ROSE RAMBLER 18.8.2016

ROSE RAMBLER 18.8.16 …

Hello dear rose friends in another week of brighter weather alluding to spring around the corner … we still haven’t done the rose garden pruning but feel the weather is definitely on our side now so it will happen in the next week or so.

Once we’ve pruned the roses, we’ll have to weed the garden beds … unfortunately, Graham mulched with wheat-straw which was ‘left over’ from the hay bales we used for seating our guests during the Art & Roses Expo.

Any field-grown mulch products – lucerne / pea straw will probably contain some weed seeds which are generally very easy to pull out but you can guarantee significant weed production if you use wheat/barley/oat straw mulch or in fact, manure from animals who have eaten these straws!

With wonderful wet conditions, we’ve watched the weeds grow in this mulch so they’ll be pulled and placed over the existing mulch as a ‘green manure crop’ of mulch!

I’ve already saved my dollars for a bulk load of pea straw to be delivered.  Once the beds are weeded, we will fertilize with Complete Organic Fertilizer and throw rock dust over the beds before we place layers of pea straw.

Oh my word, it will be a huge task but the gardens will look sensational afterwards and the results will be immense throughout this coming flowering season.

Heads down, bums up and into it!


Now is a great time to re-pot roses that you’ve had growing in tubs for more than 12 months – here’s a simple guide to follow to ensure your roses continue to flourish in pots:

  1. Select a pot which suits the type of rose you’re growing – the larger the pot for a climbing rose, the greater growth the rose will produce; miniature/patio roses will be happy for a whole season in a 400mm pot while any shrub/HT rose will perform exceptionally well in a 500mm pot – try the self-watering pots!
  2. Use a quality potting mix which is guaranteed to contain a blend of nutrients to sustain healthy growth for months
  3. Select a sunny location with no less than 5 hours of direct sunshine per day
  4. When you lift the rose, cut roots back by about half after removing all the old potting mix from around the roots – take advantage of severely pruning the rose while you have it ‘bare-rooted’ – remove all old branches and dead wood
  5. Once re-potted, soak and re-soak the new medium to expel all air around the roots and water when necessary
  6. Pour seaweed solution OVER THE ENTIRE PLANT at least fortnightly to maintain healthy foliage

Q.  Why did the little cookie cry?  A.  Because his mum was a wafer so long.

If you happen to have potted plants which are impossible to remove from the pots because of their size, I suggest you gently fork out as much of the old potting mix as you can reach, deep down into the base of the pot and refill the pot with high-quality potting mix then top up with compost, a sprinkling of rock-dust and soak with seaweed solution – plants which have been flowering in pots for several seasons deserve rejuvenating!

When you are watering pots throughout this coming season remember to WATER OVER THE ENTIRE SURFACE OF THE POT and FILL THE POT AT EACH WATERING to almost overflowing – this ensures that ALL THE ROOTS of the potted plant are receiving necessary water to sustain healthy growth.

If you water just to the middle of the pot, you can guarantee that roots which have reached the side of the pot will perish, the potting medium will become dry and the plant will not flourish – watering pots is not as ‘mindless’ a task as it might seem!

Q.  How do you catch a squirrel?  A. Climb a tree and act like a nut! 

Here are a few beautiful rose pics in the GIFT ROSE series available at and which now have lovely foliage and will soon set flower buds in the recipient’s garden to remind them of your loving thoughts when they needed them …

Enjoy the last days of winter in your garden …
Graham, Diana, Tova & Mooi at Clonbinane

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