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Roses for Ground Cover - Groundcover Rose Bushes. 

There have been great improvements in the breeding of roses specially for ground cover and weed suppressing. The earlier groundcover roses were used mainly in public parks and roadside flower beds. Now however, the newer varieties of ground cover roses - which are more floriferous than their early predecessors - are proving to be popular in gardens and even containers!

Most of the newer varieties of ground cover roses are disease resistant with great foliage and a range of flower colour and types to choose from. Many will flower for quite long periods through summer and even into autumn.

Like all other roses, ground cover roses are deciduous. However, as weeds rarely grow in the winter months when there is no foliage on the groundcover roses, they are still good at weed suppressing, and are great for covering banks and other awkward areas.

Almost any rose list will be outdated in a year or so these days - such is the rate of newer varieties being bred - pushing some old favourites out of fashion. However, one strain that is sure to be around for some time to come are those of the Meidiland roses.

As the name suggests, these ground cover shrub roses originated in France and include a good colour range. Three of my favourites to date are -

  • White Meidiland. This grows to around  1ft high with a spread up to 5 feet. It has  double, white flowers.
  •  Red Meidiland. A similar habit of growth to the white version, but masses of single red flowers with white centres.
  • Scarlet Meidiland is a taller growing variety - up to 3 ft high with a spread of 6 feet. Clusters of small, double, cherry red flowers. This one can look quite stunning if planted on top of a bank and allowed to cascade down over, covering the ground as it tumbles.

There are also many old favourites that have stood the test of time. Some great ground cover roses included in this category are   

  • Fru Dagmar Hastrup - a vigorous mound forming rose with pink flowers
  • Max Graf - pink and well scented. Forms dense carpet of groundcover
  • Pink Drift - a mass of double pink flowers on prostrate stems with good foliage.

You may also be able to get one of the 'county' series of ground cover roses to coincide with where you live.

  • Kent - Pure white semi-double flowers which do not seem affected with rain.
  • Gwent - (My home county from long ago) with bright yellow flowers all through the season.
  • Suffolk - Great rich scarlet red flowers cover the low stems.
  • Berkshire - in image below.

Rich pink flowers on this superb ground cover rose - Rosa Berkshire

The garden centres are full of other roses that can be used for ground cover. Early summer to mid autumn is a good time to view so that you can see the actual flower colour.

Pruning requirements are virtually nil. This type of rose will grow in almost any type of soil. Most are disease resistant, though benefit from 'preventative spraying' in first year. Basically, plant them and forget them!

These roses can be planted in large high tubs for a spectacular cascading effect.


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