Rose gardening in January

We are just settling back in to normality looking at the rose gardens after a Christmas of turkey and roast potatos thinking ‘what next?’……

Sir John Mills at the Chelsea Flower Show 2012

Sir John Mills at the Chelsea Flower Show 2012

So OK…  January may not be the most colourful time of the gardening year but there are a few things you can (and should!) be doing out in the garden to take advantage of the lengthening days while waiting for the bulbs then the first rose shoots to appear.

Pruning

You will have probably given your roses a gentle prune in October to help reduce the risks of wind rock over the winter but now is the time to finish the prune ready for the new growing season.  Of course pruning does depend on the variety of rose.

Shrub and bush roses should normally be pruned fairly hard perhaps back as far as 6″ to 8″ and should be prune into a goblet (cup) shape.  You should prune back to ourward facing bud shoots so that new growth does not grow in and rub.

Climbing roses and repeat flowering rambling roses should be pruned back to the main structure that they are growing on.  That is to say that if a rose is growing over an arch you should take off the growth back to the big branches that are holding the rose to the arch.

Once flowering rambling roses should NOT be pruned at this time of year, but in July/August when the rose has finished its flush; this is because the flowers appear on the previous years wood.

Disease prevention

Now is a great to time give your garden a good winter wash.  Back in the day it would have been with Jeyes Fluid but these days there is a great much more nature friendly product called Armillitox soap based outdoor cleaner which is great for killing nasty spores like blackspot which can overwinter in the soil.  You should make sure that all the leaves and pruned wood has been removed and burnt then make up a watering can of armillitox following the instructions on the bottle and liberally wash the rose plants and areas around the plants with the mixture.  If you have had bad blackspot problems you should also sprinkle a sulphur based compound like Sulphur Rose around the rose plants.  Done yearly this will drastically reduce the occurance of blackspot in your rose garden.

When you have finished in the garden then there is still 12 weeks in which to order your new bare root roses for planting this season.  Why not try one of the new Peter Beales Modern Classic roses – all the health of modern roses with all the charm of the original old garden and classic roses.

Have a great time gardening this winter!

Chelsea 2012 – Sir John Mills’ Return To Chelsea

Gallery

This gallery contains 3 photos.

Chelsea 2005 we saw the launch of a new rose named after the late Sir John Mills. We were accompanied by his two daughters, Hayley Mills and Juliett Mills. Unfortunately Sir John himself passed away two weeks before the launch, … Continue reading

Breeding Roses

The search for improved varieties of roses, growers are continually introducing new roses to the marketplace. The process is called ‘hybridisation’, man’s manipulation of the reproductive activities of the rose. It is fairly easy for the amateur to undertake.

Hybridising should take place early in the summer, in order for the hips to ripen before icy winters start.

Choosing your roses – bare root or container

Choosing the right rose can be an onerous task for frankly there are just so many thousands to choose from. Often it is possible once the decision is made as to the colour and ultimate size required, to simply pick up the telephone and take the advice of a specialist grower, this is probably the best way for he or she will immediately know what would be a good choice bearing in mind the soil type and the location in which the rose is to be planted. If you can not get hold of a specialist, web sites and catalogues are excellent places to start and will fill you in on nearly all you need to know but they are not a patch on seeing the real thing first hand. Therefore, if you can, go to a specialist rose centre or, alternatively, visit one of the famous rose gardens that are dotted around the country; you might also attend one of the bigger flower shows and let them inspire you for real.

Roses were first sold in pots, as were most plants, to fulfil the demands of the instant gardener but the traditional method of supply is as bare root plants in the winter months, often by mail order. There is little between them as far as the ultimate plant is concerned but there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

The Potted/Container Rose

As already mentioned, a container rose can be purchased at any time of year (although there are more available in the summer months for various reasons). The advantage of buying a rose in a pot is that you can select the plant yourself during a visit to a nursery oo garden centre. Remember though that the range will be smaller than the range available in grower’s catalogues. A potted rose planted during the summer months will require much more watering than a bare root rose planted in the previous autumn. So tragic to go away on holiday leaving a beautiful new rose only to find it withered or even dead on return.

The Bare Root Rose

Bare root roses can be chosen and ordered at any time of the year, though early in the summer is best to ensure that your choice is secured (growers tally orders and the roses available as the orders arrive on a first come first served basis). However they will only ever arrive in their dormant season, usually between the months of October and March. Therefore the first flowers will not be seen until the following year. Obviously they are live plants so need fairly immediate treatment upon arrival. This can be difficult in times of heavy frost or snow. (It is prudent to prepare an area in which to heel in the roses -more on this later). Bare root plants do tend to transplant more easily and have a settling in period before they are required to grow or flower. I would never advise buying a pre-packed rose from a supermarket for you have no idea how long they have been packaged and may well have dried out.

Chelsea 2011: Photo Album

We are very pleased and excited to announce we have won yet another Gold medal. Please click on the following links to see more from our 2011 Chelsea blog!

Chelsea Flower Show 2011 Build Up Blog

After a long winter of preparation the build up week for the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2011 is finally here again.  This year has thrown its own unique problems at us, we have had the hottest April for many, many years and all the mid summer flowering roses have come out up to 8 weeks earlier than expected… but, as ever, our skilled horticulturalists have been taking roses in and out of shade/cold tunnels for the last month trying to slow them down and as we speak the stand is full of beautiful, colourful and scented roses.

Below are a selection of pictures from this years RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2011.  This page will be updated regularly this week so check back often for the latest pictures which will be at the top: last updated 10:15 24th May 2011

 


The finished stand – ready for judging
9:20 23rd May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


The finished stand – ready for judging
9:15 23rd May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


The finished stand – ready for judging
9:10 23rd May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 

Toby Buckland visiting the stand
10:00 22nd May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


A multitude of shrub and climbing roses
9:05 22nd May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


A multitude of shrub and climbing roses
12:00 21st May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)


Chevy Chase and Little Rambler on the stand
12:00 21st May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)


A view from the ladders
12:00 21st May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


Saturday lunchtime – hard earned sandwhiches!
12:00 21st May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


Mel Lemon filling in the gaps and working on the fine detail
11:50 21st May 2011 (photo: Simon White)

 


The finishing touches!
11:50 21st May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)


Tina Limmer dead heading the light colours area of the stand
11:50 21st May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)


Ian Limmer positioning another rose on the stand
11:40 21st May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


Simon White, Mel Lemon and Tina Limmer standing back looking at their work
11:40 21st May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


Simon White and Mel Lemon under pressure finishing the stand
11:40 21st May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


Peter Beales Hat on the centre piece.  Peter is not going to make the show this year.
11:40 21st May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


A view from above the arches looking down on the cascading colour!
11:35 20th May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


Tina Limmer putting more roses on the obelisks
11:30 20th May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


The stand is really beginning to look like it should
10:45 20th May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


Mel filling in the gaps on the stand with free flowering roses
10:45 20th May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


The stand is really beginning to look like it should
10:45 20th May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


The obelisks being filled with more colour
10:30 20th May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


Tina, Vaughn, Pat, Mel and Michael having a well earned tea break
10:44 19th May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


The centre piece structure
10:43 19th May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


A white climber up against the tall wooden obelisk
10:42 19th May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 


Positioning the climbers up the stand
15:35 18th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

Tina Limmer having a well earned break with the Marquee manager
15:02 18th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 


Richard Beales directing the setup and positioning of the roses.
14:58 18th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 

Ian and Tina Limmer positioning roses
Ian and Tina Limmer positioning roses – the colour is starting to come!
13:48 18th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 


The stand is beginning to really take shape now
12:53 18th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 


Unloading some ramblers onto the stand
12:53 18th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 


Now the iron work structures are in place we are placing the first of the roses into position.
12:47 18th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 


Unpacking the roses from the dutch trolleys
12:47 18th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 


Unloading the roses loaded yesterday onto the stand
12:47 18th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 


Unloading the roses loaded yesterday onto the stand
12:46 18th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 

Ian Limmer loading the roses into one of the many vans we use during show season
Ian Limmer loading the roses into one of the many vans we use during show season
18:13 17th May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 

Michael Baldwin loading the van trailer with roses
Michael Baldwin loading the van trailer with roses
10:09 17th May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 

Setting up the iron arches: the structure for our famous rose tunnels
Setting up the iron arches: the structure for our famous rose tunnels
10:09 17th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 

Building the rose arches into a rose tunnel
Setting up the iron arches and wooden obelisks
10:09 17th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 

Refining the position of the structures
Refining the position of the wooden obelisks
10:09 17th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 

More initial iron work setup
More initial ironwork setup
15:20 16th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 

Placing the iron work structures
Placing the initial iron work structures and wooden obelisks
15:18 16th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 

Richard Beales and helpers setting up the iron work structures at Chelsea
Richard Beales and helpers placing the initial iron work structures
15:18 16th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 

Selecting and loading the show plants at the nursery in Attleborough
Selecting and loading the plants for the show at the nursery in Attleborough
13:06 16th May 2011 (photo: Ian Limmer)

 

Michael Baldwin loading the roses into trolleys
Michael Baldwin (Assistant Nursery Manager) carrying the roses to the vans
15:18 16th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)

 

Tina Limmer preparing roses for Chelsea 2011
Tina Limmer (Customer Service) preparing the container roses for transport
15:18 16th May 2011 (photo: Richard Beales)