Aside from their obvious beauty and distinctive scents, roses provide an excellent lure to a varied list of wildlife ranging from insects and birds to small mammals due partially to their high pollen yield, but mostly due to their large attractive flowers, often followed by large, juicy hips. The fact that these species are specifically vertical growers means that they are one of the most effective means of attracting winged creatures to the garden. However, there are specific conditions that will best encourage the growth necessary to provide these blooms.
Roses do prefer a fairly sheltered area and the more sun the better, as it is sunlight that feeds the vividness of their colours, so try not to plant them in the shade of trees for example. They will also tolerate most soil types, as long as they’re well drained. Add plenty of compost or well-rotted manure at planting time, make sure you feed them regularly. Watch out for pests and diseases and treating them promptly will provide a colourful display all summer long.
So without further gilding the lilies, here are our favourite choices, organised by which aspect suits them:
Golden Showers’ name derives from its buttercup-like petals and the rich yellow centre that connects them. It has dark green glossy leaves on matching, upright stems.
One of the hardiest Rosa varieties, it has pale, silvery pink flowers with a faint scent.
This rambling rose is a semi evergreen, possessed of a vigorous growth cycle with unusual violet flowers with white centres during the summer, and mid-green foliage in all seasons.
‘Madame Alfred Carriere’
Mme Alfred Carriere is a vigorous climber that displays glossy, emerald foliage with a minimum of thorns and throughout summer and autumn will produce clusters of scented white flowers with a pink blush.
This climber is compact in formation and will produce glossy, dark-green foliage armed with both thorns and large golden flowers that have a slight fragrance.
The bourbon climbing rose will yield deep pink blooms throughout summer and autumn with an accompanying fragrance and, as a bonus, its stems are thornless.
The yellow banksia rose is really a rapidly growing shrub rose with thornless stems, clusters of double, buttery flowers and pale green foliage.
Compassion is another fast grower with particularly attractive foliage, sprouting glossy green leaves on deep red stems and complementary fragrant, copper-pink flowers.
Swan Lake possesses a continuous display of pinkish white blooms that also bring a scent with them. It will take a bushy appearance as it matures.
The Guinee variety of Rosa is actually tea hybrid, though it still sports the characteristics of its forebears. It has vivid scarlet flowers with a strong aroma and long arching stems in summer and autumn.
A slow-growing, deciduous or semi-evergreen climber that will bear cupped, single, pale yellow flowers atop stiff reddish stems decorated with hooked thorns and glossy green foliage.
Rambling rector derives its name from the nature of its growth, requiring plenty of support to take definitive shape. It has clusters of fragrant white blooms with complementary yellow stamens.
By Josh Ellison