Garden with pink roses in it.

How to Plant a Modern Rose Garden

Create a contemporary display using disease-resistant roses, such as ‘Winchester Cathedral’, and pretty perennials for a modern mix of flowers and foliage. This classic white design is easy to plant and maintain; just follow the steps here for the rose, and on pages 30–31 for the other plants.

When to plant: Autumn or early spring.

At their best: Early to midsummer.

Time to complete: 3 hours.

You will need: Spade, heavy-duty gloves, bamboo stake, well-rotted organic matter, all-purpose granular fertilizer, mycorrhizal fungi.

Selection of plants to use: Veronica spicata alba, Rosa Winchester Cathedral (‘Auscat’), white violas, Trifolium repens – ‘Purpurascens Quadrifolium’, hardy white geranium, alchemilla mollis, actaea simplex ‘Brunette’.

Prepare to plant

Dig a bucketful of organic matter into the planting area, and mix it evenly with the soil. Then dig a hole a little deeper and twice as wide as the pot that contains the rose.

Check planting depth

Place the rose in its container into the hole and, using a bamboo stake, check that the graft union (the swelling at the base of the stems) will be below the soil surface when the rose is planted. Remove the rose and apply some general-purpose fertilizer to the base of the hole.

Apply mycorrhizal fungi

Water the rose and leave to drain. Apply mycorrhizal fungi to the base of the hole, following the directions on the package. The roots must come into contact with the fungi granules after planting as these help the rose’s root system to establish. Wearing gloves, tip the rose from its container and plant in the hole.

Firm in soil

Backfill around the root ball with excavated soil. Firm the soil to remove air pockets with your hands. Water the rose well, then apply a 2 in (5 cm) layer of well-rotted organic matter, making sure that it does not touch the stems. Water the rose regularly during its first year, and apply a rose fertilizer each spring.