Newsletters: talking roses in November ’17 ?

Talking Roses with Ludwig Taschner
  • In the rose garden with Ludwig
  • Rose Care for November
  • Happenings
  • Rose of the Month
  • News from our Rose centres

‘When you win an award for an acting job, you take it and put it on top of the cupboard, knowing that one day it will be thrown away, but this rose is going to live forever.”

-actress Elize Cawood, at the naming of her rose.

In the Rose Garden with Ludwig

October turned out to be a great rose month, virtually countrywide. There are many explanations for it. Some early rains inland and in KZN increased humidity intensified the colour of the blooms. In the Western Cape, late winter rains brought hope for more and a return to normality.

Overall, the rose proved its resilience once again, by coping with all sorts of adverse growing conditions and still showing off its beauty.

On the farm, our Rose show started on 30 September which is earlier than usual. We were easily able to cut thousands of blooms to decorate the hall and the vintage VW “Volksies’. Org and Danita our neighbours are keen collectors and the collaboration just simply worked out amazingly well.

A Karmann Ghia and a VW Kombi adorned with roses.

Sophia, Anja and Talhat’s daughter, posing through the window.

During the festival we released two interesting novelty varieties. ‘Elize Cawood’ was named in honour of the much loved, and award-winning actress, who has made a name for herself on stage, television and on film. Elize selected this magnificently shaped soft coloured bloom to carry her name.

Pamela, my wife, Elize Cawood and I toasting to the newly named ‘Elize Cawood’ rose.


The epitome of stamina, ultra-marathon and Comrades winner, Bruce Fordyce gave his name to the first rose in our new STAMINA group. Like Elize, Bruce was overwhelmed by the naming of a rose in recognition of his contribution, including the very successful Park Run programme. The ‘FORDYCE’ rose is the first of our tough, water wise roses, that produce these beautiful, pickable blooms.

Bruce Fordyce and I unveil the STAMIINA rose ‘Fordyce’.

There was also great excitement when Vivienne Black, who is well-known for her magnificent rose garden in Beaulieu Country Estate, won the ‘Name your own rose’ competition.

It was her wish that the rose be named ‘Gloria Mthunzi’ in honour of her housekeeper, Gloria, who she describes as “an incredible rose lady. She has such an eye for roses.” The new ‘Gloria Mthunzi’ is a winner; with large, fragrant, soft-salmon coloured blooms that are carried on a vigorous, upright bush that grows to shoulder-height.

Gloria Mthunzi surprised at the new rose named in her honour with Vivienne Black.

For the show weekend of 7-8 October, we were in full bloom and are very grateful for the influx of visitors. Many of them “old friends” who made a point of greeting me and chatting about old times, full of praise for our efforts in showing off the beauty of our roses.

‘Apricot Profusion’ cascades down the built up bed and standard ‘South Africa’ adds “suspended” colour.

‘Garden Queen’ flowering in profusion. One of our top fragrant Hybrid Tea’s.

A 500m colour wall of GrandiRosa’s and Panarosa’s!

A single arching stem on this ‘Perfumed Breeze’ umbrella standard exudes fragrance!

‘Starry Eyed’ trained up a pole in our play area.

As stated in last month’s newsletter, I had committed myself to judging and talking about roses. It is of course very interesting and important for me to see which of the varieties are being brought to the various shows and competitions as well as to exchange views with the exhibitors.

What hasn’t changed in all the years that I have been a show judge is that the weather is always blamed for the less than perfect rose blooms. No doubt it does play a role, but the great versatility of varieties usually overcomes this. One simply needs to have a good range of early, moderate and late flowering varieties in one’s garden.

For instance, ‘Just Joey’ flowers early in the season whereas ‘Esther Geldenhuys’ and her children ‘Lisa’, ‘Leana’, and ‘Vanessa’ flower late, with lots of varieties in-between. I am so happy that the spirit of exhibiting and competing with rose blooms at shows is re-awakening in South Africa.

The Gold Reef Rose Society competition in Morningside.

‘Esther Geldenhuys’ won Queen of Show at the Midlands competition.

‘Knysna’ won first place and first princess.

The prize winning roses at the Midlands Rose Show.

Showing off a perfect ‘Nana Ing’ bloom picked on our farm. It would have been a strong contender to the Queen of Show at the Midlands competition.

The roses exhibited at the Fouriesburg Rose Show.

Blooms and arrangements at the Fouriesburg Rose Show.

Wakkerstroom also held a Rose Show.

The blooms entered in Wakkerstroom.

I have written a short story on my impressions during my visit to Wakkerstroom and included some more pictures of the roses there. Please click here to read the article…

These late flowering varieties looked impeccable a week ago:

‘Eden Rose’

‘Gold Reef’

‘Flower Power’

‘Scarlet Midinette’

Our traditional bus tour to rose filled gardens in Johannesburg was a happy event. The feedback from participants verbally or in the forms they fill in is of great value to us.

Two outstanding bushes of ‘Black Tea’ in full bloom caught everyone’s attention as well as a huge bed of meticulous flowering standard ‘Deloitte & Touche’ roses with under-plantings of ‘Happy Home’.

For the first time we asked participants to list the five roses that they liked the most. The top five that received the most votes were ‘Black Tea’, ‘Double Delight’, the Granny’s, ‘Linda Anne’ and there was a tie for 5th place, between ‘Ingrid Bergman’ and ‘South Africa’.

Other roses that featured were ‘Zulu Royal’, ‘Amarula Profusion’ and ‘Fay’s Folly’. There were so many different varieties in each of the gardens; a wonderful opportunity for rose lovers to see how the roses perform in different garden settings. We are grateful to landscaper Karen Gardelli, of Creative Containers, who shared her client’s gardens with us.

Run of the Roses

Join us for a fun day out amongst the roses on the 25th of November 2017.

The 5 km run or walk around the farm takes you past a multitude of roses and dams with rich bird life.

For more info, please contact:

Anna Marie 082 954 9628

Step by Step Rose Care for November

Even the most neglected rose bushes put up a “show” in October. How well they perform after that and for the rest of the season, is mostly up to the gardener. Although all modern rose varieties are genetically able and willing to keep on flowering into winter, the quality of such repeat flowering depends on the continual care they receive.

Dead heading and grooming should be ongoing from now on. The more often roses are groomed, the better; ideally twice weekly if one wants to encourage continuous re-sprouting.

‘Red GrandiRosaTM’ has been dead headed to encourage quicker re-sprouting.

‘Fairest Cape’ before dead heading.

‘Fairest Cape’ after dead heading.

The spent blooms of specially the softer petaled blooms that don’t age nicely, are best cut off.

The major rule is to maintain a good balance of foliage on the bush when cutting back.

This means that very long stems maybe cut back half way after blooming or when cutting a bloom. With short stems, don’t cut below two or three leaves beneath the old bloom.

With very dense growth one can cut out some stems at the base. This will produce better quality blooms from the remaining lightly cut back stems.

Most modern varieties don’t form hips, but it does depend on the climate. ‘Iceberg’ will hardly ever make hips on bushes inland but will do so in cooler high humidity regions. Rose bushes and especially climbers that form hips will be ‘lazy’ to produce a new crop of blooms. By cutting off old blooms there will of course be no hips.

Bushy floribundas like ‘Iceberg’, ‘Simplicity’, ‘Satchmo’, ‘Knock Out’ are easy to trim with a hedge clipper.

Every cutting back results in new stems sprouting, with leaves and a bloom or cluster of blooms in the tip. Available water at root level and nutrients are the deciding factor for the ongoing quality.

Countrywide, the roses have shown that they can do with less frequent watering as long as they receive deep watering once a week so that enough water penetrates down to the roots of the roses. That often means that water must be able to go through the roots of living mulch or from nearby trees and climbers.

If using mini sprinklers, let them run once a week for an hour. For the rest of the week ten-minute bursts are OK.

With VIGOLONGER worked into the soil at planting or pruning time a constant supply of nutrients is available. A special boost is achieved with an additional application of Vigorosa at the end of November for a good showing at Christmas.

If VIGOLONGER is not used, then give a monthly application of Vigorosa. Halve the quantity per bush if there is no rain and limited irrigation water available.

Our recommended cocktail is still proving to be the safest and most efficient deterrent for most insects and fungus diseases.

Beetles can be kept away to a degree with the smell of the garlic. But some roses have a much stronger scent and beetles will arrive to eat the blooms. PLANTCARE sprayed onto the beetles when they are the most active makes them disappear for a while. No need to spray the whole bush with it.

Roses of the Month: Sympa de Bellevue KORkropierr (N)

Just look at how spectacular this PanarosaTM rose is. It is as formidable, powerful and beautiful as the Percheron stallion it was named after.

The nostalgically shaped blooms that appear in clusters are one, more prefect that the other. If you like red, then you need to find a spot in your garden for this wonderful rose.

Pamela and I, Johann Henning the stud owner, Thomas Proll the famous rose breeder from Kordes in Germany and Anja on her knees, pregnant with Gabriel at the launch of this rose 6 years ago.

News from our Rose Centres:

Ludwig’s Rose Farm

Our The Rose Kitchen restaurant would love to host your year end function. Please contact

Ludwig’s Roses Pretoria East

We serve coffee, tea, cakes and light snacks 7 days a week from 9:00 to 16:00. We look forward to seeing you there!

Ludwig’s Roses EGOLI

We serve coffee, cappuccinos and tea Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00 to 16:00. We look forward to welcoming you to our little coffee shop amongst the roses.

Ludwig’s Roses Winelands

Join Anja Taschner for a wreath binding party on Sunday, 26 November from 10:00 to 14:00.

Learn how to bind your own Christmas wreath with roses freshly chosen and picked by you.

All greenery and materials provided.

We’ll keep rose water and champagne on tap and serve a light lunch.

Cost: R700

For bookings please email

May the roses of November inspire and uplift you!

Rose greetings,

Ludwig Taschner