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Caring for Roses

by Malachy - Horticulturist CountryLife Dungarvan | Jun 29, 2017
White Roses

While the weather has changed considerably from the glorious sunshine we have been enjoying for the last few weeks there is always something in the garden that will brighten up your day. Last week in my own garden it was a new yellow rose coming into bloom that really put a smile on my face. 

I am often surprised by how some gardeners are still scared to grow roses in their garden because they think they will be too much work to look after. And while this may have been the case years ago now there are so many new modern varieties on the market that don’t need as much attention as old varieties did. Many breeders now experiment for years cross breeding different roses to come up with ones that will grow better in Irish and English gardens and ones that will withstand pests and diseases better.

I have noticed in CountryLife over the last number of years that David Austin Roses have grown in popularity with gardeners for these very reasons. David Austin is know for producing roses with fantastic flowers and scents that are also much stronger and more reliable to grow.

I bought my very first David Austin Rose when I got paid from my first job. The rose was called Sweet Juliet and it had light apricot coloured flowers that really caught my eye. The shrub rose is still doing brilliantly back in my mothers garden. In all the time I have had it, it has not had to be sprayed once for blackspot.

White roses are a big hit with many gardeners at the moment and ‘Winchester Cathedral’ is proving extremely popular. This rose has white flowers with just the smallest hint of pink as the flower just start to open. It is proving such a hit with customers because of its great scent which some say smells like a mixture of honey and almonds.

‘Golden Celebration’ has always been a very popular rose from David Austin. It produces large golden yellow blooms which have great impact in a garden. The plant produces a large amount of flowers which sometimes can be heavy so the branches can bend so I think it is best to provide this rose with some support if you decide to plant it in an exposed site.

Of all of the roses from David Austin ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ has to be one of my all time favorites. Gertrude Jekyll is a beautiful old-fashioned pink rose with magnificent full flowers. The rose is also favoured for its strong fragrance that seems to linger in the air for the entire summer 

Not only does Gertrude Jekyll come in shrub form but you can also get great climbing varieties too. The climbing variety is just as great as the shrub form and produces a sea of dusky pink flowers. Another great climbing rose from David Austin is the award winning ‘Graham Thomas’. This rose produces cupped blooms that are a rich shade of primrose yellow.

‘The Generous Gardener’ is another climbing rose from David Austin that comes highly recommended. An avid gardener in England who couldn’t praise its flowers enough, first mentioned it to me. The pale pink flowers it produces are definitely a highlight of the plant. So too is the fact that it can grow up to 10 feet which makes it great for covering a large amount of space in beautiful flowers.

When planting new roses it is best to dig the planting hole two times the size of the plants root ball. I like to work some well-rotted manure into the planting hole to give the rose a good start. It is important to keep your roses watered while they are establishing. I also like to apply mulch around my roses that helps to keep the area weed free and avoids any competition for the rose. 

Written by Malachy

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Malachy's Bio 
I have been gardening since I was 5 years old when my mother gave me a part of our garden as my own. I have studied horticulture in the National Botanical Gardens in Glasnevin and was a winner in the young horticulturist of the year competition. I have worked in Several plant nurseries and garden centers such as Mount Congreve in Co. Waterford. My special interests are plant propagation and Cacti!

We were shortlisted for Best Lifestyle Blog in the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 Company Category.