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.
1. Let rambling roses cover garden benches
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
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 (opens in new tab) also has some gorgeous small, single-flowering varieties, including Kew Gardens and Francis E. Lester.
3. Every rose garden should have a rose arch
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
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
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 writes about real estate, interior design, and gardening. Her work has appeared in Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, and many other publications in the US and the UK. Before embarking on her writing career, Anna taught English at university level and is the author of a book called London Writing of the 1930s. She currently splits her time between London and the Midwest US. She is an experienced outdoor and indoor gardener and has a passion for growing roses and Japanese maples in her outside space.
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