Together with the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), PlantforLife has teamed up with Michelin-starred celebrity chef, Atul Kochhar and celebrity plantsman, Chris Collins to promote an often overlooked ingredient that can be found in most gardens in Britain – roses!
Research from HTA shows 30% of people want to spend more time relaxing and entertaining in their gardens this year1, so there is no better time to plant Britain’s favourite flower2 and add it to your cooking too.
Roses are the royalty of garden plants, giving incredible value for money as well as immense pleasure. No self-respecting British garden would be complete without their presence. With care and attention you can create a beautiful rose garden. Planting roses is simple and rewarding - they are readily available in garden centres and are so versatile.
When selecting roses to plant in your garden, first consider the look and feel of what you would like to achieve from your roses – from creating excellent focal points to framing certain areas of your garden. Follow Chris' style planting tips below and find out about his favourite roses so you can create a rose haven in your garden and use the petals in your recipes too!
What you'll need:
- Roses (6-8 if planting shrub roses / 1-2 if planting climbing roses)
- 1 bucket of garden compost per plant
- 2 large watering cans filled with water
To plant roses successfully:
- Purchase rose plants from your nearest garden centre and have in mind the site where you will be planting. Roses like sunshine but not too much wind.
- Prepare the ground for planting. Roses need a good fertile soil that is well-drained. Dig a hole slightly bigger than the rose you’re planting and fill the base with well-rotted garden compost. If the soil is very heavy, like clay, add a few spade fulls of horticultural grit. (If planting a bed or border, dig over the whole area adding well-rotted compost as you go.)
- Plant the rose to the same depth as its current ‘collar’; this is the area where roots meet the base of the stem or stems.
- Back fill the planting hole with compost or soil and make sure it’s firm which will remove any air pockets out of the soil. Water thoroughly when planted.
- Add a healthy mulch to preserve your roses in late winter or early spring to the base of the plant. The mulch should preferably be well-rotted garden compost.
- Maintain your plants by snipping the dead heads off the roses. When pruning out unwanted stems always prune to an outward facing bud, again encouraging the plant into an open habit.
- Prevent weeds by pulling them out before they set seed. This will stop weeds from using up nutrients, light and moisture that your roses require. Sprinkle a handful of bone meal over the soil around the base of the rose in October / November to give the roots a boost.
- When the rose buds start to swell and open up to flower, snip towards the bottom of the stem for table arrangements and rose inspired recipes.
- Always remember to rinse your roses before cooking with them.
To maintain your roses, you'll need:
- Moderate amount of sunshine
- 1 bucket of mulch per plant
- A moderate sprinkle of bone meal per plant
Chris Collins' Top Four Roses
A thoroughly modern rose with bush habit. Produces deep crimson, double flowers from summer to autumn. Looks great if planted in a group or an island bed or border.
Climbing Danse du Feu
A vigorous, climbing rose with bright scarlet flowers. Flowers from summer all the way through until autumn. Plant along a fence at the back of a border.
A rose bush with an upright habit, this rose has bright green foliage and yellow flowers that are incredibly fragrant. Plant in a group of three or five near a kitchen window to enjoy the scent.
Climbing Summer Wine
A rich pink, vibrant and strong rose which provides good growth and superb health once grown. If planting against a wall as a climber, remember to provide support and plant a good 45cm away from the wall.
1 HTA Insight June 2009. Social groups AB and C1
2 Gardeners World Awards 2009