Rose garden ideas – 14 colorful rose gardens to inspire

Rose Garden Ideas Roses are such beautiful flowers that many designers like to create a dedicated area for them. ‘Roses should be the star of the garden,’ says Florida-based garden designer Matthew Giampietro . ‘I like to incorporate roses into a garden by designing a formal rose garden or outdoor ‘room’ for roses, or even just a border of roses.’ In times gone by, walled rose gardens were known as rosaries and often contained nothing but roses. Modern gardening practice tends to favor designing a rose garden so that roses sit amongst perennials, biennials, and annuals, however – both because it looks more contemporary and because it helps to prevent rose sickness. For example, salvias (such as the fabulous hot-pink ‘Cerro Potosí’) are thought to act as natural fungicide because their leaves contain sulphur.

1. Plant Roses As Hedging Or En Masse

‘Roses done as a hedge or a large mass grouping work beautifully in contemporary landscapes. Stick with neutral tones such as white or blush, or perhaps yellow to give a pop of color while staying cool and understated. We lean on the Knock Out rose varieties, such as Sunny Knock Out or White Knock Out. They produce an abundance of delicate flowers while being unfussy.’

2. Plant Roses For A Wildlife Garden

Many garden designers like to use wild species roses (or single and semi-double roses that have the look of wild roses) to create a wonderfully informal, natural look, while providing food for wildlife.

Such wild roses are superb grown as a rose hedge or as part of a mixed native hedge – wonderful wildlife garden ideas.

3. Grow Roses Through A Tree

Growing a rose through a tree makes for a romantic, beautiful feature in the garden during summer. Make sure you select the right tree and the right rose for a knock-out combination.

4. Grow Roses As Ground Cover

Procumbent roses sprawl over the ground, quickly suppressing weeds and concealing bare soil, and many of them have single or semi-double flowers that provide nectar for pollinators.

5. Grow A Rose Garden Over A Seating Area

Repeat flowering and with beautiful fragrances, roses are a brilliant choice of flower for growing near a seating area. Try training a rambling rose, such as this Phyllis Bide variety by David Austin Roses, across an arch over a bench for a pretty garden retreat. A repeat flowerer with a medium, sweet scent and sprays of small, pale apricot-pink flowers, Phyllis Bide brings a romantic feel to the garden summer long.

6. Use Roses To Bring Color To Informal Mixed Borders

Take a more informal approach to growing roses and include them as part of a mixed border of shrubs and herbaceous perennials to bring color and height. Planting them alongside plants such as Achillea Mollis and Sea Holly will create a romantic cottage garden feel as these borders at The Cottage Garden at RHS Rosemoor prove.

7. Plant Roses In Color Blocks For Impact

Planting multiple roses of the same variety is often seen in formal rose gardens and can look truly show-stopping. If doing this be sure to plant in odd numbers. If you're looking for inspiration, The Queen Mother’s Rose Garden at RHS Rosemoor has a fantastic array of modern rose types including Hybrid tea (large-flowered), floribunda (cluster-flowered) and shrub roses.

8. Line A Path With Rose Arches

Training climbing roses over pergolas and arches along an avenue or pathway can make moving through a garden truly magical, as this image from the walled rose garden at National Trust Mottisfont proves, featuring arches covered in Rose Adelaide d'Orleans. Other climbing roses perfect for growing up an arch include The Generous Gardener, Malvern Hills and Constance Spry – unrivalled for scent. If you’re looking for rose garden inspiration be sure to visit National Trust Mottisfont, home to the National Collection of pre-1900 old-fashioned roses.

9. Pair Roses With Lavender For A Cottage Garden Feel

Planting shrub roses with lavender is a classic combination which will guarantee a relaxed cottage feel and will bring color and fragrance throughout the summer. According to the rose experts at David Austin Roses, simple combinations cannot be underestimated; try planting its Boscobel rose with English lavender for a show-stopping and easy-to-maintain display.

10. Use Rambling Roses To Soften Garden Walls And  Structures

Climbing and rambling roses are a brilliant way to bring height and colour to a garden and are particularly useful if you’re looking to obscure unsightly structures. A classic rambler, David Austin’s Phyllis Bide, is a repeat flowerer that can grow up to 4.5 metres tall making it brilliant for this purpose.

11. Grow A Rose Garden Around A Doorway

Growing a rose around a doorway can really make a feature of an entranceway. If growing a rose around a doorway, seating area, place where people pass or children play, then consider a variety with few thorns such as Mortimer Sackler or The Shepherdess.

12. Brighten Up Patios With Potted Roses

If space is at a premium then roses can easily be grown in containers to bring scent and color to a patio. Good roses for growing in pots include Harlow Carr, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Desdemona and Vanessa Bell, all available from David Austin Roses. Raised garden bed ideas are another great way to incorporate roses into a more structured scheme.

13. Grow A Rose Over An Obelisk To Give Height To Borders

Growing a climbing rose up an obelisk is a brilliant way to bring height to mixed borders. Loved for its strong, Old Rose scent, Gertrude Jekyll is a brilliant choice for an obelisk which will bring beautiful fragrance and quintessential elegance to any garden.

14. Create A Focal Point With A Rose-Covered Pergola

Growing a climbing or rambling rose over a perogla or gazebo can make a spectacular focal point in a garden. With their cascading, clusters of blooms and whimsical 'rambling' nature ramblers are a great choice for this, including varietes such as Rosa mulliganii, one of the biggest rose varieties, pictured here at Sissinghurst Castle Garden in the care of the National Trust.

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