WHERE TO MAKE A ROSE GARDEN
Our national flower has inspired many amateur gardeners to devote part or sometimes the whole of their gardens to the cultivation of roses only. The reasons are not entirely sentimental.
Roses display to better advantage in a garden of their own than mixed too freely with other plants. Also, because they like a free circulation of air among the stems, they are unhealthy in company with luxuriouswhich make thick masses of leaf growth. Roses associated with such plants rarely nourish.
The preference for a free circulation of air round roses suggests that the highest part of a garden site should be selected for the, and as a matter of fact excellent rose gardens are made on seaside cliffs exposed to ocean breezes.
The rose has so many varieties, both of colour and form, that it is useful for many purposes, from beds of varied colours to the roseway or pergola. In designing a rose garden, the question we ask ourselves is what we expect from this feature. In the first place, the rose garden must be ideal for the cultivation of roses of all kinds.
It will not be possible in ato grow many varieties; but it will probably be thought desirable to plant a few bush roses, standards and . Provision should be made for each.
The most important point is that the rose gardens must present a pleasant picture. Perfect roses are grown on allotments, but they do not turn the allotments into rose gardens.
It is doubtful whether a good rose garden could be made which entirely ignored the formal type of design, but there are, of course, degrees of formality. Probably the real reason for formality in the rose garden is that it assists the gardener by making small beds possible. This gives easier access to the plants at all seasons, and eases the work of pruning, cutting and manuring.
Other charms we hope for in the rose garden are colour contrasts and harmonies. For this, some knowledge of roses, their colours, habits of growth, and particularly the colour of their foliage, is needed.
Having decided what we want in our rose garden, the next step is to fit these into a scheme which will suit the site at our disposal.
If it is especially desired that standard roses should be grown, they can be placed in beds among the bush roses. The water of a pool reflects their beauties in remarkably good manner, and standard roses, particularly weeping standards of the climbing varieties, are lovely grown in narrow beds at the far end of a pool. Water might therefore be associated with the rose garden.
No rose garden is complete without the inclusion of some of the climbing varieties, and now that the hybridist has created such a wonderful variety of shades among this group, as much use as possible should be made of them. A semi-circular rose trellis set against a background of trees and shrubs, and covered with roses of scarlet, yellow and cream, makes a particularly beautiful effect.
Pathways in the rose garden are always a matter of taste, but whenever it can be arranged, grass should be liberally employed. Nothing sets off roses to better advantage than the green of a lawn or grass walks, and they are well worth the trouble of maintenance.
Stone paths can also be introduced, the object being to provide a dry footway in showery weather. A combination of stone with grass verges is both lovely and serviceable, but the work of trimming the grass becomes very exacting.