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The artists’ landscape!
This group of roses might have the typical Hybrid Tea shape, Floribunda cluster or miniature blooms; but very diverse growth habits and would look awkward if planted amongst the formal bush roses. For unusual requirements in a garden or large landscape projects the right choice will be in this group
For an even easier reference we have chosen descriptive group names according to their growth habit and use and not according to shape or size of flowers. A wealth of new roses is released every year and more and more will fall under the group of Colourscape Roses.
Roses in this category are expected to grow not much taller than knee-height with short sideways growing branches. They will flower in abundance during the long summer and need little maintenance with regard to dead-heading and grooming. To neaten the beds they might be trimmed in mid-summer with a hedging shear. Due to their size and the shade they provide for their roots, these will be shallow and regular irrigation is required. Additional feeding is essential and a liberal sprinkling of fertiliser every month to six weeks is most beneficial.
When planted 50 cm x 50 cm apart they will cover the ground completely. In winter they should be pruned, leaving a few young stems shortened to 30 cm
Low Shrub roses (Informal)
Shrub roses are informal roses and many of the Heritage Roses will fall under this category. Only the few which do flower more continuously are listed here. Low Shrub Roses can grow to a height between 1.2 to 2 metres and they will either arch their branches or have a natural habit of filling out to a rounded specimen, flowering all over. They have all the requirements of other roses.
Winter pruning consists of removing old and insipid growth, leaving several healthy strong canes. These may be shortened considerably to only 75 cm or the arching canes may be left with no or little cutting back.
These roses are expected to grow vigorously prostrate to ground hugging. The prostrate shoots may stretch from 1 m to 3 m and even more. Plants should be spaced 1.5 m x 1.5 m when required to cover the area completely. On slopes or embankments it is essential to provide a solid basin on the lower side of the plants in order to hold sufficient water to penetrate down to the roots. Basal stems which need to find their way through the dense lower growth are first directed upwards, but will soon arch and with the weight of the flowering trusses at the tip of these stems, add to the total covering ability. Eventual height may vary between knee to hip-high. The continuous new growth provides flowers deep into winter. Scrambler roses should receive a good watering once a week be it by rain or irrigation. New growth and flowers depend on the available fertility and a liberal feeding at least every two months is a necessity. They may be trimmed down at any time during summer, however, this should not denude the plants.
In winter all older and thin wood is removed on Scrambler Roses. The more prostrate shoots may remain and will allow the area to be covered more quickly in spring, alternatively they may be cut back to about 50 cm. All selected cultivars will flower in spring no matter what pruning system is applied.