There are two kinds of rose failures – plants that die and plants that won’t. Roses that die are easy to deal with. You dig them up and start over – with another rose or some other kind of plant. Roses that are unhappy but alive can be more difficult. They require the same care as any other rose (indeed, more) as you try to coax them into better health, and yet they provide little satisfaction. Some roses, particularly climbers, may take several years to become well established in your garden. But they should improve each season, building in size and vigor and not sliding backwards, getting smaller, starting to disappear. If your space is limited, cut your losses and eliminate the poor performers.
Reading Peter Schneider’s book Right Rose, Right Place after purchasing too many rose plants that haven’t begun flourishig in my garden.
If you are into growing flowers or food, I think it’s good to begin working with plants without too many worries about doing it right. After you get the basics, go ahead and experiment. It will be trial and error anyway, unless you are familiar with the soil and the plant – and then again, if you are, you are not a beginner anymore.
I think it’s good to know also, that with every garden there will be failures and losses.
But. It is such an upsetting moment to realize something is not working although you did your best. And, it is such a pleasure to notice when some plant just seems happy: they’re doing well where they are, and you don’t have to constantly make a big fuss about their existence.
With roses, it’s easy to fall in love with the lush, dream-like varieties in full bloom at the nursery, where they’ve been sprayed and doped with who knows what. But you have to do a little bit of research or experimenting to find out, which roses are going to do well in your garden.
Without its flowers, a rose is just a rather humble green shrub with thorns. In addition, it’s more prone to disease than many other green shrubs. That might sound simple but that’s a golden piece of garden wisdom for me.
The prettiest roses are not the ones that seem the prettiest in a catalogue or at the nursery. No, the prettiest roses are the ones that shine in your garden.