Garden tips: Wake up your roses


With Spring and Summer approaching, Anthony Tesselaar gives some valuable tips on waking up your roses after winter

After a long, cold, bunkered-down winter is there anything as heart-gladdening as the signs of Spring? Bare trees begin to bud up ready to blossom or unfurl their leaves. The bulbs emerge to promise colour and scent, and the days start to fill with birdsong. It’s all wonderful, but one sign really pushes home the fact that warmer weather is on its way, and that’s the waking roses.

Of course this happens at different times depending on where you garden. The deeper the Winter cold, the later the moment when your roses bloom, but it will come. And to make the most of your roses, these tweaks are designed to bring on a glorious Summer-long display.

Three easy steps to long-lasting roses:

  1. Pick the right rose plant in the first place. It’s easy to choose a rose at face value – literally by its flower – but slow down long enough to check how it grows below the neck before you make a decision. Look to fill your garden with rose bushes that are lush and softly mounded (not upright and ugly). You also want the plant itself to look good in the landscape. Also, pick a rose that’s super easy to grow so you don’t have to fuss with complex pruning, or spraying to deal with aphids and black spot.
  2. Set your rose up for a season of flowers. This is easy and achievable if you’re lucky enough to have something like the extended flowering of the Flower Carpet roses  already growing in your garden. All you need to is walk outside with your hedge clippers and give each bush a uniform cut back by two-thirds. Rough and ready does the job – the proof will be the flower cover you’ll enjoy in the weeks that follow.
  3. A little bit of weeding and feeding wouldn’t hurt. If the thought of doing either of these is freaking you out, don’t bother. Roses tend to hold their own against the weeds: runner grass growing up through a bush doesn’t look fabulous but each to their own. And they seem to cope without regular feeding. But if you don’t mind pulling the weeds out from around the base of each bush, and tossing around your preferred form of fertiliser, you’ll be rewarded with even more flowers. Mulching is the icing on the cake.

It’s really that simple. Fill your garden with easy care roses. Chop them to create a strong flowering framework, then boost the flowering even further with a few extras… weeding, feeding & mulching. And one more tip – if you don’t already have bullet proof roses in your garden, plant some. You’ll be forever happy that you did.

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Anthony Tesselaar

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