Newsletters: 🌹 talking roses April ’19

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In the rose garden with Ludwig
Rose Care for April
Events in April
Rose of the Month
News from our Rose centres
“There are no gardening mistakes, only experiments.” – Janet Kilburn Phillips
In the Rose Garden with Ludwig

Even though we experienced unusually hot days with high humidity in March, the nights were cool, with temperatures going down to around 15°C. It was just what the roses prefer. The blooms doubled in size, the colour intensified, and they lasted longer.

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‘Clocolan’ is as tough as nails and as pretty as a picture!

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‘Fellowship’ – striking!

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‘Red GrandiRosa’ stands tall and proud!

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‘Isidingo’ truly is a top climber that never fails to impress.

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‘Peace’ at its best – so intense in colouring that the blooms almost seem unreal.

The height of our different rose varieties is indicated in our catalogue and on the plant label, but it is not cast in stone.

The quality of the soil, and other factors like climate, watering and monthly rose care can affect the height of a rose.

Our assessment of the height of a variety is more or less in accordance with stem length under normal growing conditions. This means that long stemmed varieties forming new stems of 80cm – 1m long before flower formation such as ‘Mister Lincoln’, ‘Papa Meilland’, ‘Alleluia’, Penguin’, ‘Red Intuition’, ‘Andrea Stelzer’ will grow tall i.e. 2 metres and more and it is not possible to keep them more compact.

Moderately tall varieties, growing to chest or shoulder height, are varieties that form their blooms at a length of about 50cm and these include ‘Just Joey’, ‘Double Delight’’, Peace’’, Oklahoma’, ‘Electron’ and many more.

‘Memoire’, ‘Duftwolke’, ‘Egoli’, ‘Sue Gush’, and ‘Graaff Reinet’ produce even shorter stems and grow to about hip height. This length applies to the height after first flowering in October.

Cutting blooms or dead heading and reducing the stem half way down, or even shearing floribundas, keeps the height under control.

By not carrying out such “manipulation” the roses will continue producing blooms “stem on stem” and in our long flowering season of 5 to 6 flushes the bushes will become taller and taller.

The flowering becomes more intense with shorter stems. However, the huge leaf canopy provides more power to the roots and long strong basal stems find their way to the top.

All this is good for the roses but might not fit in with what you want.

By grooming regularly you keep the bush neater. It also encourages larger, better quality blooms. However they are fewer in number. Pruning right down to knee height in winter will also prevent the rose from becoming too tall.

If you prefer the roses to become tall shrubs that are covered with short stemmed, smaller blooms that are plentiful, then you simply don’t really groom them too much. Rather snap off spent blooms right at their peduncle. Come winter, the roses can be pruned lightly and left much higher, at around hip height.

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‘Garden & Home’ left to grow tall with no grooming.

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‘Garden & Home’ groomed and kept at neater height.

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‘Greensleeves’ naturally grows very tall.

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‘Illse Roos’ making 1m long stems from the previous cutting points.

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‘Kolbe’s Diamond’ grows 2m+.

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‘St Dunstan Centenary’ left, has an upright growth habit,
‘Mushe Kirsh’ on the right, more arching.

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The height of the rose is determined in our trial fields, long before it is named.

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As you can see, each variety has its very own height that it grows to.

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‘Forever Delight’ shows off.

As mentioned in previous issues we are busy replanting many of our mother plants which are about 20 years old. We used earth-moving machines to change the soil so that the new roses would not be affected by soil fatigue syndrome that occurs when a rose has been growing in the same place for many years. That meant we could replant without delay.
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We replenished the soil of an old bed of miniature roses.

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The main secret ingredient: peanut shells.

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Digging the organic material in and working it in deeply
gives the soil a new lease on life.

When UVS Agricultural Drone Services demonstrated the spraying of our roses by drone, it reminded me of the book “Die Zukunft hat schon begonnen” which a visitor from West Germany brought as a gift to my parents in the mid-fifties – the German version of “Tomorrow is Already Here” by Robert Jungk.

I had started my apprentice year in Horticulture and was mostly interested in the incredible advances that were being made in Agriculture/Horticulture in the USA. Not that drones were envisaged at that time. I can now foresee that one day you will be able to contact us with the correct GPS co-ordinates of the roses in your garden and we will send the drone to spray and fertilise.

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Spraying the roses by drone is most certainly
more fun then carrying a knapsack sprayer on your back?

Easter on the Rose Farm
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Our well loved Easter Egg Hunt takes place amongst the roses on the farm on Easter Sunday, the 21st of April at 9:00am. The cost is R 180 per child.

This year the hunt will span over a much larger area and be more fun than ever before.

Additional activities for the kids: jumping castle, face painting, sand art and a bunny photo booth. Parents are treated to a complementary mimosa.

The Rose Kitchen has prepared a scrumptious Easter and Rose inspired buffet brunch to thrill the whole family! R 195 for adults and R 85 for children.

Booking to participate in the Easter Egg Hunt and / or for the buffet breakfast brunch is essential.

Please click here for further details and the booking form.

The buffet brunch menu is here.

Brooklyn’s Botanical Fair

Visit our exhibition in the Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria on the 27th and 28th of April. Bonsai’s and Orchids will also be on display.

Attend talks on roses, urban farming and orchids from 11:00 on the 27th.
R 100.00 per person.
Register at www.caxtonevents.co.za

Step by Step Rose Care for April / May

At the time of writing this newsletter on Wedneday April 10, we have experienced some very welcome rainy days. The rain is soaking deep down into the soil, which is fantastic for gardeners, or, more accurately, for the trees, shrubs, perennials and ROSES.

Roses that suffered due to insufficient watering will respond immediately, forming new roots to absorb the water and will quickly re-sprout with new shoots and leaves.

Expect a nice show of colour in May into June. By fertilising them right now the quality of blooms and leaves will be even more superb. It will also boost new growth on well performing bushes.

However, water on the leaves for a prolonged time or even a few hours is bound to trap dormant black spot spores on the leaves. Such spores come alive and enter the leaves causing them to turn yellow and drop. Spraying them with the fungicide Chronos, which is part of our recommended cocktail, provides a control by sealing the leaves from the inside. Even without the rain, dew is heavier at this time of year, and spraying leaves every two weeks will keep them green and active.

With the exception of the very cold regions that expect frost in May one last application of VIGOROSA fertiliser in April boosts new growth and blooms right into winter. 

Immediately after the rain check out the ground around the roses. If water is making puddles it indicates that the soil is far too compacted for the roses to flourish.  We noticed this in some of our display areas. When digging, it was obvious that over 15 to 20 years all the organics, even the peanut shells worked in at planting time have decomposed.

We spread out a thick layer of peanut shells with some chicken and pig manure and dug them in, ensuring that the soil lumps were broken up and well mixed. The sponginess of these beds is very evident. We expect these roses to miraculously sprout and flower within a few weeks.

Some of the roses needed to be replaced and we did so by planting them into sunken cardboard boxes.

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When re-planting a rose in a bed where roses have been growing for a long time,
sinking a box into the hole helps the new rose settle.

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The rose in the box, in the ground.

I am always being asked when it is safe to transplant roses. This depends on the condition of the bushes. Those that are semi-dormant could be transplanted this month. However, nicely flowering plants or those that should be moved from shady to sunny positions are best transplanted in June or July.
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‘Savage Jooste Centenary’ – immaculate!

Roses of the Month: ‘Savage Jooste Centenary’ ORAsupal(P)

This new Eco-chic hybrid-tea stands out in a rose bed because of its sparkling combination of vibrant red, with crisp white on the petal reverse, which flows upwards from the petal base. The neatly upright plants grow to shoulder height, producing three or four perfectly shaped blooms to a stem. The glossy leaves are disease-resistant. An excellent garden cut rose.

Plants are available at a promotional price from all of our branches.

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Believe it or not, but this is one single ‘Savage Jooste Centenary’ plant.

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The blooms are simply charming!

Fitness on the Rose Farm – myrun

As you are probably aware, we host a parkrun every Saturday morning at 8:00.

We really enjoy having all the runners here and that is why we are super excited to announce that we will be launching a myrun 5km and 2.5km route on Sunday the 28th of April and every Sunday at 8:00 thereafter.

So put on your running shoes and meet us on the farm so that you can get your blood pumping whilst smelling and enjoying the roses!

You can register for myrun here…

We wish you a Happy Easter and wholesome, relaxed family time during the public holidays!

Rose greetings, 

Ludwig & Halmar