I have a love-hate relationship with roses.
A rose garden in full bloom is spectacular for sight and scent: from Cowra to the Bagatelle Gardens in Paris, nothing surpasses a mass of roses in full bloom.
Roses aren't hard to grow and there's one for every climate zone from the tropics to Alaska.
If picked in bud they last well indoors and are must-haves in bouquets.
Not for nothing when we're stressed are we told to stop and smell the roses.
But roses have thorns, quite apart from their prickles.
Their shape, for a start, as that late, great gardener Christopher Lloyd said of hybrid tea roses, "exquisitely shaped blooms on a hideous or, at best, shapeless bush" (The Well Tempered Garden, 1970).
You can avoid this by planting shrub and species roses but you risk losing the modern bush rose's perpetual flowering.
Then, roses are subject to any number of pests and diseases: mildew, black spot, aphids, the list goes on (and on).
Their final and most maddening fault is that the flower's size and arrestingly beautiful appearance makes roses tricky to incorporate satisfactorily into a garden design.
Few plants can stand the competition: roses are really best on their own in a formal garden, enhanced by maybe an attractive arch, summerhouse or pergola.
Even if you limit yourself to shrub roses you have to accept they'll look stunning for Melbourne Cup, attractive for a week in autumn before the birds demolish their hips and dull for the rest of the year.
This all equals a lot of time weeding, pruning, spraying and fertilising for a few weeks of enjoyment.
Well, now I've got that little rant out of the way, I admit that it's rare to see a garden - other than one consisting entirely of Australian native plants - without at least one rose.
I'm as big a sucker for a good rose as anyone.
When we changed our front garden into a paddock-style area with rocks, low shrubs and grasses I knew my roses would have to go.
I couldn't bear to chuck them out entirely so I replanted a few favourites in an out of the way corner, with lavender and catmint as ground covers, which I think is a good solution.
Nurseries offer bare rooted roses for sale during July and August and winter is ideal for planting.
Bare rooted stock comes wrapped in damp sawdust or coir peat so after unwrapping, soak the roots in water with a splash of Seasol soil conditioner to lessen transplant shock.
Dig a hole that's deeper and wider than the root ball to allow space for growth.
Nursery growers cut the rose's roots underground by machine before lifting the plants and this can cause damage.
Remove torn and dead roots and prune the plant by up to one third to maintain the balance between roots and top growth.
Roses flower on new wood, so new specimens should look lovely in their first year.
Which is maybe the rose's greatest attribute.