Old Fashioned Roses for that Aristocratic Antique Rose Garden
'Old Fashioned' roses (or Antique Roses) are the rose varieties that were recognized before 1867 - the year in which the first modern flower was introduced. The name of this flower is the hybrid tea, the major classes of which include: bourbons, noisettes, portlands, species, centifolias, albas, chinas, damasks, hybrid perpetuals, moss roses, gallicas, and teas. These are actually the predecessors to some of the most beautiful modern hybrids. Some of the antique varieties are native to the United States, but the majority are from Europe and Asia.
Unlike Modern Roses, which are applauded for their vibrant colors, compact buds, and recurrent blooming, old fashioned roses are usually pastel in color and are single blooming. Their much-anticipated annual blooms have come to symbolize the arrival of summer.
These flowers are true survivors. Most antique roses are hardy even in some of the coldest and poorest weather conditions. It's as if they can withstand anything. Their versatility can rarely be matched by other classes of roses. Despite their durability and strength though, they do flourish best when planted in a favorable situation. The roses require a minimum of six hours in direct sunlight on a daily basis. The ideal location for your old fashioned roses is an open area, away from shade-producing trees. The soil in this area should be well-drained and fertilized prior to planting.
While many people ignore the fertilization process, soil preparation is a very important element in growing healthy beautiful roses. You should add a large quantity of organic material such as manure to the flower bed prior to planting. The fertilizer will enrich the soil and aid in water drainage. It's highly recommended that you prepare your garden several months in advance to allow the nutrients to settle. Your antique rose garden will prosper in this rich environment.
Once your flower bed is prepared, you're ready to begin planting your roses. Although it's a little dirty, it's a very easy task. Dig a hole about eight inches deep. Remove the plant from its plastic pot. Carefully untangle any loose roots and place the plant directly into the hole. Fill any remaining space with loose soil. You won't need any soil additives at this time. Just be sure to saturate the ground with water. Your new plant will require water on a daily basis for three weeks. If the ground looks like it's very dry, give your antique rose bush a quick shower.
Although many people don't like the appearance of mulch, it can truly be a gardener's best friend. Mulch really helps to repel weeds. It's also great for holding moisture, which encourages your flowers to bloom radiantly in the summer months. Don't worry about diseases unless you see strange spots on the foliage. Although old fashioned roses have been known to be disease resistant, it doesn't mean they're 100% disease-free. However, it's very rare that a disease will debilitate these plants. They're extremely tough and tend to be self-maintaining.
If you're looking for something new to plant in your rose garden, select any of the antique rose varieties. The blooms and fragrances will please your senses and are the reasons why these roses have withstood the test of time.