A little white charmer ‘Swany’ is a white rambler-type rose with petite, open blooms and glossy, dark green leaves. Its spreading habit makes it an excellent choice as a ground cover rose.




Finish planting bare-root roses.

Plant containerized roses. Remove dead wood.

Pruning should not be necessary.


Flowering begins. Prolong the flowering season by regular deadheading (removing dead flowers). Cut back to a healthy bud, to encourage new growth.

Water well in very dry conditions.


Flowering continues until the first frosts. Start planting bare-root roses from the end of October onwards except when ground is frozen or waterlogged.

December: ‘Swany’ is hardy in winter, and should need ho extra protection unless conditions are extreme. If necessary, protect roots by mounding up soil or laying conifer branches over them.

CONTAINERIZED With its small, cupped, double white flowers and distinctive bronze-tinted leaves, ‘Swany’ makes a delightful garden feature when grown in a container. Containerized roses can be bought and planted at any time, but avoid planting when the soil is frozen or waterlogged. Choose a large plant, and provide plenty of drainage by placing a layer of crocks (old clay pot pieces) or rubble at the bottom. Aim to use a good soil-based compost, but take care not to disturb the soil around the roots.

Rose ‘Swany’ is a vigorous low-growing, spreading rose with full, cup-shaped, pure white flowers made up of scores of petals, and glossy, dark green leaves. ‘Swany’ was introduced in 1978 and is the result of crossing Rosa sempervirens with the rambler ‘Marthe Carron’. Rose ‘Swany’ was selected for vigour, ease of maintenance and resistance to disease and cold, but particularly with the needs of the landscaper in mind. If you are planning to use ‘Swany’ for ground cover, you will need three or four plants per square metre. Its growth is fairly open so it will not smother weeds as effectively as perennials, but as it flowers from June until the frosts, and can grow to 60cm with a spread of 150cm, it will reward you with a long season of colour and interest for relatively little effort.

Planting schemes ‘Swany’ is excellent for planting on banks, filling large beds and for the foreground of shrubberies. Alternatively, plant it where it can tumble over the top of a wall, or in a raised bed, with branches arching over the sides.

Its pretty double blooms, produced all along the branches, blend well with the older types of rose, and it is a good choice for a cottage garden.

It is widely available and can also be obtained as a weeping standard or half standard. ‘Swany’ is a vigorous rose and has a very slight fragrance.

Its habit is initially upright, then the branches spread along the ground or trail over a wall. It is continuous flowering, tolerant of poor soils and shade, and is particularly suitable for growing in a container.

Preparing the soil

Before you start planting, remove perennial weeds and prepare the soil well with organic matter, such as garden compost or well-rotted manure.

Dig a hole large enough for the roots and make up a planting mixture of half soil, half compost. Add a little bone meal at the time of planting.



Prefers full sun, but will tolerate light shade. Plant where the low-growing habit can be seen to full advantage, on banks, in raised beds, on walls, or over a large area.


All types of fertile, neutral, well-drained soil, from light sand to clay. Will tolerate poor soils.


Remove dead or obstructive growth in spring. Only prune if growth exceeds the allotted space. Give a dressing of slow-release organic fertilizer in spring.


Once established ‘Swany1 has good disease resistance.

Choose a sunny position with plenty of air; spray with combined insecticide and fungicide for first season.


Buy ‘Swany’ bare-rooted from a specialist mail order nursery during the dormant season (October-March), or as a containerized plant from a garden centre.

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