• This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook and rosarian Felicity Keen show how to beautify a fence line with blooming rose bushes.

    1. Place one potted rose bush in the center between each pair of fence posts. Set the plant very close to the fence rails.
    2. Use a pointed shovel to cut a circle into the ground around each potted plant. Be sure the circle is two times wider than the pot.
    3. Move the potted bush out of the way and dig a hole two times wider and 6 inches deeper than the plant itself.
    4. Place the excavated topsoil off to one side of the hole. If you hit sand, shovel it into a wheelbarrow and discard. Repeat to dig holes for the remaining rose bushes.
    5. Into the topsoil mix: two full shovels of peat moss, one-half handful of super phosphate, and one-half shovel of chicken manure.
    6. Fill the bottom of each planting hole with about 6 inches of amended soil.
    7. Set the potted plant into the hole to ensure that its root ball is flush with the surrounding grade. Add or subtract soil to create the proper-depth hole.
    8. Tap the sides of the plastic pot with your hand, turn the pot upside down and extract the rose bush from the pot.
    9. Gently set the rose bush into the hole. Loosen any matted roots with your fingers.
    10. Backfill around the rose bush with amended soil. Repeat to plant the other rose bushes.
    11. Thoroughly water around the base of each rose bush, taking care not to wet the leaves. Water every day for a week, and then apply one gallon per week thereafter.
    12. Spread 2 inches of bark mulch around each rose bush. Don't pile the mulch up against the stems.
    13. As the plant grows, loosely secure it to the fence rails with jute string or Velcro straps. Don't use wire twist ties.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Rose bushes are light and the digging is minimal
Ask TOH users about Garden Planning

Contribute to This Story Below

      Video Directory

      Selected Topic/Section

      Tools List

      • pointed shovel
        Pointed shovel
      • wheelbarrow

      Shopping List

      Climbing rose plants

      Peat moss, super phosphate and organic chicken manure

      Bark mulch

      Jute string or Velcro straps