Britney Spears might be the sort of pop culture icon that lives rent-free in our minds forever, but she’s not the first person we think of when it comes to garden trends and easy garden ideas. More fool us, though, as it turns out the talented pop star has an incredibly green thumb – especially when it comes to her impressive rose arch.
‘OK, so I’m proud of my flowers,’ admitted Britney, sharing a video of herself and husband Sam Asghari kissing and cuddling underneath the blooms.
She added: ‘I’ve been pretty modest about my home, [considering] I’m redesigning my house! [And] I feel so blessed to be with such an incredible husband who inspires me everyday.’
Considering how popular vertical garden and living wall ideas have proven over the past 12 months, it’s little wonder that Britney’s video of her maximalist rose arch has already racked up 369,764 likes on Instagram and counting.
In fact, roses are, generally, proving to be the number one flower that occupies people’s minds when figuring out how to plan a garden. There are some 8.1 million posts on Instagram under the hashtag #roses – and everyone seems busy trying to figure out how to bring this romantic flower into their own gardens at home.
As luck would have it, a Britney-inspired rose arch, according to Andrew and Christopher O’Donoghue (aka the gardening-obsessed brothers behind Gardens Revived), could be the easiest solution.
‘Roses symbolise romance, passion and love,’ says Andrew. ‘They’re a timeless addition to any garden, whether you use them in a garden border or as part of your small patio ideas.
‘Trailing roses over an archway or similar structure serves as a great focal point to draw a visitor’s eye or lead them to another part of the garden.’
Commenting on the benefits of injecting some Britney Spears-approved magic into your own list of pergola ideas, Andrew continues: ‘Some varieties of rose smell wonderful, and a rose arch is actually on my own list of sensory garden ideas.
‘They also attract pollinators, which means they don’t just look and smell wonderful; they are one of those bee garden ideas that will help to support wildlife, too!’
While the photos of Britney’s rose arch are a little blurred, it looks as if she’s chosen a less formal rose – something which Christopher approves of.
‘If you choose a rambling rose like Rosa Rambling Rector, it’s a pretty low-maintenance option,’ he says.
‘This particular variety promises large clusters of sweet-scented white flowers, it climbs quickly and vigorously, and it doesn’t require a big formal pruning job each year: you can simply cut it back at the end of its season. Just be sure to feed and water it regularly.’
As mentioned, rambling roses don’t need formal pruning, Andrew reminds us that they will still require ‘frequent dead-heading throughout summer – not just to remove the withered heads, but also to send more energy into the new growth.
‘I actually find this task rather therapeutic, especially if the roses smell good,’ he says, ‘and I always enjoy standing back after the job is done to admire the work.’
And, while most of us won’t be able to achieve the same height as Britney has with her own rose arch, the Gardens Revived team issues a word of warning: rose thorns can prove a potential hazard for people if they brush past them.
‘Luckily, if they are cut back this can easily be prevented,’ they add, ‘but don’t forget to use adequate gloves when doing so!’
Tempted to make like Britney Spears and try a rose arch for yourself?
Here are a few tips from Nick Wood, garden designer at GardeningExpress, and award-winning garden designer Matthew Childs:
1. Consider the size of your garden
‘Creating a large archway in a small garden will end up looking clunky and out of place. Small archways still look beautiful so make sure the size is suitable for your space,’ says Nick.
2. Think about positioning
Matthew says: ‘Using archways in the garden is a brilliant way of achieving vertical interest and a support for climbing plants. As with Britney’s arches they allow you to walk under the blooms getting up close and personal to fully appreciate their colour and scent.
‘They also can frame views, break up or link different spaces within the garden and create areas of shade and shelter.’
3. Be honest about your gardening skills
‘Climbing roses are low maintenance and they don’t tend to attract diseases so beginners shouldn’t really have a problem growing them,’ says Nick. ‘However, they’ll need regular feeding and pruning to maintain their shape and growth.’
4. Make sure you pick out a sturdy arch or pergola
‘Opt for materials that will complement your garden, like metal or wood,’ says Nick. ‘This simple arch from Amazon is a cost-effective option.’
Matthew adds: ‘There are many ways of creating arches, using timber or metal in particular, but for a more cost-effective natural look consider using hazel or willow, potentially with some natural jute netting for further climbing support.’
5. And don’t forget to offer extra support
‘You’ll need to think about providing support for the roses as they grow to guide them along the archway,’ says Nick. ‘Sturdy twine is suitable for this.’
Matthew finishes: ‘Remember to train your roses onto your arches by regular tying in and formative pruning to keep their shape and increase flowering.
‘Consider also weaving in other climbing plants such as clematis, sweet peas, jasmine, wisteria or even squashes and vines for productive gardens.’
Basically, it seems that Britney Spears, just as she only ever produces hit after musical hit, knows exactly what she’s doing when it comes to creating a truly timeless garden.
‘A rose arch will fit into any garden landscape whether it’s traditional or contemporary. This means that whatever changes you make to your outdoor space over the years, your archway is something that will withstand the test of time,’ says Nick.
‘Roses also thrive when cared for properly and will continue to produce beautiful blooms and a wonderful scent year after year.’
Nothing (ahem) ‘Toxic’ about that, is there? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to browse climbing roses while humming ‘Hit Me Baby One More Time’ to myself…
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