Misconceptions about rose growing and the popularity of roses
Recently, there has been quite a lot in the press regarding roses losing their popularity particularly with the younger generation.
There have been suggestions that sales in the UK have reduced from around 30 million plants in the 1950s and 1960s to just 5 million now.
However, these figures are questionable as there are no accurate records as we in the industry tried to establish ourselves. The only figures that were available were the imports of the understocks on which roses are budded.
The understocks that were used in the 1950s and 60s were Canina, which did not produce large percentages of saleable plants, unlike now, when the understocks used are Laxa, which are much more productive of good quality plants. This would suggest a better yield from fewer understocks which again undermines the assumption that roses are losing their popularity.
With the advent of garden centres, however, it is true to say that roses now compete with a much wider range of plants, but this has led to another myth is – that roses are less popular with young people.
Again, there are no figures to support this.
One problem for young people is the limited amount of garden space they have. Shrub roses, for example, need plenty of room, and many new starter homes have very small gardens.
However, a good garden centre will stock a variety of rose types, such as courtyard and patio climbers which are fine for growing in restricted spaces.
They also usually have small blooms from top to toe of the plant and need little training. So they are easy for the novice grower.
Gardening tips for June
Given warm weather June should bring forward the first flowering period of modern roses, maybe even some for the Queen’s Jubilee.
If you wish to add to your rose collection, there should be a good selection of containerised roses to purchase and plant.
June is more of a month to enjoy your garden. We do recommend a disease preventative spraying programme, but other than keeping roses in permanent containers well-watered, just sit back and enjoy.