Roses integrate beautifully with other plants, but at the same time they also need their personal space. Imagine if you had to go about your day immersed in a crowd of other people, each of you jostling for a little more space and trying to get your intake of fresh air and sunlight. It would inevitably wear you down. The image of a packed underground train comes to mind – how exhausted do we feel after even a short journey in this type of environment?
This isn’t to say that you need to provide a large empty space around each plant, just to take care that when fully grown, the plants are not invading each other’s growing space. Community is good, but personal space is also important. For roses, this means when planting, check the eventual size of the plant. It may be small when you purchase it, especially if bought during the dormant season, but in the spring, summer and autumn, and when fully grown it will be a very different plant.
Space is also important in terms of air flow. A congested rose bed, or mixed plant bed with little opportunity for air to circulate can encourage disease. And if the area is overcrowded, the disease will spread more easily. Think - spacial awareness, rather than social distancing.
Light is crucial to a plant’s survival. The energy from the sun helps plants to process and manufacture food from nutrients and water extracted from the soil. This process takes place in the leaves, so access to the sun’s rays is extremely important.