Most roses are bagged in black plastic bags by the garden centre for sale to the public.
When choosing a bush look at:
- Sturdy canes Choose a rose with sturdy canes, three or four that are fresh looking, either green or red in colour. Avoid rips and slashes if possible.
- Be Picky Don’t be tempted to buy the last one of a variety. Often it will be a poor specimen.
- Sight the rose Buy a rose if you can that you have seen. Some retailers have the whole lot wrapped in plastic, so you don’t know what it is like until it is removed. It may be badly damaged.
- Standards Miniature standards are ideal for growing in pots and they flower for a long time. Great for a feature rose that can be shifted when not in flower. Ideal for Barbecue areas, patios, as a feature or by a pool. If you are looking at large flowering roses on a standard, be careful in your selection. Some such as Solitaire, Sheer Bliss, Aotearoa or Loving Memory grow naturally tall and vigorous. They can look ridiculously tall and you won’t see the blooms on a standard.
- English or David Austin Roses These roses have an old fashioned look and are usually heavily scented. There are gorgeous ones like Sally Holmes or Mary Rose but they need plenty of space.
Where to Plant
- Climbers can be trained along a fence.
- A standard rose looks great as a feature in a lawn.
- A number of standard roses will screen a drive.
- Low-growing bush roses could line a path or the front foot path.
- Scented roses are great by an entrance or under a window.
- A pillar rose could be planted by a verandah post.
- Patio roses and ground covers grow well on a bank.
Be adventurous and use your imagination in your mix of colours, shapes, perfume and beauty.