Fishtail Cottage Garden 7/6/15
Roses Roses Roses is all that is on my mind these days.... I've spent several hours visiting our local Antique Rose Farm in Snohomish Washington and enjoying finding a wish list of new varieties online. Usually I am cursing myself for having so many roses planted in the garden ~ as most of you know, roses require a lot of time and maintenance. However in Seattle right now the roses are in the most glorious state I've ever personally witnessed them to be.
During my recent nursery visits and lots of conversations with those 'in the know'. Along with my daily obsession to obtain new knowledge of rose care, I thought it would be nice to share with you some of what I have learned over the past few weeks.
Over the past couple years I've noticed that several roses have changed to a beautiful pink or red rose that I know was not originally planted. These blooms are prolific for a few weeks and then disappear for the remainder of the summertime...however very tall canes appear and I kept waiting for more blooms. When I inquired about these rose bushes - I was told that the grafted rose had died back to one of the original cultivators - one that takes deep roots and is a nightmare if not removed. Sadly I decided to remove these over the past week and replace them with new roses.
Roses that I brought home from the Antique Rose Farm to put in the landscape here at Fishtail Cottage are The MayFlower David Austin Rose, Mercury Rising Hybrid Tea Rose, Boscobel David Austin Rose The Alnwick David Austin Rose, Gertrude Jekyll David Austin Rose, The Nicole Carol Miller Grandiflora Rose and two Music Box Roses for my cement urns.
The first thing I did when purchasing these roses (and before planting) was basically strip all of the leaves off of the plant. They had so much mildew and black spot I couldn't dare bring that disease to my own gardens beds. also cutting off all of the roses that existed on the plant so that the energy of the plant could focus only on producing a new healthy plant. Then I sprayed them with Neem Oil and allowed them to dry in the sunshine. Once the plant was dry to the touch, I concocted a mixture that was prescribed by the old rose farm for blackspot 2 tablespoons of bleach and one gallon of water mixed together and poured around the base of the plant. In fact I ended up doing this for each and every rose in my gardens. I was told to do this at any time of the year - generally its done once in the spring, mid summer and then again in fall.
The next day I watered each of the new roses until they were soaked thoroughly, so much so that the dirt was falling away from the roots when I pulled them out of the black stock pots. Digging a hole large enough for the roots (which is difficult for me because of my dense landscape) and making sure the grafted part was planted deep enough...apparently when you don't plant deep enough that is why the rose dies back to the original hybrid like I mentioned above. Covering the rose roots with Miracle Grow dirt for potted plants is what I decided to use because I am hoping it will help with how dry the soil is right now. I also purchased an organic rose fertilizer that I mixed in with the soil in hopes that all of this special treatment would benefit a good start for my roses.
One of the most fantastic bits of knowledge that I was really excited to try is the recommendation of adding lime to my roses. All of my tree roses and several shrub roses, no matter how much fertilizers I have tried to amend my soil with, I am still seeing a lot of yellow leaves. I mixed in about a handful of Garden Lime to the soil around the roses I had concerns with and just after a week, a remarkable difference is noticeable. Very little yellow color in the leaves in the new growth and it almost seems that the old growth is repairing itself - definitely must have been lacking something in the soil that my roses need.
On the side of the house I have three Angel Face Roses that were planted in a row, I lost one and everywhere I look I cannot find one to replace it with. I've searched many local nurseries and looked online and continue to see "out of stock" listed next to the rose. My sweet friend Julie Marie over at Idyllhours shared a post recently explaining how to start your own roses from a cutting. I am thinking I just may try this in my garden since I cannot find the Angel Face Rose. To see her post click here.
I believe the best knowledge is handed down from generation to generation and from gardener to gardener, I feel that I have been so lucky to learn from people that are so willing to share what they know in hopes that I too am successful. Thank you to those who have so graciously shared with me so that I can share with you. Please let me know if you have anything to share as well - I love learning! xoox, tracie