Designer plans for a formal rose garden

Garden designer Shirley Wallington shares tips for creating a rose garden that’s both pretty and practical, plus provides some designs that you can use at home


“One of my favourite places is the rose garden especially if it’s been laid out formally with walkways for easy picking and maintenance,” says garden designer Shirley Wallington, who designed the gorgeous garden pictured above.

Rose garden

If you’d like to create a similar look at home, follow Shirley’s tips for creating a formal rose garden that’s both practical and pretty:

  • You can create a rose garden in any size garden, but keep in mind that you’ll need at least one square metre for two to three roses.
  • It’s very important that a rose garden gets at least six hours of sun a day.
  • A symmetrical design isn’t only easier on the eye, but also helps to show off the roses. A geometric shape, such as a square, rectangle or circle, is the simplest to divide into compartments for groupings of different coloured blooms. (Try one of Shirley’s recommended designs.)
  • Remember to include pathways that are at least 1m wide for ease of maintenance and picking.
  • When planting up your rose garden, group roses of the same colour, and if possible, height, in each compartment. Grade the colours from section to section so they gently fade into each other, for instance from yellow to peach to pink, so there’re no hard contrasts which can look like a fruit salad.