Where I live, in northern Brazil, we are on sand. Here people just stick a cutting in the ground and it grows. I couldn't believe it when I saw it because it is just sand but there are nutrients in it. Good luck with the roses.
In pots, seeds have the best success w/ a bagged potting mix from the nursery or a homemade soil-less mix. Some commercial mixes contain combos of fine bark, peat moss, beneficial micro-organisms, and sand which offer good drainage because the soil particles are larger. These are usually cactus mixes.There is also plain horticultural sand. DIY mixes can be 1/3 compost, 1/3 peat moss or coir, and 1/3 coarse sand. Play sand is too fine for rooting. I'd use a coarser-grained one. All the best- don't give up:)