ROSE RAMBLER 01.06.2017

ROSE RAMBLER 01.06.2017 …


It’s officially winter but that doesn’t mean you get out and start pruning your roses unless you absolutely cannot tolerate the look of roses doing their winter ‘thing’!



I like this article about pruning and want to share the simple wisdom:


10 points for Pruning by Paul Zimmerman, USA

  1. If you can, spend extra money for good tools. They are easier to work with and will last a lot longer; making them cheaper in the long run.
  2. Let the way your rose grows determine how you prune. Some roses annually put out new canes from the base. You can prune these harder. Some, like the old Tea roses, take time to build a structure and reach their size. These need a lighter hand.”
  3. Always start by pruning out dead wood. Why? Because it’s dead and you can’t make a mistake. Gets you warmed up!
  4. Take out weak or damaged growth. Just trust your gardener’s instincts to recognize branches that aren’t full of vigour. This also better helps you see the plants structure.
  5. Never worry about making a mistake. It’ll grow back.
  6. With Garden Roses (MODERN SHRUB ROSES … Graham here!) don’t worry about outward facing bud-eyes and five leaflet leaf sets. Just prune to strong, healthy growth at your desired height. And if you don’t know what a five leaflet leaf set or a bud-eye is don’t worry about it. You don’t need it.
  7. Don’t try to keep a tall rose short. It won’t be happy. If you want a rose in a particular spot to be short then plant a short one! As a rule of thumb don’t reduce the height of most garden roses by more than 1/3.
  8. Every now and then you will take out an old cane that no longer produces growth and blooms. We label that kind of cane “bloomed-out”. Take it out at the ground level and you’ll be amazed at the new growth you’ll see in spring. Fresh growth equals more blooms!
  9. Pruning isn’t just for “pruning season”. Feel free to shape your roses all season long like you would any other plant in your garden. While you are deadheading is a great time.

In the end trust your gardener’s “instincts”. You know what you are doing – so do it.

If you have any issues with pruning please feel free to email enquiries to me as I consider myself a pruning expert after more than 30 years of ‘doing it’ and you should come along to one of my pruning demonstrations in coming weeks!

Don’t be afraid to take the secateurs and prune your roses when and if you feel inclined to any time now – especially if they have lost their foliage and look a bit untidy – you make the garden look how you want it to look and if tidy/pruned is your desired look for early winter, then prune your roses as soon as you have time.

Spray the ORGANIC ROSE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM when you’re done –
To 10 litres of water add:

  • ¼ CUP ECO OIL INSECTICIDE – also acts as wetting agent!
  • SEAWEED POWDER OR SOLUTION as per directions on the pack of your preferred brand of seaweed product!


Q. Why is my computer screen all wet?  A. I was trying to send e-mail, but the stamps kept sliding off!


There is not ONE SINGLE PERSON who, on our advice, purchased LOWE 5 secateurs and hasn’t raved about what a ‘bloody good investment’ they are!

When you purchase really good quality garden tools, please take care of them!  Place your rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows and other equipment out of the weather – same applies to your secateurs – put them in a safe place DURING and AFTER use … in past weeks, I’ve had several disaster emails about Lowe secateurs … one pair landed in the mulcher but we were able to replace the handle covers and a new blade; Jenny left hers on the ground and a mower ran over them and mangled them – lucky for her, Jim who’s a bit of a ‘steel-man-guru’ came into the nursery at just the right time, took the secateurs along with a complete replacement blade kit and Jenny will have her secateurs back in perfect condition for pruning this season – her purse will be a bit lighter but this recovery fits with our SUSTAINABLE GARDENING POLICY of fix it rather than toss it out!

Thanks Jenny for sending the secateurs to our nursery for some hope of repair and thanks Jim for repairing them!

Kate’s secateurs remain ??? yes, a mystery and here’s her email when I responded to her order:

Thanks very much Diana, I have already bought the secateurs from you before and cannot possibly find them…….kids??!! I’m going crazy without being able to use them, so thought I’d invest in another set.  Many thanks  Kate


“you know Kate … I thought as I printed the order today that you had bought secateurs some time ago  … can I suggest you organise a clip on pouch so that you habitually return your secateurs to the pouch which is attached to your body … I am so conditioned to my secateurs holster clipped to my jeans pocket that I wear mine out for dinner sometimes and because we go to the local Pub, I’ve been asked to remove them because it looks like I’m wearing a gun holster … how funny is that???

A holster is worth investing in because after I lost my newest pair of Felco ($100) 17 + years ago I made a habit of attaching my secateurs holster to my jeans before I went into the garden!  Never lost a pair since!

I’m so glad I took advice to try LOWE secateurs as I’ve never used another brand of secateurs in more than 7 years and I work on the principle … “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” … the LOWE SECATEURS work for me!

Buying a holster is cheaper than buying a new pair of secateurs and I promise you, you won’t lose them! If I can find a suitable clip on holster, I’ll add it to the online store but meantime, you might find something in another store or take your secateurs with you when you next visit your local garden centre – they’re sure to stock a range of pouches and you’ll find one which suits your LOWE. Happy pruning … Diana


Seems we might have caught a few customers off guard by sending roses as promptly as we receive their orders …

Hi Diana, I ordered a standard and a bush rose from you and they arrived yesterday in great shape – thankyou. I have ordered roses before and they took about a month so I haven’t prepared the soil for one of them.  How long have I got before I have to plant them and what should I do in the meantime. Thanks, love your roses and your weekly emails.  Regards, Deborah

My response:  What you can do is simply pot up the one you haven’t organised the bed for!  Use only QUALITY potting mix and put the pot in a sunny location … actually, quite honestly, that’s what I like to do with ALL MY ROSES PRIOR TO PLANTING … the black plastic pot acts like a humid-crib and the roots gallop … hope this is helpful.  Diana


And another … Hi Diana – I’m so sorry to be a pain, but I was after a later delivery. I actually don’t even have the garden bed ready yet! Normally I order my roses about now for a Winter delivery – July.  Just let me know if that’s not possible.  Thanks, LatishaMy response:  Oh… your roses are on the way but hey, no issue at all … just dig a hole and put them all in the one hole – perhaps a big pot with some potting mix … leave them HEELED IN until you’re ready to plant them in their permanent location.  Sorry, I am too quick sometimes … works for most customers but I tripped up this time.  Best wishes – Diana

And another … Hi Diana – The roses arrived today thanks. Just checking should they be planted asap or are they ok to stay as is for up to a few weeks? If so are there any care instructions!? Thanks. LeanneMy response:  Hi Leanne … for a couple of days they should be ok to stay in my wrapping … yes, they would live if you left them like that for weeks but please DON’T … get them out of there and put them as  they are, bunched together, into a pot of soil or out in the open garden in a hole – we call it HEELED IN … they’re much safer that way … here are some pics of how to heel-in roses while you get the holes ready:

Q. Why did the weatherman bring a bar of soap to work?  A. He was predicting showers.

Gra’s favourite rose for this week … yes, he picked a bloom and set it on my desk … amazingly prolific rose on such a strong, healthy shrub … MUST HAVE!

A David Austin rose of extremely high health which is why I decided to re-introduce it for 2017. The flowers are medium-sized, true rose-pink which pales at the edges and they’re cupped so the petals slowly reflex and flatten … the blooms last well in a vase!

As we settle with the fire stoked in the evening and under our doona at night, we look forward to this winter – it’s a season of renewal for roses – they’re dug from the soil where they are created, they’re trimmed and collated, shipped around the place, labelled for identification, potted or perhaps posted to another destination before they finally arrive at their new home to be loved and nurtured – enjoyed when they bloom again!

Yes, we definitely love our ‘job’ with the roses …


Cheers from Diana, Graham & Mooi


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *