The History and Cultivation of Roses
Rose cultivation dates back to the planting of roses along trails used by nomadic peoples. It’s easy to find the blooms depicted throughout antiquity, with rose representations dating back to 2000 BC. In history, roses feature prominently in tales of figures such as Cleopatra, who used roses to create an air of opulence and to entice Marc Antony, and in myths and legends from around the world, from Persia to the Celtic nations.
Though originally fairly simple flowers, roses have been bred and cultivated for many thousands of years into the complex shape that they have today. The influx of trade and roses from other parts of the world, including China, to Europe at the end of the eighteenth century led to a boom in the types of roses that were available.
These many years of breeding have led to an incredible number of variants in terms of size, shape, and color, with many roses featuring spectacular and often unusual colors. From the diminutive Si roses – less than the size of a dime when in full bloom – to the eight-inch Great Century roses to the incredibly popular Osiria roses with their red and white blooms, gardeners have tons of options available to them when it comes to choosing roses.
Choosing the right roses for your garden is difficult (remember to choose roses that are appropriate for your climate), but caring for them once planted, does not have to be difficult. With a little smart planning, you can keep your roses looking beautiful throughout the season.
When planting, be sure to place them in sunny spots with pH neutral soil. Remember that while they need plenty of water, they can easily suffer from overwatering. Never let them sit in standing water, and ensure that there is proper drainage for water away from your rose bushes. Mulch can be beneficial in keeping roses moist without letting them get too wet. Tricks such as including banana peels in the mulch have been known to help roses bloom better throughout the season.
Remember that roses need regular pruning throughout the season. Pruning serves the purpose of encouraging new growth in addition to giving them an attractive shape. Remember to keep the center of the plant open to ensure air circulation through the bush, to remove old wood, and to encourage them through pruning to grow for maximum visibility. Different roses have different pruning requirements, so be sure to research the exact needs of the roses in your garden.
Preventing potential damage to your roses from insects and wildlife does not have to be difficult. Bear in mind that natural methods tend to be best. One highly recommended method – and one that looks great – is to pair your rose garden with thriving batches of lavender, which can help drive away insects, as well as wildlife such as deer. Above all, remember that roses are best and most beautiful when appreciated! Include seating around your rose garden so you can relax and enjoy the fragrant atmosphere all season long.