Our love affair with roses began thousands of years ago.
In fact roses have been around throughout human history and have played an important part over time, from their valuable medicinal properties to the appreciation of their beauty and fragrance.
Over the years roses have been bred and hybridised into the stunning plants and flowers we see today.
There are thousands of different rose cultivars and new varieties being bred every year.
When it comes to rose selection, we really are spoilt for choice.
Growing roses here in the Barossa is easy.
They are well suited to our climate and with the right position and care, put on a great floral show throughout the warmer months.
As mentioned earlier, there are many types of roses available.
Listed below are some of the favourites to help you pick the right ones for your needs.
A Hybrid Tea Rose is probably one of the most recognisable roses of today.
They are characterised by large, often highly fragrant flowers and generally only one or a couple of flower buds per stem.
They have long stems which make them excellent for picking and floral arrangements.
Average height is about 1.5 metres tall.
A Floribunda Rose bears clusters of flowers, generally smaller flowers than a hybrid tea rose and more of them.
They put on a great flower display for a long period of time.
A good local example of a Floribunda rose is the rose hedge that connects Tanunda to Nuriootpa – a rose named ‘La Sevillana’.
Average height of a Floribunda is around 1.2 metres.
As it’s name suggests, a climbing rose does just that, climbs.
They grow well on a trellis or support like an arch or fence.
Many varieties of hybrid tea roses and floribunda roses are also available as a climber.
These are rose varieties that have been around for 100 years or more.
Or to be more precise, roses that existed before the first modern rose (hybrid tea) was bred in 1867.
Often, old world roses will only have one flowering period, unlike modern roses which are repeat bloomers.
However, when they do flower it is certainly impressive and usually with a beautiful fragrance.
David Austin Roses are one of the most prominent rose breeders in the world.
Their flowers are characterised by their many petals, often cupped habit and always have a beautiful fragrance.
They are absolutely stunning in country and cottage gardens and the fragrance and beauty of a David Austin Rose is hard to beat.
David Austin’s come in a variety of sizes from smaller shrubs to rambling climbers.
A standard rose is typified by a single tall stem with a ‘ball’ of foliage and flowers on top.
They are generally grafted at a height of 60cm or 90cm.
They are a great feature and help add some height to the garden.
While rose care may seem daunting, roses are really quite easy to look after.
They enjoy an open sunny position (at least 6 hours of sun), too much shade and they will be prone to fungal diseases.
Most roses like to be pruned back every winter by at least a third to a half and also enjoy a light summer prune.
The idea is to try and create a vase type shape.
That is, remove growth in the middle of the bush, keeping 3 or 4 strong outward stems.
A winter spray with a fungicide will help to kill off fungal spores.
As the weather warms in spring, feed your roses regularly with a good rose fertiliser such as ‘Sudden Impact for Roses’.
This will ensure healthy new growth and beautiful blooms.
A common pest to watch out for on roses are Aphids.
Aphids are a sap sucking insect and are usually found on flower buds and new growth of roses.
They are easily controlled with a good insecticide spray.
Occasional watering over the warm months and removing dead flowers just about rounds off the care that roses require.
It is certainly true that the care you put into a rose is paid back tenfold as glorious blooms for you to enjoy.
“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses,” Abraham Lincoln.
If you have any good gardening old wive’s tales, feel free to share them by leaving a comment online on the Barossa Mag’s website.
I do love hearing a good tale!
In the meantime, happy gardening!