Alba shrub rose, dating from before the 15th century. Lead-grey healthy foliage. Blooms of blush pink with muddled petals. Highly scented. Summer flowering. 1.5m x 1.2m.
How to plant and care for your roses.
Choose a suitable site, which for most roses will mean somewhere that gets a good six hours or more of sunshine, and where the soil is fertile, moist and well drained.
Prepare the soil throughly, digging in well rotted garden compost or farmyard manure, and then lightly rake in a handful of fertiliser, such as 'Growmore'
Dig the hole about the twice the width of the pot and and a bit deeper than the pot. Pull out any roots that have managed to grow around the root ball - be prepared to be pretty fierce at this stage. The word 'tease' doesn't really impart the importance of completely avoiding any chance of 'root wrap' nor actually how much you can brutalise a rootball without doing any harm whatsoever. Failing to do this can inhibit the roots from growing out into the soil, producing a weak plant that is more vulnerable to drought.
After years of thought, and practice in our own garden, we now recommend burying the graft union just below the soil. Why so? For a number of reasons: it looks a lot neater; it stimulates root production from the top of the rootstock, as well as that part of the top graft that is underground; it stabilises the plant against being knocked about by the wind; and it reduces the liklihood of suckers which can be stimulated into grown by, for example, a small cut from a hoe whilst weeding the surrouding soil.
Back-fill gently with the soil and garden compost/manure mixed together well. It is generally not a good idea to plant a rose directly back where you have just removed an old or sick plant. Try to plant a few feet away, or dig a larger hole and replace the soil with some from elsewhere in the garden. Water in well and if necessary water in dry weather during the first summer.
In virtually all cases cut newly planted roses back hard after their first winter, even to as low as 6-12" above ground level - don't worry, dormant buds will burst into life in spring and you will have a lovely flush of new, stong and health shoots.
The Royal Horticultural Society recommends this pruning regime for newly planted roses:
Hybrid tea (large-flowered): Prune the remaining strong stems hard back to 10-15cm (4-6in) from ground level
Floribunda (cluster-flowered): Prune the remaining strong stems moderately hard back to about 15cm (6in) from ground level
Ramblers and climbers: Prune remaining strong stems back to 30-40cm (1ft-15in) from ground level
Shrub and species roses: Leave remaining strong stems unpruned
Once established, roses will really thrive under a regime of winter mulching with well rotted manure and a handful of fertiliser. The difference between a rose treated thus and one that is not fed is absolutely dramatic.
Ramblers aside, roses will always benefit from a good pruning, with a tidy-up after winter, or every 3 to 4 years a much more radical cut to close to ground level - how many leggy roses have you seen that produce just a handful of flower? A lack of feeding and pruning is invariably the cause of this lamentable state of affairs.