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Summer Roses

Posted by sheiladearing on 20 Jul 2010 at 12:17 PM

This is possibly the best that I have seen the roses here at Rosemoor, and it is difficult to exactly pin this down to any one reason, it could be the warm and dry summer or the change in some of our cultural practices.
 

The Shrub Rose Garden has been a riot of colour since early June starting off with some of our most dependable roses such as the Gallica group probably best represented by Rosa ‘Tuscany Superb’, with its dark velvety blooms and its centre of golden stamens.

 

The Shrub Rose Garden

 Rosa 'Tuscany superb'

The Gallicas are possibly my favourite group, being fairly trouble free from disease and having a good scent. I’m often asked for advice in the garden concerning choice of varieties, and I am quite happy to recommend this group, but when I mention that they are summer flowering and do not repeat, this seems to deter some people. When they do flower they are breathtaking, producing hundreds of flowers for a period that often extends to the end of July; that could be for six to eight weeks! I have never heard anyone say that they would not grow camellias because they didn’t repeat flower and I would urge any one to grow this diverse and rewarding group of roses.
 
 Last year was a difficult year and this was most definitely due to the weather being chilly and wet causing the rose buds to rot and not open; this year, mainly because of the long dry and warm spell, and possibly because of our move away from using solely fungicides to combat disease, they have flowered and are still in abundance.

In previous years we have relied entirely upon fungicides to prevent diseases such as black spot and mildew, this year we have been trying a product that delivers the essential elements of Phosphorous and Potassium, but not Nitrogen, (which promotes lush growth prone to disease). So far this seems to have worked quite well, Google ‘Rose Tonic’ and you should find it, although I am seeing some signs of rust disease on some of the roses, in this case I shall resort to using a suitable chemical.

I am also very pleased with the establishment of some roses that I planted in February of last year.These roses were planted in the Queen Mother’s Rose Garden in a position that had previously had roses, just the sort of scenario that would be liable to rose replant disease; I opted to use a mycorrhizal root dip.

 

The Queen Mothers Rose Garden

This fungi forms what is known as a symbiotic relationship with the rose; it works with the rose roots to provide nutrients and water for the plant as opposed to a parasite that would take from its host. Their health and vigour have convinced me that this is the best way to establish roses in difficult situations including sandy soils because the fine roots of the fungi hold on to water and in clay soils they are able to unlock nutrients from the soil.

Phil Scott
 

 

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Anonymous said:

Really first class displays.  Sad to say, many local parks and gardens seem to be suffering lack of care and attention, with many tired looking roses.  I am in the process of setting out a small rose garden area in my garden, in memory of my dear wife who passed away in June this year.

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