a staple of cottage garden ideas for centuries, and they pair very well with a wide range of plants. Start by planting up the garden borders in front of your rose bushes with herbaceous perennials like rosemary and lavender, and other bee-friendly plants such as agapanthus, native geraniums, alliums, and salvia. The Rosemoor garden also uses Eryngium giganteumm, or Sea Holly – it has beautiful structure, a dreamy blue color, and is great for pollinators. 

Anna Cottrell
Anna Cottrell

Anna is a keen urban gardener, with David Austin roses and Japanese acers among her favourite plants. She moved into the world of interiors from academic research in the field of literature and urban space a couple of years ago. She's always been interested in how people make houses into homes, and how our concepts of what's stylish change over time.