Here at the Peter Beales Roses Gardens in Attleborough the spring bulbs are all creeping out of the soil with the snowdrops nearly fully out and the crocuses not far behind and even the daffodils looking like they might come out soon! There has been a bitter easterly wind over the southern part of the country over the last week but this shouldn’t stop you getting out into the garden and preparing for the summer of flowers to come…
Here are a few thoughts on what you could be doing now.
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.
Modern 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 outward facing bud shoots so that new growth does not grow in and rub.
Shrub roses should be pruned fairly hard to their main branches and again should be pruned into a goblet shape to prevent branches growing inwards and rubbing.
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 can be pruned gently (stumped) at this time of year but leave some old wood as this is where the flowers will form.
Last few weeks to order bare root roses
There are about 4 weeks left in which to order your bare root roses from us. For several reasons (including the environment!) we do not use cold storage fridges nor send roses out much past the start of April. Peter Beales believed that roses are best kept in the natural rhythm of their local environment where possible.
If you are struggling with which roses to buy here are 4 we can’t recommend enough as they are healthy, scented and free flowering throughout the summer. Every rose grower should grow at least one of these.
Macmillan Nurse (Shrub Rose) – Macmillan Nurse is one of our most successful introductions and for good reason. It is a tidy shrub rose with classic style, but hardy, blooms which give a gentle sweet scent. The foliage is rudely healthy and very disease resistant. The blooms stay on the plant for a long time and clusters are beautiful when cut and brought indoors. It was introduced for the Macmillan Nurses and the great work that they do looking after sufferers of cancer.
Sir Paul Smith (Climber) – Introduced for the fashion designer Sir Paul Smith by his wife in 2006 Sir Paul Smith has become a “go to” rose for those looking for a healthy, scented, large bloomed climbing rose in a classy purple colour. It is as at home over an arch or pergola as climbing up trellis work.
Queens Jubilee Rose (Shrub) - Although only introduced in 2012 the Queens Jubilee Rose has become a popular garden favourite and one of our best selling roses. The delightful creamy yellow blooms open up with a delicate fragrance and the foliage is shiny and healthy. It is ideal in groups of 3 or 5 to form a bed or as a single specimen plant.
Red Letter Day (Shrub) – Introduced as part of the Modern Classic Roses family Red Letter Day is very similar in flower shape to Macmillan Nurse but has sprays of beautiful red roses borne in slowly opening clusters and is a few feet larger. The style of bloom is typical of a Modern Classic rose and although newly introduced is sure to become one of the most popular red shrub roses in time.
Along side these 4 suggestions why not try one of the other new Peter Beales Modern Classic roses – all the health of modern roses with all the charm of the original old garden and classic roses. If you are interested in the original forerunners to these modern roses don’t forget that you can search by date on our website http://www.classicroses.co.uk/