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A Rose by Any Other Name

by Laura Horwitz, All About Lawns Columnist

Roses have become traditional garden flowers for good reason: they're fragrant and stunning. And having a rose garden of your very own is easier than you think. With these simple preparation and planting tips, you could be enjoying their beautiful blooms by spring.

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Preparing Your Rose Bed

Selecting a site that gets at least 4-5 hours of sun daily and has good drainage should be your first step. Next, make sure your chosen site has plenty of space. You don't want to crowd your roses -- they don't like it very much. Next, you should lay down fresh soil, especially if you're replacing an older rose bush. These elitist flowers won't dare grow in soil used by an older rose plant.

Buying Roses

You can order roses from retail outlets, garden catalogs, or by visiting a garden center. All of these are good, provided you use a reputable seller; it just depends on your preference.

After deciding where to find your roses, you need to choose the type. Bare-root roses, for example, are dormant plants, and you should only buy them if you can plant them immediately. If you buy them from a garden center, make sure they have arrived recently, because if they've been sitting around in a warm area, they can come out of dormancy prematurely and therefore not grow as well.

Instead of bare-root roses, you can buy containerized or potted roses. These are similar to their counterparts, but have been grown in the nursery for a longer time and therefore have a more extensive, less fragile root system. This makes them easier to transplant to your rose garden.

Growing Your Roses

Since they can vary depending on the type, follow all planting instructions carefully. For optimal growth, give roses about an inch of water each week throughout the growing season, again varying somewhat based on soil type and temperature. Finally, use mulch to help the soil retain moisture and keep out weeds.

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About the Author
Laura Horwitz has worked as a freelance writer and researcher for five years in both London and the US. She had a monthly landscaping and tips column for the Sussex County magazine RH Review, and her articles have appeared in Film Focus, 6 Degrees Film, and BizBash magazine.



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