Roses are surely some of the most iconic of all flowers and conjure up images of the typically beautiful old fashioned English garden brimming with charm.
New Dawn Rose: Nancy Brown
The huge variety of specimens offer something for almost every type of garden situation whether you’re looking for something cute and compact for a pot, a medium or large bushy plant for the border, a hedge or an enormous climber.
They may not be the first flowers that come to mind when we think of plants for a wildlife garden but many varieties have a lot to offer: Their nectar and pollen attract many insects including bees, beetles, butterflies and moths, rosehips provide food for birds through the autumn and larger shrubs offer a hide away for birds throughout the year. During the summer months, some roses attract aphids which are a valuable part of the diet for many garden birds and insects.
This week, I encountered a stunning Rose chafer beetle feeding on nectar on my Gertrude Jekyll rose in the border. The video has been slowed down to half speed for a better chance to see the wings emerge before "take-off" !
When planting a rose with wildlife in mind, it’s most beneficial to choose one with single or semi-double petals where the stamens are exposed to pollinators instead of the more ruffled, dense rosette types.
David Austin, the renowned and probably most famous rose breeder, offers information on a selection of wild roses and some particularly recommended for bees. The RHS also offers information and suggested wild roses plus some general information on choosing the best rose for you’re your requirements.
The dog rose is common in Southern England hedgerows but looks equally at home in an informal cottage style garden as a climber or as a hedging plant.
Dog Rose: Nancy Brown Field Rose: Nancy Brown
Roses can be bought in flower from garden centres at this time of year or as bare root plants in the autumn.
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