There really aren’t many flowering plants that can eclipse the rose. Having been grown for centuries, these floral favourites have graced the gardens of kings and queens. Noble houses had roses fashioned into coats of arms, heraldic paraphernalia and yes even customized perfumes and cosmetics. Since the early days of rose culture there have been a great many additions to this formidable family however, the genetics of the past remain. The Bonica™ shrub rose(s) belong to the category of floribunda roses; simply translated means “abundance of flowers”. In that roses are generally grown for their floral display, a floribunda variety will supply oodles of blossoms reliably. This delicate, profuse bloomer was introduced to the world by the famous rose breeding Meilland family in France in the 80’s. Since then, Bonica™ has won many awards and has a very distinguished position in the Modern Rose Hall of Fame. Bonica™ is still considered today as one of the world’s favourite roses.
With such a pedigree one might think that this plant is difficult to grow or maintain, not the case. One of the most resilient and pest resistant roses ever, Bonica™ will supply a delightful array of delicate double pink flowers from spring until autumn. The term shrub rose indicates that the plants grow in a bush form as opposed to their elegant cousins the Hybrid Tea roses. This spreading habit of up to 1.2 meters (four feet) makes Bonica™ an ideal candidate for mass plantings or placed towards the rear of a garden as she grows about the same height. There is a climbing form that is very popular as well of course requiring appropriate support unlike the shrub form. Delicately scented, this rose will attract butterflies, bees and even hummingbirds to the garden.
The cultural requirements are very easy to attain. As with all roses, sun is preferred, however Bonica™ can tolerate a little shade. Roses growing in lower light conditions will not provide the floral display that those grown in sunny conditions will. The soil should be a rich, organically enhanced soil. I apply an annual application of compost or composted manure to my roses. Many gardeners will add coffee grounds, cold tea and even Epson salts to their roses with hope of enhancing colour and abundance of flowers. In the late autumn, Bonica™ boasts beautiful red hips, or seed pods if you do not dead head or remove spent flowers. Many urban critters and birds will enjoy the late season snack of rose hips. Alternatively, if you prefer to deadhead the bloom count will increase as well as the length of season, the choice is yours.
January 18th, 2018