How Best to Plant a Raised Bed?

Sylvia Weiser WendelDecember 22, 2013

Hello,
I have a small raised bed: 4'x4' and 8" high. I grew veggies in it, but never very successfully. The soil turned out to have a fungus!! and I cleaned it all out. It's back to bare dirt now.
Could I safely refill the bed and plant roses in it? And if so, what kind: would they have to be patios/miniatures or could I go bigger? How many floribundas, say, could I plant in that space -- or would it be more interesting to plant one large "specimen" rose, and if so, suggestions?
This area gets 6 hrs. of sun daily. definitely. There's a light-colored wall about 2 1/2 feet away (facing west). There are couple of Queen of Swedens in front of it, two Falstaffs and two Alnwicks on one side. Big cape honeysuckle (orange flowers) on the wall, very large potted pandorea on another side. I should note that the Austin roses I mentioned were just recently planted; I bought them from a local nursery for an insanely low price at the end of the season. They were in 3-gal pots and ridiculously rootbound. I know you're not supposed to do this, but, gulp, I did.
So the raised bed - I'd like to make it a rose showcase, but need help with the particulars. Thank you!! Sylvia

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zack_lau

I'd suggest one specimen rose, or a couple of mini roses. While it is possible to grow four hybrid tea roses in a 4x4 space in a cold climate--I find that they usually outgrow that space in Connecticut, where the growing season is only 6 months. HTs tend to grow straight up, which allows them to be packed tighter into spaces--assuming you don't have issues with fungal diseases--which really take off if they get wet and don't have much airflow from being packed so close together. Florabundas spread out more than HTs--but how much depends on the variety.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 9:09AM
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dan_keil_cr Keil(Illinois z5)

You mentioned that the soil had a fungus in it. What kind of soils is beneath it? Does the area have good drainage?
Before you replant find out or you will have the same problems. Soil in a good area doesn't get fungus in it!

    Bookmark   December 23, 2013 at 11:13AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

ALL soil that isn't sterilized has many different types of fungi in it. What type of fungus?

I agree with Zac, 4x4 is room for one rose. Use soil from your garden, not something from a bag from the store.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 9:08AM
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seil zone 6b MI

In your warm zone and long growing season roses will get much larger than they would for me so I'd stick with one beautiful specimen plant. If it's workable a one of those gorgeous fountaining OGRs would be a real focal point.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 10:25AM
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dublinbay z6 (KS)

What I might do with that space is plant two Munstead Woods (Austin) in opposite quadrangles and then the low frilly white hardy garden geranium (perennial) in the other two opposing quadrangles. Should be quite dramatic--dark red/purple rose and airy white perennial.

Or for a specimen, I might plant one Bourbon--either Souvenir de la Malmaison or its nearly identical twin Mystic Beauty (available from Roses Unlimited). Perhaps for the first year or two, plant some interesting smaller/low-growing annuals in each of the corners.

Or another specimen choice--taller and more upright growing--try Austin's Lady of Shalott--or browse the Austin site for another taller growing, disease-resistant, floriferous shrub with blooms of a different color. Many of his introductions the past couple years would be excellent choices.

Check the Austin cite here:
David Austin site

Are you familiar with helpmefind.com ? Wonderful data base with lots of photos on just about any rose in existence. Look up other roses there.

You would probably need to buy any of these from an online nursery since they are not readily available in local garden centers.

Good luck. I like the idea of your raised bed there.

Kate

    Bookmark   December 26, 2013 at 1:14PM
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