roses

Container Roses Light Up Your Patio or Balcony

Container Roses Light Up Your Patio or Balcony

By Christina McDonald

There are many reasons to have roses in containers rather than in a traditional garden or order. Perhaps you have limited space, making the deck or balcony your only option. Or you may want to have a rose close at hand, to easily enjoy its beauty, scent and burst of colour.

Regardless of the reason, a container rose is an easy-to grow delight.Choose your rose and the container carefully. A 24-cm pot will easily accommodate a small miniature rose, whereas a large, robust Hybrid Tea will need a container at least 37 cm in diameter. Consider the shape, colour and material of the pot and whether it will compliment the form of the rose and its bloom colour. Traditional urns of roses are stunning, but so are hanging baskets; don’t be afraid
to try something new. Keep in mind that roses growing in plastic or glazed pottery vessels will require less water than clay or fibre.

Whichever pot you choose, fill it with good quality potting soil; regular garden soil will harden in the pot, and may carry soil-borne diseases. Potting soil won’t compact, allowing for better drainage; plus, it breathes and holds fertilizer well.

Select roses that are well suited to container growing. Roses with strong, upright growth that supports blooms above the foliage are ideal, as they hold up well to the elements and you can see each bloom. Cascading forms look striking with their blooms tumbling over the sides of a pot and compact forms can provide a very formal mounded look to a patio setting. The fun part is choosing a rose based on your own preference for flower form, fragrance, foliage and, of course, colour.

Roses prefer full sun, so place your pots accordingly (try moving your pots around the deck to follow the sun—that’s what I do as the season progresses). Make sure to keep your roses well
watered and once a week it helps to add a pinch of 20-20-20 fertilizer to the watering can. Remember to remove spent blooms regularly. While container roses are far more prone to drying out than those in the garden, take heart—they are much easier to weed. That feature alone may inspire you to try your hand at growing a glorious pot of roses!

You’re sure to find a suitable rose in every class—some are even purposely bred for this use. Here are a few of our tried and true favourites and some newer varieties to consider.
Abbaye De Cluny
Abraham Darby
Baby Love
Barbra Streisand
Bronze Star
Cupcake
Cyril Fletcher
Dream series
Flower Carpet series
Gizmo
Marmalade Skies
Octoberfest
Origami
Palace series
Ruffles series
Sheila’s Perfume
Singin’ in the Rain
Weeping China Doll

Favourite Herbs: Roses

Roses

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Rosa spp.

Perennial of variable hardiness

Height and spread vary widely, depending on species.

Shrub, featuring fragrant blossoms on graceful green stems with dark-green leaves.

Try these!

Species roses (Rosa rugosa) are best for crops of rosehips, because they produce lots of edible pulp. Old garden roses or antique roses (Rosa alba, Rosa damascena, Rosa gallica) are known for their beautiful, fragrant flowers. Please see Lois Hole’s Rose Favorites for specific variety recommendations.

Planting

Plant large, well-rooted, container-grown roses from the garden centre.

How much: One plant of each type you enjoy.

When: Anytime during the growing season—from early spring to just before freeze-up.

Where: Full sun. Demands rich, well-drained soil. Space variable, depending on variety.

Care and Nurture

Roses are easy to grow! Try this basic advice: water once a week, fertilize once a month, prune once a year, and deadhead once in a while. Roses need more water than most plants. As a rule of thumb, give each rose 5 L of water per week for every 30 cm of height. Water only around the plant bases to reduce the incidence of powdery mildew and moisture loss through evaporation. Cut off damaged or diseased branches whenever you spot them. Fertilize once a month with 28-14-14 rose food. Use a fertilizer with chelated iron added to avoid veiny leaves. Ensure that the plants are well watered before freeze-up. For detailed care and nurture instructions, see Lois Hole's Rose Favorites.

Harvesting

For a lovely blend of flavours, pull a few petals from several different types of roses and combine. The darkest petals are said to be most flavourful.

For best flavour: Harvest mid-morning, after the dew has evaporated and before the day gets too hot.

Leaves: Not harvested.

Flowers: Just as the flowers open fully, well before they start to fade. Cut stem ten to twelve centimetres from base of flower; remove stem and greenery when you’re ready to use the petals.

Hips: Pick when they are red and plump, but not soft and overripe. Pull cleanly from the plant.

Preserving the Harvest

Petals should be used fresh. Wash the petals and remove the green or white heel at the base of each one. The petals may be preserved in butter, syrup, vinegar or crystallized. Prepare hips quickly after harvesting by slicing off the stem and blossom ends, cutting the hips in half, and scooping out the fibres and seeds with a spoon. The halves can be eaten fresh or dried on a screen in a shady, well-ventilated room.

Tips

  • I like to plant several varieties that bloom at different time of the season, so I have a continuous supply of flower petals.

To Note:

  • There are more than 10,000 varieties of rose. Three types of scents are recognized: old rose, tea rose, and myrrh. The Rosa centifolia varieties of roses have less scent than the Rosa gallica group. The best of all the roses for scent is the old cabbage rose.
  • Fossil records indicate that roses have existed for much longer than man—40,000,000 years! Roses were first cultivated in northern Persia. Cultivation then spread to Greece, and from there to Italy.
  • The word Rosa comes from the Greek word rodon, meaning red.
  • Cultivated roses to be used in perfumes are grown mostly in Bulgaria, Persia, and India.
  • The juice of the burnet rose has been used as a dye to colour muslin and silk a peach colour. When mixed with alum, it gives a violet colour.
  • It was once a custom to hang a rose over the dinner table to signify that all discussions were to remain confidential.
  • The national flower of Britain, the rose is a common insignia used in heraldry and in the Order of the Garter, the Order of the Bath, and many other Orders.
  • During World War II, soldiers and children alike ate rosehips for their high vitamin C content.
  • Shakespeare and his contemporaries ate rose petals in everything from teas to jellies.
  • The dog rose was probably named dagwood from the many thorns, or daggers, it produces. Another theory holds that the name comes from the plants supposed ability to cure rabies or mad-dog bites.
  • The ancients describe roses as having a deep crimson colour, which may be the origin of the fable that the colour came from the blood of Adonis.
  • Rose oil is very expensive. It is sometimes adulterated with palmarosa, or rose geranium oil. Oil of rose is light. The oil congeals at a temperature between 17 to 21° C.
  • In the late 16th and early 17th century, the oil Attar of Roses was discovered. There are records of Attar of Roses being imported and sold at great cost in 1694. It was an important perfume in those times. Rose cultivation in the Grasse area produces rosewater and French Attar. It takes the distillation of 10,000 pounds of roses to obtain 1 pound of oil.

 

What's Blooming In December? Indoor Bulbs and Christmas Roses!

Back in October, we planted a whole bunch of indoor bulbs including Amaryllis and Hyacinths. After many weeks of waiting, they're finally coming into bloom!

The hyacinths (bottom left) smell absolutely amazing, and are the perfect gift for the gardener in your life.

The amaryllis (top), meanwhile, will stun you with their long stalk and huge blooms.

Finally, they aren't bulbs, but we also have some Christmas roses or Helleborus (bottom right) which can be kept indoors this winter while they're in bloom and then transplanted in the spring as an outdoor plant.

With a little bit of mulch, these Christmas roses will overwinter just fine for years to come!

Come visit us soon and get some indoor blooms for your home!