Newsletters: talking roses in June ’14

‘I sometimes think that never blows so red

The Rose as where some buried Caesar bled;

That every Hyacinth the Garden wears

Dropt in its Lap from some once lovely Head.’

(The Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám)

Being familiar with many of the old roses named after places and personalities in Persia I took up the opportunity of joining a rose tour to Iran organised by the German Rose Society.

I was excited to have an opportunity to find these old roses in hidden gardens and at the historical sites and buildings.

Coming closer to Tehran, I could not believe how congested the midday traffic on the 4-lane highway was, certainly much worse than rush hour in Joburg and then, to my surprise – I saw roses, roses and roses everywhere. The beds of white roses had to be ‘Iceberg’, but the multicoloured roses were more difficult to identify out of a car window. I later heard that they are ‘Charleston’ (MEIridge).

Iceberg lining the streets of Tehran

Greater Tehran has become a megalopolis with 15 million people, stretching from an elevation of 1200m (same as Ludwig’s Roses) to about 2000m up the snow-capped Alborz mountains that semi encircle Tehran to the North West. At the higher elevation one finds the nicest gardens and obviously the roses look the freshest due to cooler temperatures. Tehran, as all other cities there, is green with tree-lined streets. The trees I saw were Pine, Cypress and Mulberry, but mainly planted was the Oriental Plane tree (Platanus orientalis), which has smaller & greyish leaves in comparison to the London Plane tree, and is able to withstand the summer’s heat and drought much better. Very often these trees were planted less than a metre together, which has forced them to grow in height and due to obvious root competition they do not grow into a massive tree canopy. Often roses are planted in-between the trees – a totally crazy concept-  but it worked, because of the flood irrigation system of clean water from the mountains.

Trees planted less than a meter next to each other

Travelling some 3000km, the often quite newly planted trees along the highways, stretched far beyond the towns and cities we visited; Shiraz, Isfahan, Kerman, Yazd, Qom and Kashan. One cannot travel through Iran looking for Persian roses without visiting famous mosques, mausoleums, museums and bazaars, or learning much about the history and religions and coming into close contact with the very friendly locals. It was a most enjoyable trip. For more images and the full story click on Roses in Iran.

Back home, we decided to add newer varieties to our rose mile. This meant re-preparing the beds, sterilising with Herbifume and digging in lots of fresh compost and peanut shells. They have fared well and look as if they want to flower throughout winter. Others were planted just three weeks ago and also show signs of new basal growth. By October, these roses will look as established as the older plants next to them.

Newly prepared bedding

These newly planted roses are expected to be the size of those behind them in October

Our trial field too has grown with several hundred varieties, received by other breeders over the past months. These include 21 novel David Austin varieties.

Almost 500 unnamed novelties have found their home in our trial fields – it’s exciting!

Join us for Father’s Day for a meal fit for kings!

In addition to our a la carte menu we will be serving a mouth watering lamb shank & chicken potjie!

On arrival enjoy sherry on the house to warm you up. Our free tractor train rides take the whole family around the farm. Dad can grab a beer and enjoy the ride & roses. The kids can run & play at our huge playground.

We also offer & set up pre-booked picnics along our beautiful dam.

Bookings essential – Tel: 0125440144

Breakfast Menu

Farm Breakfast – Creamy, chived scrambled eggs, slow roasted tomatoes, bacon, beef sausage, mushrooms, served with toast & rosy preserves

Big Scrambled- Scrambled eggs, slow roasted tomato, shoulder bacon, 200g pure beef patty topped with tomato relish & fried onions, served with fries & toast

Poached Egg Delight – Poached eggs, black forest ham, rye bread with cream cheese, cherry tomatoes, home-made onion marmalade, rocket & freshly sliced apple

Bauern Frühstück – Traditional farmer’s scrambled egg breakfast made with fried potato, onion, green pepper & bacon

Omelette – 3 egg omelette with tomato relish & cheddar, green pepper & onion, served with toast

Rise ‘n Shine – Yogurt & muesli served with freshly sliced fruit and rose syrup/honey on the side

Lunch Menu


Chicken & Haloumi Kebab – deep fried in a batter, served with a sweet chilli rose sauce

Camemberry – Camembert in a phyllo pocket, served with a rose & berry preserve

Labneh – creamy Mediterranean cheese made form strained yogurt, rolled in rose salt & pepper, served with toasted bread, rosa tomatoes & cucumber

Haloumi – grilled & served with Sweet Chili Rose sauce & rocket


Lamb shank served with vegetables & rice

Chicken poitjie

Farm Quiche- asparagus, bacon & ham quiche, served with country salad

Thyme & Again Quiche- sundried tomatoes, feta, aubergines & rose hips, served with a country salad

German Treat- German Bockwürste served with potato salad, red cabbage & salad greens

Smoked Pork Cutlet (Kassler)- in a red wine rose & cranberry sauce served with mash potato & sauerkraut

Rosehip Chutney Bobotie- served with almond turmeric rice & sambles

Spiced Platter – Camembert, German salami, Black Forest Ham, Labneh, feta, rosa tomatoes,onion marmalade, sundried tomatoes, rocket, olives and home-made white bread

Decadent Dessert

Malva Pudding – malva made with a cream butter sauce, served with custard

Cape Brandy Tart – pudding with nuts & brandy, served with custard

Vanilla Ice cream with chocolate or rose sauce

Afternoon Tea – A la carte

Home baked Lemon Meringue, Rose Chocolate Cake, Cheese Cake, Apple Pie with Cream & Carrot Cake

Freshly Baked Rose Scones Served With Rose Preserves & Cream

Selection of tea , filter coffee, or drinks of choice

If your roses still look in any way like this, just enjoy and pick as much as you like with as long stems as you like.

Liz McGrath still in full bloom – cut as many blooms with long stems as you like but also continue watering

It all depends on the weather. Winter could arrive within days as we know. In the Western Cape it is already very windy and rainy and the rose season comes to an end. If the roses look scraggly amongst the other flowers, it is perfectly acceptable to trim or groom them for neatness sake.

Before & after grooming

Watering too is not an issue. If they are still flowering it makes sense to keep the soil moist. Bushes with no flowers but still lots of leaves should be nudged towards dormancy by cutting down on watering until pruning time in three to four weeks. However, if they are in mixed beds or under irrigation and keep on being watered it is not a problem. They will survive as they do in the winter rainfall region.  Those in the Lowveld and Coastal KZN will benefit from one more application of fertiliser as well as regular watering and spraying so that they continue flowering throughout winter. However, if most of the leaves have dropped due to black spot etc., rather wait and prune properly in July.

June is the safest month to transplant roses. Usually the decision to move a rose plant is made when it becomes clear that there is too much shade on the roses, or where height and colour just do not match.  

In the February issue of Talking Roses I had some images on how to settle a new rose within an established rose bed(no comma) by planting it in a cardboard box. This rose has grown very well in the past four months. In order to take another photo I tried to expose the edges of the cardboard. To my surprise the cardboard has completely disintegrated. From the exposed roots in the image below, one can see how well the roots developed within the cardboard box, which then deteriorated. It certainly proves that the principle works.

Images from our Feb Talking Roses

The box has now disintegrated, whilst the plant & roots have established themselves 

The book  The Garden Guardians authored by Johan Gerber, comma is a most valuable guide to identifying pests and diseases. It covers roses pest and much more and it gives advice for biological control of each pest. It is available from our centres or can be bought online.

Ecstasy KORazerka(N)

The large, high pointed buds are classical hybrid tea shaped & open into full blooms with many textured petals.

The crimson colour deepens slightly into magenta when blooms are allowed to age in the sun.

Excellent cut rose; produces quantities of thornless, flowering stems.

Yes, she is ecstatically beautiful!

We have a busy programme on the weekend of Father’s Day.

In addition to our a la carte menu we will be serving a mouth watering lamb shank & chicken potjie!

On arrival enjoy sherry on the house to warm you up. See above for full info.

Ride of the Roses X-TRAIL Mountain Biking – Sat 14 June 

On day entries 6:30am and race start at 8am. Bring your bikes to compete in the Ride of the Roses. Laps are 6.2km (R50), 18.6 (R80) & 31km (R130). Kids welcome! Medals to all! Pre-entries

Ride of the Roses – Mountain biking – Sun 15 June

Choose your fitness level and ride either 1km, 12km, 25km or 50km. Starts 8am -registration from 6.30 am. Cost: R50 (1 km), R90 (12 km), R150 (25km) or R170 (50KM). Kids welcome! Medals to all!

For more information for both events, contact  Anna-Marie 082 954 9628 | Andrè 082 490 5061 | |

Stories in the Sand: writing workshop – Sat 28 June

Using a tray filled with sand and hundreds of objects you will be guided to:

Afterwards, we guide you individually to  understand your process in the sand tray and to write creatively (stories or poems) about your adventure in the sand tray.

Presented by Dr. Estelle Kruger & Ms. Martie Rottier

Time: 09:00-13:00 Place: Ludwig’s Rose Farm Cost: R300 per person Bookings: Spiced Coffee | 012 544 0144

Refreshments will be served.

We are still in production or we can source roses for you throughout winter.  Tel: 012 817 2099 |

Fragrant roses picked from our front bedding now

Soil preparation just proves to be where the secrets lies!  

Our rose beds around the office are only 9 months old, but fully established. The soil was prepared 900 deep as it is a garden sunken into a parking area with kerbing and we wanted to ensure the soil was prepared well for good growth and “wow”  has it grown! The scented roses planted in the front bed give an inviting “welcome” as you enter our office awaited by staff ready to assist. Blooms are showing intense colours and are bigger than usual due to the cool temperature. A MUST see

The blooms that weather the storms, wind and rain are beautiful in colour intensity and size.

The plants can’t wait to get out of the confines of the planting bag into the garden to be ready to burst into flower in the Spring! Now is a great time to plant.

Resist the temptation of pruning your roses now if they have been defoliated by Black spot – rather enjoy the cold, rainy weather in front of the fire place with a glass of good red wine and prune nearer to the end of July.

Join me for a pruning demo and all the information one needs for winter care on Saturday 28 June at 2 pm and on Sunday 29 June at 10.30 am.

Rose greetings,

Ludwig Taschner