ROSE RAMBLER 3RD APRIL 2014
Hello dear rose friends … crazy weather for autumn with one morning at 5 degrees and within a week its 25 degrees first thing. We and our roses are at the mercy of the weather but whatever the weather, we’ll wether it!
This coming weekend we’ll be up in the Dandenong Ranges for the Tesselaar Gardening Expo – hope to see you there because we will have vases of a plethora of the new and recent release rose flowers on display again this year!
I just love walking through the rows and collecting rose blooms for an exhibition; then displaying them in vases and watching people sniff and extol at the virtues of the most heavenly of flowers … a fragrant rose.
Have you ever read a book that is so lovely, you never want to see THE END? I’ve been growing roses for 30 years and during that time I’ve read “FOR LOVE OF A ROSE” by Antonia Ridge at least 20 times and will continue to read it and wish that the story never ends.
If you truly love roses, do yourself a favour and read this beautiful story of the families involved in the creation of Hybrid Tea rose: “PEACE”.
Last year when we were in South Africa at the World Rose Convention, I had several discussions with Alain Meilland whose (grand) Papa Meilland bred the Peace rose. Alain Meilland is a feisty, vibrant man who is so passionate about roses and was an inspiration to me. His grandfather, Papa Meilland, travelled the world to argue for the legal rights of the gardener who creates a new rose.
We now have Plant Breeders’ Rights which means that gardeners pay a royalty for more recently released roses which makes them a bit more expensive than older roses. Take the time to read Antonia Ridge’s story about how ‘Peace’ was created and you will appreciate and generously spend the extra few $’s to buy a newly released rose.
In Australia, PBR applies for 20 years.
GRA’S GARBLE …
Trim back old flowers 10cm from where the rose finishes. If you remove this finished flower it helps the bush to resist fungus attack on wet damp and cold nights. You still might get flowers before winter pruning.
Spray eco-fungicide with seaweed solution and eco-oil. If there are any insects include the eco-neem which sucking/biting insects ingest and it goes into their brain and they stop eating.
You can apply these sprays with a watering can and it is best applied in the morning when the foliage has dried.
Remember that all the products we use and recommend are safe in the environment, are all Australian Made and are approved organics. Bees are safe with all these products too.
Q. What do bees do with their honey? A. They cell it.
If you haven’t already fertilized, do it now with a quality organic fertilizer which is safe for earthworms and frogs.
Great time to plant potted roses as the roots will settle well before the light winter prune and you’ll have an established rose this coming spring … at the rate this year is going, that’s just around the corner!
– SEAWEED SOLUTION ONLY!
Have a great week in your garden – see you this weekend at Tesselaar’s Plant Expo, maybe the week after at our Art & Rose Expo weekend or whenever you feel like getting in the car and taking a drive to Clonbinane … Gra
OPEN GARDENS IN KILMORE
– ART & ROSES EXPO
There will be four beautiful Kilmore gardens open on the weekend of the Art Expo along with Walk and Talk in the Garden with Graham here at the Rose Farm.
If you would like more information, please call Diana 5787 1123 – it would be handy to know if you are bringing a group for this weekend adventure in and around Kilmore.
PLANNING ANOTHER ROSE GARDEN …
Now is the time to start preparing the bed if you’re planning on planting roses this winter. Remove the turf or weeds to about 10cms depth and place layer upon layer of any type of animal manure, barley/wheat/oat/pea straw, fallen autumn leaves, sprinkling of rock dust and then water over with renew (sea minerals) and seaweed solution. As the worms come up to start digesting all this, keep topping up with layers of all the goodies.
There is absolutely no need to turn the soil – don’t break your back and then pay for chiropractic realignment … the worms will come and they’ll do all the digging for you. They’ll also leave all their castings.
By the time bare-rooted roses are ready for planting, all you have to do is dig at the planting hole and you will have the most productive, humus rich soil that the roses will definitely want to be planted into.
ROSE RAMBLER 10TH APRIL, 2014
Hello dear rose friends … Warm welcome to all our new subscribers who joined up to receive our ramblings after meeting with you at the Tesselaar Plant Expo last weekend.
The weather was glorious and just as well because I had forgotten to order a marquee. It was delightful to watch people walk past our site and then do a double-back because the fragrance was unbelievable and they just had to come and have a closer look and sniff. Rose flowers in vases like this are simply magic.
Graham and I walked through the rose fields to pick the roses which is such a joyous thing to do. Arms loaded with roses out in the middle of a paddock. After being in the sun at the Expo for two days, I expected to have to bin the flowers but we still have them in vases all about the place here – lovely!
RAIN, RAIN, RAIN …
Not the best timing to be so wet since we have bus groups visiting this weekend but we are not complaining. If it stays mild after all this rain, we will enjoy an extended autumn flowering season. Often a good deep soaking of rain is all a rose garden needs to promote more flowers and although our gardens are irrigated, tap water just isn’t quite the same.
BONUS FERTILIZER …
Great mobs of kangaroos have pooped all over our yard during recent months because grass stayed green as a result of run-off from watering pots in the nursery and our yard was the only place with a decent bit of green pick.
They’ve returned us a favour because all their poop has ‘melted’ with the rain and I’m quite sure it’s added a heap of nutrient to the soil. Worms will be starting to breed soon so they’ll have a party too. Nature is wonderful, isn’t it?
I’ll be needing to mow again as soon as we see the first peek of sunshine. So refreshing to see green after the long hot summer.
WEBSITE UPGRADE …
Within the next few weeks, our website will be set up ready to take orders for winter roses. Our new assistant, Virginia, is currently working with my niece, Katrina who is a professional photographer (InVision Photography) and if the proofs are anything to go by, those girls will put together an amazing website.
If you would like to place winter orders in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to call me on
03 5787 1123. I will keep you posted when the new site is up and ready for ordering your winter roses – very exciting.
GRA’S GARBLE …
If you haven’t fertilized, do it now while it’s raining. Sprinkle over the entire soil surface and if you happen to throw fertilizer over foliage at the base of the roses, hose it off because it can burn the foliage.
Some pets eat fertilizer so to avoid this, soak the fertilizer in a garbage bin for a few days and pour the liquid over the roses – add seaweed to the ‘brew’ as an extra tonic for the roses and you’ll get more flowers for longer.
With all this humidity, regular applications of the rose maintenance spray program will keep fungus at bay and maintain healthy foliage. The fungicide works by altering the pH of the foliage surface so fungus spores cannot live there. The more foliage on the plants, the more photosynthesis occurs and this equates to more flowers … simple!
I planted yellow pansy seedlings for loads of colour in the winter – with all the rain, I’ll have to go and put out the snail-bait.
Q. What is a slug? A. A snail with a housing problem …