It’s Bare-rooted rose time! These are rose plants in their dormant state and are one of the best ways to purchase because stock and varieties will be more plentiful and it’s also a lot cheaper than container growing roses.
The pick of the bunch for Central Coast gardens in my books are: The new hybrid tea rose ‘Heaven Scent’ with a strong old damask rose fragrance and unusually shaped orchid pink petals. The ‘Amazing Mum’ is a showstopper with its breathtaking dark pink- purple huge and very fragrant flowers with a lighter reverse. For a delicately pretty rose, look out for ‘Earth Angel ‘with its creamy soft petals with touches of blush. Earth Angel also has a perfume to match that is soft and sweet. For something different, ‘Coco’ which as the name suggests, displays velvety petals in cocoa shades. The fragrance is spicy and warm with hints of vanilla.
Drop into any of the Central Coast’s local nurseries as bare-root stock is arriving now. You may need to order in certain varieties and if your selection has already sold out this year, the friendly teams can also suggest similar roses.
You can decide to grow a rose garden or, like I do, pepper the garden here and there with roses. You might like a theme that is focused on a type of rose, a period of their history or of course colour. I buy what I like, when I see it and tuck it in where it fits but then I have a garden that Freida Kahlo would be proud of. It’s very colourful, rambling, and bright, but I’ve seen stunning gardens of very formal white roses or filled completely with only French Old Garden roses. With so many varieties, the longevity of the plant and this area being very suitable for all roses, you won’t be stuck for choice. For your needs and garden design, there are climbing roses, bushy roses, ones that you can prune to look like little trees and others that make great hedges. Bare Root plants are available from late autumn until early spring, and they come wrapped in sawdust or peat moss and plastic bags and sometimes in pots. These are usually far more plentiful and cheaper that potted growing roses. These on the other hand are available year-round and are naturally covered in foliage and sometimes blooms if found in season, (usually spring through summer). They are more expensive and there are not as many varieties available in most places.
Planting Your Roses
Under absolutely no circumstance can the roots of a rose be allowed to become dry. Get your planting position ready first so that there is limited disruption. Roses will need full sun for most of the day and while some can tolerate shade, you will gain more blossoms in sunny positions of at least five hours a day. They also prefer to be sheltered, with good air circulation and have cool earth plus space as roses do not like to have heated roots or competition. This may sound like a fussy checklist but with roses, once you get the planting and position right, they are usually set for life. Roses will grow in any soil, but it must be free-draining and deep so that the roots can stay cool and not become waterlogged. The best preparation is to dig over your selected rose garden bed spot to at least the depth of a spade about six weeks prior to planting and add lots of organic matter and rotted manure. Each plant will need an area of at least 3 meters in diameter. Bare rooted roses need to be carefully unwrapped and washed of their packing material and nursery potted ones need the soil shaken gently from their roots. Roses you are transplanting during this dormant period need to be treated the same. I like to soak my rose roots in a bucket of plain water overnight to make sure they are nicely hydrated before planting the next day. Into a hole that you have dug that is wide enough for the roots and deep enough so that the bud union will come to the soil level, make a mound of soil that your roots can sit upon. Fan them out over this and then half fill hole with soil. Next fill the hole with water and once it drains away, top up the hole with soil firmly.
Mulch the rose plant with a layer about 6mm deep of organic materials such as sugar cane, general garden mulch and compost but, never use eucalyptus, pine needs or pebbles. Keep the mulch at least 6mm away from the stem. Roses like to be kept well-watered but check in with your selections as some like to dry out a bit between watering. Rainfall over 20mm during the week will mean that watering can be skipped. This can be increased to twice a week during the summer months. They are hungry plants and do so much better with natural matter as their food source. In early spring, after gently forking over the surrounding soil spread well-rotted manure to a depth of at least 10cm and top this with compost to a depth of 5cm. Late spring after this has worked its way down into the soil, add bone and bone and mulch and you might like to feed again with blood and bone mid-summer.
early winter - temperate areas
You can plant the following now: Culinary herbs, artichokes, broad beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbages, cauliflower, cress, garlic, kohlrabi, lettuce, mustard, onions, peas, shallots, spring onions, silverbeet, spinach, ageratum, alyssum, bare-rooted roses, calendula, candytuft, Canterbury bells, carnation, cineraria, columbine, cornflower, delphinium, dianthus, everlasting daisy, forget-me-not, foxglove, godetia, gypsophila, hollyhock, honesty, larkspur, linaria, lobelia, nigella, pansy, poppy, primula, snapdragon, statice, stock, sweet pea, viola, wallflower
Cheralyn is a horticulture author and along with Pete Little,
hosts ‘Home with The Gardening Gang’
8 - 10am live every Saturday on CoastFM96.3
contact via: cheralyndarcey.com
She also writes the weekly 'DOWN IN THE GARDEN' page for the Coast News Newspaper and this originally appeared in The Coast News.