Planting Roses in Autumn

There are compensations for the dark evenings and cooler days of autumn, as they herald the beginning of the traditional planting season. Although container grown plants can be planted at any time of the year, autumn is the preferred time to encourage well established root systems before the surge of growth in spring. Bare rooted plants can also be planted once their dormancy has begun, and this can be a very cost effective way to purchase, particularly as rose plants can be expensive.

planting roses in autumn

Roses can live for many years in the garden, and initial care taken with planting can assist health and longevity. Even though there are many different varieties, their needs are broadly similar and whilst certain varieties can tolerate some shade, most roses thrive in full sun, and will benefit from being planted in the sunniest parts of the garden.

planting roses in autumnIf you decide to buy bare root roses, take them out of the packaging immediately on arrival and immerse the roots in a bucket of cold water for several hours, to rehydrate them. If you prefer to purchase container grown roses, ensure that they, too, are well watered before planting.

Be generous when planting your rose — generous hole, generous feed, generous can of water!

Begin by digging over the ground where you wish to plant your rose, to ensure that the area is free from weeds and stones. Then, dig a planting hole which is wider and deeper than you actually need, taking care to loosen the soil at the base of the hole, so that roots can spread easily. Also ensure that there is little else planted around the rose itself. Once it gets established it will be much more able to cope with other plants encroaching, but in the early days, will benefit from lack of competition. Patio roses, particularly, soon give up and fail to thrive if they have to compete with vigorous perennials.

planting roses in autumnOnce you have dug your hole, put a generous amount of compost or well rotted manure in the bottom then mix in the required amount of rose fertiliser, to give the plant a good start. Before handling the rose, do remember to put on thorn-proof gloves, as those thorns can be dangerous! Then place the rose in position, ensuring that it is planted to the same depth as it was previously. The graft union should be just below the surface of the soil. If you are planting a container grown rose, fill around the root ball with compost and firm in, to dispel air pockets. If you are planting bare root plants, ensure that the roots are not damaged as you carefully backfill with compost.

All newly planted roses will benefit from a generous watering after planting, and regular watering until they are established.

If you take the care and attention to give your new rose the best start you can, then you should have a beautiful addition to your garden, which will give pleasure for many years to come.

I am the willing servant of my garden and also admit to a severe plant addiction. I love them all, but especially sub tropicals, roses, salvias, dahlias and auriculas. I enjoy propagation (because it makes even more plants!) and I hate weeding. My garden was a field when we first met, all those years ago, and its development has been a long, slow, labour of love. It is still evolving and changing all the time. I have opened for the NGS in the recent past, and I have an RHS Qualification, but, the experience I value has mainly been gained with my hands deep in the soil.

The greenhouse is OPEN

Hello Everyone,

Hope you are all well? Spring has sprung; the days are getting longer and warmer weather (hopefully) is on its way.

It’s National Gardening week, and I am so chuffed that I can now, in my best Pembrokeshire Welsh accent say “I declare the New Greenhouse OPEN ! ” Not because it’s National Gardening Week, but because Mark and I have finally completed the construction of it. We have even moved the water butt to attach another hose kit so that we can collect rainwater from both greenhouse roofs. As you can see from the photo there were a lot of panes of glass to install, sixty, in fact. It took three hours as the clips kept pinging off the glass and one of us would have to look for ages to find it. I am sure some of them are still in the Rose and Herb Garden.


greenhousesWe have put top soil and compost into the borders the path has been laid, the edging is done, and we have even erected the new shelving, the shelving was the easiest job out of everything. One of my aunties gave us a giant lightweight wooden lantern and we have hung it from one of the beams along with a glass wind chime from my mum. I don’t think they will stay there once the tomatoes and other veggies are in place, as, even being only five foot one and a bit, I keep banging my head on them.

As yet the part of the shelving is still in the old greenhouse as I have had so many seedlings to transplant, I am sort of moving things between them until I know what is going where and when. So far in the new greenhouse I have one set of shelves a mini spade, trowel , fork, and plant feed pellets, five pots of overwintering, soon-to-be-moved-out pots of Strawberry Sweetheart’s, seven bags of potatoes, two large blue terracotta pots of sunflower “Colour Parade” and stocks “Sugar and Spice.” I am wondering if this might be a good planting combination. I want something to take the attention away from the sunflower stalks for a while.

I am really looking forward to the T&M Sunflower competition, not that the blue pot combo will be entered as a photo, I have a totally different plan that I hope will work, but sorry, I can’t share that one with you! All of the above plants are being hardened off at the moment, but our weather is still a bit unpredictable. Last week we hit twenty two degrees Celsius only for it to drop to nine degrees by the end of the week. We haven’t had any frost but the winds have been blustery and cold.

greenhousesAfter looking after me last month and doing the hard graft, last Saturday was a chance for Mark to do what he loves the most, joining his friends from the club on a metal detecting rally, this meant I had the garden to myself! Selfish I know, but I love this quiet time, just the birds singing, and insects buzzing, I spent a good half hour just walking around the garden, seeing what was in bloom, and what needed attention. I then decided to construct a pea wigwam using canes and string, the garden peas have really shot up. Next I transplanted some mini plugs and earthed up and fed the spuds. My friend Rachel arrived with a selection of tomatoes she grew from seeds, including White Opal, a wise man once said “A generous Gardener is never poor.” And I totally agree, so in return for her gift, she had a pot of baby lettuces from me. This wise man’s saying has now become a motto for me, I love sharing and swapping plants with people. For a long time I admired my next door neighbour’s poppies, one year he was getting rid of some them and he gave me a slab of the root cuttings, he said “I don’t know if they will grow my girl, but bury them in the ground and see what happens.” They did grow and they get stronger every year. What’s the best garden swap you have had?

I possibly may have germinated too many seeds, I have at least two hundred Amaranthus seedlings, I bought them from T&M a few years ago and they are beautiful. I love the burgundy leaves, and it’s worth growing them for the foliage alone, but come midsummer they will produce a soft feathery spike that can stand up to anything the weather throws at them. Each year I collect a spike of seeds and keep it to sow the following year. The seeds are loved by the birds too so I have to be quick. I held back and only planted around ten radishes; this is because I don’t know if I like them. I haven’t eaten them since I was a child and I was convinced the little red thing in the salad bowl was a cherry and I had to have it before my brothers, so I put the whole thing in my mouth and it practically blew my head off. We were having lunch with some people and I was too polite to spit it out. I never tried radish again, Mark likes them though so I am giving them a go.

I also have a second sowing of peas, fifty or so sunflowers, seven aubergines, and some Zinnias that I had free with a magazine. I also have 300 mini plugs. HELP! I am not very good at thinning out seedlings; I tend to keep them all potting them on and give them away when they are bigger.


I received five plug plants from Terri at T&M of Fuchsia Garden News. I potted them on straight away as they were so robust that the roots were trying to escape through the packaging almost. It’s quite exciting that there is a Fuchsia Festival, I have learned so much about these shrubs from the information on the website.

greenhousesWriting this blog has made me realise I need a plan. Each evening after work I have spent an hour in the greenhouses potting on, watering, or plant labelling but it’s on the weekends that I really have to pull my socks up and do some serious work. I usually try to dedicate an afternoon just for gardening. My diary helps as it has a section to list my to-do tasks but I think a more detailed plan is needed, so a sheet of A4 paper and a pen is needed. Do you plan what to do in the greenhouse, or do you just get on with tasks in hand?

I am hoping that by this time next month I will have even more greenhouse news to share with you. Fingers crossed that the tomatoes are big enough to be put in their final beds, with their growing frames neatly installed, I hope that the aubergines have got bigger, that I have eaten my first lettuce leaves with radish or white onion and cheese sandwiches. The rhubarb whilst not in the greenhouse should be ready for pulling, and I can stew that to make a jelly or just have it with custard. This is why I love gardening, the anticipation of what’s to come. Is there anything you would like to see more or less of in my blogs? I love having you feedback, please send me pictures or comments on how your greenhouse/garden is doing. I would be really interested in what you have achieved.

Until next month,
Happy Gardening,
Love Amanda.

My name is Amanda and I live in Pembrokeshire with my fiancé and our garden is approximately 116 meters square. I want to share with you my love for gardening and the reasons behind it, from the good to the bad and ugly. I want to do this for my own personal pleasure. If you would like to take the journey with me then please read my blogs and share with me your gardening stories.

Great British Garden Revival

I am not sure if it is a common perception but due to working within the horticultural industry, it is clear that here in Britain we are a nation of gardeners. With the development of the industrial sector and the new homes within our largest towns and city centres; space is now at a premium. However, new and innovative concepts such as an urban gardening, balcony growing, growing plants on your windowsill, and products such as our Tower Pot™, mean that space is no longer a required component to gardening.

Episode 1 of the Great British Garden Revival discussed the nation’s favourite flower, the rose. We live in a world that seeks new innovations, whether it is having the latest smart phone or fashion trend and I think this the same for our choice of flowers. We don’t like to feel that we are missing out on something and with our focus on new varieties, traditional varieties are taking a back-seat and we are at risk of losing them from our gardens forever.

Rose the one and onlySo, roses. I have to admit I fall in love with roses every time I see them. There are over 1,000 cultivars of rose, from trailing to shrubs there is a variety to suit most requirements. The first episode featured traditional climbing rose varieties such as Crimson Glory. With deep crimson blooms, this older variety is beautiful and the fragrance is simply divine! However, even though older roses tend to have amazing fragrance, they can lack in vigour and good disease resistance. This is when we see the newer varieties take centre stage with the best of best of both worlds. Hardy rose variety Rose ‘The One and Only’ has flowers rich with crimson-red petals that give the appearance of an old-fashioned English rose. They are renowned for their scent, as this hybrid tea rose is like no other – fruity and indulgent. That being said, every rose has something to offer to the garden and we all have our own favourites. Have you got a favourite rose?

narcissue tete-a-teteEpisode 2 of the Great British Garden Revival focused on daffodils, blossom trees and shrubs. The history of daffodils dates back before the First World War, where fields were coated in a blaze of yellow. They were then cut and packed for the consumer market. The big affect on daffodil growing came after the Second World War when fields were taken over for the production of food. However, now we often see daffodils in front gardens and scattered along countryside lanes where they bring a smile to our faces as they are seen to resemble one of the first signs of Spring and the growing season ahead. I love the all time favourite Narcissus ‘Tete-a-tete’. This delightfully small variety is the perfect variety for cutting. Undemanding an easy to grow, they will make a beautiful addition to cottage gardens. What is your favourite daffodil?


On tonight’s episode James Wong attempts to revive a plant that has disappeared from our gardens, the rhododendron. Christine Walkden puts the case forward for the carnation, as she heads to a specialist nursery to recover some important facts.

Have you been watching? We would love to get your thoughts. Tell us if you prefer traditional or modern varieties and why.

Terri Overett
Terri works in the e-commerce marketing department assisting the busy web team. Terri manages our blog and social media pages here at Thompson & Morgan and is dedicated to providing useful advice to our gardeners. Terri is new to gardening and keen to develop her horticultural knowledge.

A rose by any other name

Something appears to have happened in my garden. All of a sudden, it is full to bursting with roses – some of which are just in bud, some in full bloom, and some, which have got to the painful point of just bursting.

A rose by any other name

Gorgeous pink

As I stood taking photographs of the roses in my garden on Friday evening, I watched as one burst in front of me – the petals cascading to the floor – completely spent. It had done everything that it could do, and after giving days of incredible scent, it was over. Just like that. I almost felt a stab of pain as I watched it happen – gone for another year.

I hadn’t been expecting the roses – I have been so caught up in planting other parts of my garden, that I had completely forgotten that they would be coming. It sounds strange to hear myself say that, as my garden is small, and the roses are such a big part of the garden in the summer months, but because most of them were already in the garden when I moved in, I don’t really anticipate them, and when they bloom, they are like a wonderful surprise. There is the rambling rose, which towers high above the rest of the garden. I can’t even tell, to what it is clinging, but the tiny white flowers, tinged with pink, are so different to all of the rest of the roses in the garden – which are largely the old English type, that she stands quite apart from the rest.

Some of the roses are quite gaudy – in bright oranges, or yellows, they wouldn’t have been something that I would have picked for myself, but they try so hard, and stand so proudly, that I daren’t think of taking them out. The scent from them is divine too,  so I take great delight in cutting them, and filling jugs full of them for the house. They may only last a few days – but for that time, the cottage smells heavenly.

A rose by any other name

Perfection in peach

There are roses which are tightly budded, like a pair of lips, waiting to be kissed, and there are others which have petals which are so far flung, that they look to be trying to break away from the plant. Each of them have their own personality – but each very much a rose.

Roses seem to be so uneqivocally English – there is something about them which screams Cottage Garden – they are talked of in literature, and shown in paintings throughout the ages, and they always evoke pure beauty. It seems strange that they have such thorny stems – almost warding away the picker!

For these few weeks, the garden will smell of roses, and I plan to enjoy every second of it!

You can read more on my blog:

Deborah Catchpole
I’m a 30 year old, writer, photographer, gardener, and sweetpea obsessive! I did a degree in English Literature at The University of Liverpool, and when I am not writing I’m often found in my garden.

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