9am - 4pm, 7 days a week
We are open on Bank holidays
Closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day
01939 211 900
Black Birches is a family run Rose Centre set in the heart of the Shropshire countryside, just outside of Shrewsbury.
We have specialised in roses for over 25 years and currently have over 600 varieties for sale on the nursery. Choose from our huge range of Floribundas, Hybrid Teas, Climbers, Ramblers an old fashioned roses. Our personalised and anniversary roses make the perfect gifts. We also offer a gift wrapped rose service for that extra special something.
Our helpful and friendly staff are always on hand to offer advice and assistance and we even offer a delivery service for items that won’t fit in your car.
The rural setting, incredible landscapes and beautiful gardens make us a perfect destination not just for gardeners but walkers, cyclists, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts.
HEAD GARDENER’S PICKS
Jack chooses his current favourites.
A floribunda with the persica rose in its breeding produces a rose with an unusual dark eye in the centre of the flower. A firm favourite of ours. A little fuller in the flower than the other persica roses such as Blue Eyes and Eye of The Tiger. However still few enough petals to allow easy access for the pollinators. This rose is lightly scented and will grow to around 2-3 ft.
Rose of The Year for 2020. New to us this year but already it’s creating chatter. We’re very enamoured with the soft apricot tones of this beautiful little floribunda rose. Winning the title of Rose of The Year ensures that it has good disease resistance. On top of that you have the sweet perfume! What’s not to love? Growing to 3ft it can be grown in ground or pot and will not fail to impress.
One for the flower arrangers. A beautiful velvet red bloom, with a traditional rose bud shape. As the bud opens the colour turns to crimson. The foliage is mid green and semi-glossy. Being neither matt nor glossy ensures that it can be of use in any arrangement without restricting your foliage choices. As with most Hybrid Tea roses you will get the best performance and lifespan from this rose when growing it in the ground. Grows to around 4ft and a has a soft scent.
A climbing rose reaching heights of around 7-10ft. Pure white, single flowers with stunning pink stamens. Another winner of Rose of The Year and we can certainly appreciate why! As this is a relatively short climber you may choose to grow it in a very large pot on the patio as a statement, or use it’s beautiful bright white flowers to brighten up the back of a border. Simply tie the canes on a slight horizontal against the fence.
A constant favourite. With all of the staff and every customer who has ever bought one! This rose covers every need. A rich shade of pink with an old rose shape, one of the strongest scented roses we know, a great health record, reliable blooming, tolerant of shade and a versatile growth habit. Need we say more?
TOP 10 ROSES FOR YOUR COUNTRY GARDEN
A fabulous Floribunda Rose with a strong pink bloom most often born in clusters. Almost constantly in flower throughout the season. It has a good scent, upright growth habit and holds its petals well in all weathers. At 2-3ft it’s a perfect size for almost any situation within the border and will grow well in a deep pot. Keep this one well fed through the growing season to ensure that constant continuation of flower. Will form a decent hip for winter interest if the last of the seasons blooms are left to mature.
If you prefer a more subtle shade of pink then go for this statuesque stunner! The shade may be subtle but the growth is not. The flower heads on this rose are really rather large, beautifully scented and are sat atop a long cane of around 3-4ft. Making it a good choice to be grown for flower arrangements. Due to the size of this rose we would recommend growing it in the ground for the best results. Ideal for middle to back of border.
It’s all in the name with this beautiful rose. Interesting shades of yellow and pink blend across tinny little clusters of flowers. It’s growth is exceptionally strong for a patio rose and will not fail to impress you. The scent is the winner on this one. Generally we find that patio roses tend not to have strong scents. However, Bella Rosa has a delicately-sweet but powerful scent that will drift across the garden. Again as with all repeat flowering roses keep it dead headed for the best show. Final blooms may be left on for a medium to small sized hip. Ideal for front of border or a pot by the door where you can enjoy the scent to its fullest.
The ground cover with all the tricks up its sleeve! It is described as a rose for all seasons and that it is! During the spring it will unfurl its dark semi-glossy leaves before the bubs of true, rose-red flowers form and burst open in summer. During Autumn the bush will bear blooms and hips all at once, creating real interest. The hips are very large and will last all through winter provided they are not snipped off for Christmas arrangements! As the flowers are open and hip forming it is an ideal choice for those wishing to plant for the benefit of nature. It will provide sustenance for pollinators and birds alike. As the name suggests this rose will need to be given space and ground to cover. Grown in a large pot with careful training you my obtain a cascading effect.
MUM IN A MILLION
A popular variety from the Renaissance Rose group. An attractive rose with medium pink flowers which have classic quartered centres. As with the rest of the Renaissance Shrub Roses, this variety is strong healthy and reliable. Most of the Renaissance roses are highly scented and this specimen is certainly not an exception. Highly scented and highly recommended.
HOMMAGE A BARBARA
An extremely beautiful shrub rose which grows to 3-4ft. The blooms are an intense deep red developing to almost black. Blooms in flushes throughout the summer, the perfume is delicate but very pleasant. Has healthy matt green foliage and bushy upright growth. Named after a French singer who was known as just ‘Barbara’.
MADAME ALFRED CARRIERE
This rose is and has been a favourite rose of many a legendary gardener and maintains its popularity even today and has been around for over a hundred years. It’s praises have been sung by Gertrude Jekyll, Vita Sackville-West and our nations head gardener Monty Don. It’s popularity comes down to its exceptional growth and performance. It is virtually disease free and will cope with many aspects and growing conditions including north walls. Many roses can be grown on a north wall but few ever thrive. Mme Alfred Carrier is one of these few. Being of pale shading it is ideal to be grown on a north aspect bringing light to an otherwise dark area. It’s globular scented blooms are white, with hints of pale pink and yellow. It repeat flowers right through the summer and well into the autumn. A great choice to brighten up any wall, tree or archway.
This rose has been around since the early 90’s and is still as popular now as when it was first released. The striking colour catches the eye and will give the neighbours rose envy! We have many customers enquiring about the ‘fiery orange rose’ that they have spotted peeping over their neighbours fence. It has simple, semi-double, fragrant flowers of stunning bright red-orange, covering the plant from top to bottom, right through the season. There are not many climbing roses that flower as continuously as the Warm Welcome rose, keep it in a sheltered place and you may even have flowers at Christmas! We have also tried growing this rose on a North facing wall with excellent results.
As a patio climber, Warm Welcome grows to 7-8ft and can be grown in large pots which would look lovely either side of a front door without growing too high. To control the height, prune quite low each year.
This is one of the repeat flowering ramblers bred by Karl Hetzel who also produced ‘Super Dorothy’ and ‘Super Excelsa’. It is just the right size to suit most gardener’s needs. The Goldie Locks rose so to speak. Not too big and not too small. Just right. It will scramble through a small tree, cover a fence, archway or pergola. Its blooms are formed in clusters covering the entirety of the plant. They’re a lovely light pink, scented and fairly large for a rambler growing to around 4cm across. It is a true repeat flowering rose and will produce blooms right through the season which is fairly rare for a rambling rose.
A little smaller than the usual English Shrub rose but makes a superb little bush. Covered with soft yellow, beautifully arranged, deeply cupped blooms. With a tea rose fragrance. What wins this rose a spot in the top 10 is the upright growth. Many English Shrub roses have a tendency to ‘flop’ and many gardeners find this frustrating and off putting. But not this one. As well as it’s compact, busy upright habit another key feature is it’s hardiness. One of the most hardy roses around and can cope with particularly harsh winters.
BEGINNERS GUIDE TO CHOOSING PLANTS FOR YOUR GARDEN
We will start with soil type as this will often dictate how you grow your plants. However there are measures you can take to accommodate most plant requirements. There are 6 main soil types Clay, Sandy, Silty, Peaty, Chalky and Loamy.
Clay is made up of fine plate like particles of rock and soil. Due to the small size of the particles clay is very heavy and can be difficult to work as the particles settle together leaving little space between for air. On the plus side this nature prevents nutrients from washing straight through and therefore clay is usually very fertile. It can be broken up by digging in organic matter.
Sandy soil is composed of irregular or round shaped particles of sand. This allows water to drain quickly through the soil. It is classed as light soil and is easy to work. On the down side it does dry out quickly. Again organic matter can be dug in to help retain moisture.
Silty soils are made up from intermediate sized particles of rock and mineral. Larger than clay but smaller than sand. It is easily compacted but will drain well and retains more moisture than sand.
Peaty soils are formed from partially decomposed plant matter through anaerobic watter logged conditions. It is usually damp and spongy due to the high level of organic matter and is acidic.
Chalky soils are made up of larger grains and are quite stony. It is free draining and is usually atop a layer of chalk or limestone bedrock. It is alkaline which can cause stunted growth and yellow leaves. This can be rectified by using fertilisers. Water retention can be improved by adding humus by way of manure or compost.
Loamy soil is considered to be the ideal soil for gardening. It consists of an even mix of sand, silt and clay. Is of a fine texture, damp and has good structure. It allows for good drainage whilst being moisture retentive. Warms quickly in spring, is easy to dig and is full of nutrients. It does require regular replenishment by way of a mulch such as compost or manure.
So how do you know what soil type you have? There are a number of ways to test your soil. These are Water, Squeeze and Settle.
Water Test – This test will tell you how quickly your soil will drain. Pour water onto the soil and watch it drain. If it drains fast you have a sandier soil. If it drains slowly then you have a clay soil. This will not tell you the exact make up of your soil.
Squeeze Test – Take an amount of soil and squeeze it together. Clay will feel sticky and will hold its shape well. Peaty soil will feel spongy whilst sandy soil will feel gritty neither will hold shape and will crumble. Silt and loam will feel smooth but will hold shape for only a short while.
Settle Test – This is the most accurate test you can do at home and will give you more defined results. Take a clear container with a lid and add a handful of soil to the mix. Shake well and allow to stand overnight.
Clay or Silt will leave the water cloudy with a layer of fine particles at the base.
Sandy soils will leave the water mostly clear with a layer of particles at the base
Peaty soil will have lots of particles floating with slightly cloudy water and a thin layer of particles at the base.
Chalky soil will leave the water grey with a grey/white layer of gritty fragments at the base.
Loamy soil will leave the water nearly clear with layers of differing particles at the base with the uppermost being the finest.
The next and probably the most important factor is the orientation of your garden. Which way does it face? Some plants require a minimum amount of direct sunlight in order to thrive and others require a little to none. When talking about the orientation of the garden we say “which way does it face?” If you stand with your back to the house facing out which direction is this? North, South, West or East?
Here are just a few plants that are suited to each aspect. But remember, these are just the ideal conditions. It doesn’t mean you can’t experiment!
Lavender, Salvias, Marjoram, Thyme, Roses, Alliums, Nepeta, Euphorbia, Pittosporum, Grasses, Sedums, Chamomile, Santolina, Helianthemum, Cordylines, Yucca, Magnolia, Hydrangea paniculata.
Ivy, Chaenomeles, Akebia, Parthenocissus, Hosta, Ferns, Snowdrops, Hydrangeas, Foxgloves, Japanese Anemone, Acers, Alchemila Mollis.
Mahonia, Camelia, Jasmine, Campanula, Phlox, Elderflower, Roses, Hardy Geraniums, Amalanchia, Laburnum, Heuchera, Physocarpus, Philadelphus, Ceanothus, Clematis, Lily of the valley.
Clematis, Nicotiana, Fatsia, Viburnum, Berberis, Cornus, Hollyhock, Achillea, Lillies, Iris, Hemerocalis, Polemonium, Penstemon, Astilbe, Ferns, Acanthus Mollis, Hydrangea macrophylla, Acers, Hellebores.
So now you know what your soil type is, and which way your garden faces. Now you can choose your plants! The only limitations now are based on the space you have to offer the plant and most importantly does it suit your tastes? There are so many varieties within each plant species now, each with their own individual attractions, that it is pretty difficult to dismiss a whole family of plants.
So that just leaves size. The mistake most often made is buying a plant and thinking “That will fit perfectly in that space I have!” Well yes, it will fit, but the question is for how long? Always make sure that you read the label and check the ultimate height of the plant/tree verses how long it will take to grow to that height. Sometimes it may grow to meters and meters but will take 50 years to get there, meaning it is suitable for that space you have. Other times it may make it to 3 meters in a season and therefore, would swamp the plants around it.