Landscaping with Roses

When some people think of using roses in their home landscapes, they envision them in a place of prominence, serving as a colorful, focal point or accent. Some folks visualize roses as only being suitable for a formal garden or used as the rose in this pix. Roses ARE the Queens of the Garden! Nevertheless, roses have many functions in the landscape other than being the Queen of the Garden Party! Roses can be some of the most versatile plants in your home landscape. These plants because of the wide variety of growth habits, sizes, colors, and textures can fill any niche in the home landscape. As long as the site is right there is no reason you can’t have roses in all parts of your garden.
Now, let’s look at some of the many ways you can use roses.

Roses can BE. . . .

Accent plants

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Some landscape designers use the term accent and specimen interchangeably to describe certain plants that are so dramatic and eye-catching that they are best used alone or in judicious combination with other less spectacular plants, or used to draw your attention to a particular area of the landscape (driveway, residence or garden entrance for example) Plants used for accent should possess one or more distinctive attention-getting characteristics. They should be outstanding in form, texture, size, color, or a combination of such qualities. The above pictured rose is “Autumn Sunset” A hardy climber I grew in Ohio.



A specimen is a plant that stands out in the landscape due to some spectacular characteristic. Specimen roses should be positioned to be viewed as an individual or where the plant stands out among other plants. Tree roses are a good example of a specimen, due to their unique, unusual form.

Foundation plants

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Foundation plantings consist of a plant community of similar requirements, such as water, soil pH, and exposure. Consist of small to medium evergreen  shrubs, ground covers, and seasonal color plants. Many types of roses are suitable for foundation plantings. Just remember that these are seasonal showy plants, so plan for greenery in the winter. Typically use 80 percent evergreens and 20 percent deciduous or herbaceous plants to comprise the foundation planting.

Walls and fences


Climbers and ramblers are great choices to add interest to otherwise plain walls  and fences. Can you imagine how bland and  uninteresting this fence would be without the rose. The Veilchenblau rambler is a young cutting I started last year, by next year it will cover the wall.



Trellising of roses is an easy and can be economical way (if you build your own) to add structure and attractiveness to your garden. Using ramblers or climbers on trellis can provide shade, privacy, screening, or accent in the landscape. The above picture is of Golden Showers. A quick grower and abundant bloomer.