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Roses are one of the most versatile plants. If chosen carefully they may provide some of the most colorful and attractive plants for informal hedges or screens. Unfortunately no rose is fully evergreen, so only few of them will provide a screen that will give privacy all year long, but their thorns will make the hedge virtually impenetrable for humans and many animals.

Rose Hedges & Screens

Some roses, like Rosa rugosa and its hybrids may be shaped to some extent by gentle clipping in winter to make dense hedges while maintain the natural outline of the shrub. Some Hybrid Musk roses will grow into a thick, thorny screen up to 2 m in height covered in fragrant flowers all summer long, if their unpredictable growth is curbed by training them on horizontal wires or chain-link fencing. If you grow a rose hedge to line a path then use the upright cultivars instead of those with unpredictable growth as these may impede the pathway.

In a small garden use Floribunda roses to form a tall hedge as these are generally upright plants with little spread. Plant them in two staggered rows to form rapidly a screen of about 1.2 m tall. If you are using some shorter-growing old garden roses to form a hedge of similar height keep an eye on them as they are more vulnerable to mildew because of close planting. Even the old roses may have attractive foliage they will only flower for a shorter period of time in midsummer.

You can use roses to divide one part of garden from another or to hide some unpleasant shed. Train climbing roses or ramblers on decorative screens of desired height, formed by constructing open, wooden frameworks. This way you will have a delightful separation for your garden or a pretty screen to hide your shed or even the compost heap. If you are going to buy a ready-made wooden or plastic trellis that is available on the market, make sure you buy a sturdy one since it has to support a considerable weight and to last for many years.

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Planting Roses

There are three types of roses available on the market that you can plant in your garden: bare-root roses, packed roses and container-grown roses. The best time to plant bare-root roses is in their dormant period from late autumn to early winter. Early spring is also a good time to plant in areas that suffer from bad winters. Bare-root roses are in a semi-dormant or dormant state and their roots are virtually clean of soil. You should plant those roses as soon as possible after you buy them.

Remove any diseased or damaged growth, trim any thick roots by about one third, dig the planting hole in a prepared bed and add half a bucketful of organic compost mixed with some general fertilizer into the bottom of the hole. Place the rose in the center of the hole and spread out the roots.

Lay a cane over the hole to check that the bud union is about 2,5 cm below soil level. Fill the hole with soil firming well with your hands. Lightly tread down the surrounding soil, rake over the soil and water well.

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