Coming up roses


Fresh ideas for garden roses

Mix roses with grasses for a natural look, one that brings movement and texture. Bushy, free flowering groundcover Sunsation roses, Deloitte and Touche, My Granny and Butterfly Kisses go well with compact ornamental grasses like Carex China Blue, Carex Amazon Mist, Carex Oshimensis, and Juncus Blue. Feed body and soul … grow roses and veggies together. Plant leafy veggies as a border for roses and under standard roses or use tall roses as a backdrop for herb and veggie beds. They all like the same treatment – full sun, fertile soil, and regular watering. Turn your palisade fence into a feature by espaliering roses against it. Tie the stems of a climbing rose in a fan shape onto the palisade. The trick of tying the stems that way forces the rose to flower all along each stem. Result, a wall of roses.

What’s new in roses

Eco-chic: no need to spray for fungus disease. That is the priority for modern roses that are bred with disease-resistance in their genes. Look out for the ‘ladybird’ logo that indicates the Eco-chic disease-resistant roses.

Drought-tolerant: roses that can withstand irregular or limited watering are those with spreading bushy growth that shades their powerful, extensive roots. They still produce beautiful pickable blooms on shorter stems. The new group name for them is Stamina roses. Easier, quicker rose care with controlled release fertilisers and long-lasting pesticides. Controlled release Vigolonger fertiliser provides a continual, steady release of nutrition throughout summer. Dig it in at root level after pruning. Koinor is a drench that keeps roses free of sucking insects, especially thrips and aphids for up to six months.

Gloria Mthunzi (LUDbabfil) is a Ludwig bred rose, that is a vigorous, tall and upright growing hybrid tea with exquisitely shaped blooms in a blend of orange, pink and cream shades. What’s to like? Well, the large blooms hark back to the days when perfect exhibition-shaped blooms were popular. The blooms are carried on long stems and last well in the vase, so this is a very good garden cut-flower variety. As for garden uses plant it towards the back of a rose border or group three or five together, with lower growing roses planted in front. The plants will also stand out as a feature in a mixed border.

50 shades of pink …

What’s the most popular rose colour? Pink, by a pretty mile. And while we haven’t actually counted, there could very well be 50 or more shades of pink roses. There’s certainly a pink for every mood … soft and dreamy, playful and happy, flamboyant and feisty.

Here are the newest pink roses:

Pink Polo is a tall, vibrant pink rose that opens from a classically shaped bud into a sumptuous quartered bloom, the size of a side plate! The lightly fragrant blooms are carried on long, straight stems … this is a really lovely picking rose. The bush grows to just above shoulder height. It is a white ribbon rose, and a portion of the sales go to CANSA Paarl.

Manuela Crabbia is a nostalgia rose with huge blooms on strong stems that display many shades of pink. The silvery-pink broad outer petals are edged with carmine, and as the rose unfolds, the centre becomes a soft salmon pink.

Colette Stella is the epitome of a dreamy pink rose, with a distinct rosy perfume. As the many-petalled blooms open into an antique cup shape, the petals become a deeper, warm pink. The two-metre high bush flowers from top to bottom.  Nautica offers just a whisper of pink as an undertone to the soft lavender shades that become a silvery sheen as the rose opens. This is a classical hybrid-tea, with long lasting large blooms on a tall, neatly upright growing bush. It provides an endless supply of blooms. Gloria Mthunzi has exquisitely shaped, exhibition-class hybrid tea blooms in a blend of pink, orange, and cream. The rose is tall and vigorous, standing out in a mixed border.

Woo bees with a pink rose bush

Did you know that pink (as well as white, and yellow single and semi-double) roses are magnets for bees? With their exposed stamens and pistils, the pollen is always fresh, and the bees love it. Because roses have such a long flowering season, there are always flowers, and pollen, for the bees. Bonus … they attract butterflies, too. Lovely!