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Roses might be the most beloved flower in the entire world. Their romantic history gives them an old-world charm, regardless of how modern and hybrid the species may be. Growing heirloom roses is a great opportunity to get in touch with the history of this storied flower, but be sure to check growing conditions - some heirlooms are extremely fragile.
Coming in literally every colour of the rainbow, there is a rose for every taste and preference. Red is the most common, but a simple flip through a catalog or website will show you varieties ranging from purple-black to pure white. Roses come in standard varieties as well as bushes, climbers and even ground-covers. They vary greatly in size, from 40cm up to 4 metres and higher. Be sure of what you're buying before you hand over money; there are so many varieties that labeling is sometimes confusing. Purchase from a specialized rose nursery if possible.
Growing roses in Australia is surprisingly easy. Rose varieties exist which can thrive even in sub-tropical conditions. Depending on your location, ideal planting times will vary. Roses prefer loose, rich soil. Adding compost (or gypsum for dense clay soil) can help greatly. Position your new roses in a spot that receives at least six full hours of direct sunlight each day.