Have you ever noticed how roses are planted at the ends of the rows in vineyards?
In wine growing regions throughout the world roses and grapevines are one of the most enduring examples of companion planting.
Roses and grapevines have similar requirements in terms of soil, water and sunshine. Both thrive in a well drained, nutrient rich soil with consistent water and plenty of sunshine. They are also susceptible to similar types of diseases and some wine-growers have used roses as an early warning system for outbreaks of powdery and downy mildew.
Roses also attract bees and other beneficial insects to the vineyard increasing the abundance of the crop. Rosemary and lavender are also sometimes planted close to the vines for similar reasons and may even add special flavours to wine.
Some vineyards use different-coloured roses to indicate the different grape varieties growing in the rows. Aesthetically roses can also enhance vineyards with climbing roses being used to great effect in covering arbours, trellises and fence posts.
So next time you see roses growing near the grapevines, smile warmly in recognition of these constant companions.