How we designed and built our rose garden planter.
My wife loves rose gardens. Her dad grew roses in Montana and was a perpetual winner at the local rose shows. We now have 3 gardens. We built the first patio home garden in our back yard. We have a block wall on the edges of our lot around 3 sides of our house. I found some blocks and tops that matched the wall and used them to build a do it yourself home improvement project.
I dug a footer trench that is in a U shape about 3 feet from the back wall and connects to the wall at each end. It is 40 feet wide, the same as the back of our house, and directly behind it . I made the trench about a foot deep and 10 inches wide and filed it up to just below ground level with a mixture of concrete. I let this cure and dry for about a week.
I then started laying down the blocks and cementing them in with a mixture of 3 parts sand to 1 part cement. You need to add water to this mixture after you have stirred up the dry ingredients to the consistency of peanut butter. Do not get it too thin as it will not stay in place or too thick as it will not adhere to the blocks.
I then laid 4 tiers of blocks to make the planter 24 inches tall and cemented the caps on the blocks. I sealed the back wall with an asphalt mix just below the level of the planter so that water would not seep through to the neighbors side of the wall. I let this dry for about a week so the cement would cure and dry.
We then used the dirt from the trench, plus some mulch and fertilizer to fill the planter up to the level just below the caps. I installed a drip water system controlled by a timer in the planter.
We then purchased 8 different colors of mini tree roses. We divided the planter space up so that the roses were evenly spaced in the planter. We treated the rose root ball in a solution of water and rose food to give the roses a good start and then planted them so that the top of the root ball was just under ground. We then placed a top layer of red wood bark over the entire planter.
The key to a good rose garden is to keep the ground moist at the top. Roses like to have a lot of their roots right at the top to get moisture and food. They also like to have the ground around their roots cultivated each spring just before growing season. Be aggressive in cultivating the ground down 1 to 2 inches around the roots. Don't go much further then that.
Return to patio from rose garden