Hassle-free rose gardens

Conventional wisdom says that roses are a lot of work. Not so, says Helét van Blerk of Gorgeous Gardens who uses tough, disease-resistant roses in all her designer gardens.

Formal elegance

Clipped hedges and immaculate lawns give this formal, terraced garden a classical elegance, with massed plantings of roses providing the only colour. The upper terrace features pinkish-red  ‘Knockout’ roses, bordered by clipped hedges, with apricot-pink ‘Deloitte and Touche’ Colourscape roses one level down.

‘My clients love roses, but they don’t want the hassle, so I go the for toughest roses that I can find, that don’t need spraying for disease and or pests’, says Helét.

  • ‘Deloitte and Touche’ is an upright growing groundcover rose that grows into a dense shrublet, that will fill the space as a low, flowering hedge.
  • ‘Knockout’ is a floribunda rose that spreads out at hip-height and is extremely tough. It flowers continuously, with clusters of deep pink to red five-petalled blooms, that attract bees.

Good to know: Monthly feeding and regular weekly watering keeps these roses healthy. Grouping the roses together means that the automatic irrigation can be zoned to meet their specific watering requirements.

Feast for the senses

Imagine cooling off in this splash pool while inhaling the scent of roses? Once again, Helét’s favourite rose, ‘Deloitte and Touche’ fills the raised planters, and, in time will tumble down over the edges to soften the rustic brick wall. As a companion rose, ‘My Granny’ fills the container and cascades over the edge, mingling with the ‘Deloitte and Touche’ blooms below. Between the two, is a bed of Salvia ‘Beautiful Blue’ .

‘My Granny’ is a spreading shrub that is always covered with lush green leaves and pink blooms in an old-fashioned rosette shape. The clusters of blooms cause the stems to cascade, making it a perfect rose for containers, raised planters and even hanging baskets.

Happy companions; grasses and roses

To complement the ultra-modern architecture of today’s homes, Helét combines ‘Knockout’ roses and swathes of ornamental grasses. The ‘whimsical ‘ result is a modern garden full of texture and colour, that’s a departure from the traditional rose garden.

Because roses don’t like competing with other plants for water, sun and nutrition, both grasses and roses are given enough space to grow, and the grasses are trimmed so that they don’t over grow the roses.

Get the look: bushy Floribunda roses, which produce more blooms than the traditional hybrid tea roses, are ideal for this natural, airy look. Other roses that will fit the bill are ‘Not Simply Pink,’ ‘Afrikaans’ (bright orange), ‘Forever Delight ‘(a floribunda version of Double Delight’) ‘Leeudoorn’ (bright yellow), ‘Tawny Profusion’ (buff yellow) and ‘South Africa’ (gold yellow).

Romantically rosy

Containers planted with “The Fairy’ rose act as focal points, surrounded by mixed plantings of euphorbia ‘Breathless,’ gaura (butterfly bush), erigeron (white daisy groundcover) and Hebe in this soft, romantic garden.

No poisons are used in the gardens, which means that the roses must also be strong growers to withstand pests and diseases. Helét supplies each client with a ‘feeding calendar,’ detailing what and when to feed each month, and only recommends organics.

“I tell my clients that food is more important than water, especially for roses that need the energy to produce their flowers,’ says Helét.

Reach for the sky

Climbing roses are amongst the toughest of roses, because of their deep, spreading roots and extensive  leafy growth. What better flowering climber to cover an archway, pergola or patio? ‘Cocktail’  is a profusely flowering climbing rose that has large single blooms with a yellow eye. It may be trimmed during summer to keep it in shape and to encourage more blooms. Unlike other climbers, climbing roses need to be tied onto the supports, as they grow upwards.

Rose care tips for January from Ludwig Taschner

  • Roses that have grown too high or too dense can be trimmed and thinned. If it is very hot and dry, wait until it cools or rains. Then cut back in phases over two to three weeks.
  • Water deeply at least once a week.
  • Fertilise mid-month with Vigorosa
  • Cut off dead blooms to encourage new blooms

Helet van Blerk (082 789 3091) or

Ludwig’s Roses: 012 5440144 or

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