Planning Your Garden and Selecting Roses 

Every January and February, gardeners around the country begin planning out their perfect garden. Some use Pinterest or other social boards to save their favorite plants and ideas, while others use pen and paper to draw out the design of their perfect space. Whatever your method, don’t let this important task overwhelm you. Grab a cup of tea or coffee, get out that notebook or laptop, and start dreaming.

When planning your rose garden remember the basics: roses need 6 hours of sunlight and well-draining soil. If you have space or pots available, under these conditions, you can grow roses with success!

To begin planning your space, answer the following questions to make a list of what matters most to you.

1. Pick your style. Get inspired by visiting local rose gardens or scrolling Pinterest or Instagram. Save your favorites and see what patterns you notice in your choices. Do you prefer a clearly defined, linear rose garden, or do you prefer other plants mixed in like a cottage garden feel? Do you want a full English rose garden? What do you want to be the focus point of your garden? Make a few notes now and keep your goal in mind as you choose each rose.

2. Pick your color palette. Selecting successful color combinations can be the trickiest part of creating harmony in your rose garden. What colors catch your eye the most? Do you want a bright, colorful garden or a calm and peaceful space? If you are not concerned with color balance but want color everywhere, choose roses with great fragrance and continuous bloom cycles in your favorite colors. If you are looking for a more harmonious blend of color, you may enjoy nice rose color combinations like purple, lilac, pink, and light yellow. Other nice color matches are coral, salmon, and bright yellow or red, pink, and white.

Use our easy-to-use search features to filter roses by color, height, width, fragrance, and other characteristics.

3. Be practical and thoughtful. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your garden. Focus on roses that complement each other and group according to species as different roses have different growth habits. Consider spacing not only for aesthetic reasons, but also for practicality sake. Ask “What do I want this rose to do?” We often forget to assess what we want out of our plants. We all have made an impulse purchase and have plants in our yard simply because we liked it at the garden center without much thought to the plant itself.

Consciously selecting a rose is an entirely different process. How will it affect your emotions? Do you want something showy or subtle? Think about how roses can work for you to fill basic landscape needs such as hedges, screens, empty spaces, or groundcovers. Consider maintenance, the overall size, and shape of the bush, and ways it can enhance your landscape to ensure the right choice for your garden.

Need to fill a large space quickly? Use suckering varieties such as Gallicas and Rugosas that like to colonize. Shrub Roses, Floribundas, and Polyanthas work better than Hybrid Teas en masse and tend to be more disease-resistant, and can be planted in large groups to create blocks of color. Make the roses work for you.

Large-blooming, fragrant varieties grown for bouquets should be planted close to patios or seating areas where they can be easily enjoyed and accessed for cutting. While roses with prolific, smaller blooms look better from a distance allowing for a full visual impact. Compact roses work best in pots, and nearly thornless roses are best by walkways and paths so visitors or children running through your garden don’t get snagged. If you want a walkable garden to stroll through, pick roses with more upright canes that won’t droop or Climbers to train up arbors and trellises.

Remember to consider the growth habit of your rose. How large of an area will it fill out? Give each plant space to grow into their new home.

Planning these small details now will pay off in the long run. When you choose your favorite roses, make notes about their characteristics or print off the description page from our website and move them about your garden on paper until they are in the perfect spot.

4. Make it beautiful. Consider planting roses in groups of three of the same color or plant for maximum impact. Plant once-blooming roses further back from paths as they need less pruning and deadheading than continuously blooming roses and will be harder to reach.

And don’t forget to plant vertically! Roses that climb are a fantastic way to break up your garden and add vertical beauty. Gazebos, arbors, and pergolas add a wonderful visual focus while your roses help take away the hard edges of such structures and add enhanced color and fragrance.


You can achieve the garden of your dreams with a little thought, sketching, and patience. It’s going to be amazing.

If you’re still having trouble finding just the right rose for a specific space, contact our customer care team where our experts are happy to help you select the perfect rose just for you.