Wednesday, 21 May 2014

The Whitecottage Rose Garden

We are lucky enough  to have a rose garden, as long as I can remember I have always wanted a cottage garden, since moving to the whitecottage 4 years ago Farmer Joe and myself have been trying to achieve our cottage garden, it is only small but it is our labour of love.

We have 10 iceberg standard bushes in our front rose garden, and in our back garden we have 4 climbing roses and 6 hybrid tea roses, we would love to have more but we don't have the space in our garden.

Since planting our front rose garden four years we have people stopping by to admire them, people knocking on our door to ask as questions about the roses but my two most favourite things are, firstly we found a lovely letter in our letter box the letter said:

" Thank you dear neighbour for making the entrance of our street so beautiful"

That made me so happy because I truly enjoy spending time in our rose garden and I am so glad other people enjoyed them too.

The second reason is we have a retirement village not too far from the Whitecottage and when the roses are blooming  the residents  and their family member or carer come to have a little look, I usually come out and walk them around the garden and answer their questions.

I wanted to share some of the things we do to care for the roses, Farmer Joe and I do not have a horticultural degree we can only share what has worked for us and what has not.

When to plant roses

From now until winter time - You probably have noticed that there are roses in stock at your local nursery, for the most popular roses such as the iceberg standard early-birds apply, they go fast but you can always ask to be put on the waiting list for when there is stock available.

When planting your rose bushes - Plant the rose bush in a sunny position, roses love the sun, we found that using organic soil to fill the hole was the best. We mixed the organic soil with cow poo if you can't get your hands to cow poo you can buy chicken poo pellets (dynamic lifter) important I would refrain from using fresh chicken poo at this stage as it can burn the roots of your plant.

Secure your rose bush by placing a stake and using old stockings or you can buy stocking string from the nursery.

Pruning and Caring for your roses

What you need - Garden Clippers just for your rose bushes - why? because you don't want to spread disease to your roses or other plants.

A plastic bag to dispose of all the roses prunings as it must be discarded in the rubbish bin never in your compost bin or the garden as it can spread disease to other parts of your garden.

I spend about 10 minutes or so each day on my rose garden I pot around the garden removing dead roses and branches, removing the dead roses will encourage more flowers to bloom.

It is important to remove leaves that have black spot or are yellow to prevent your rose bushes becoming sick.

from now until winter is the time for you prepare your rose bush for fabulous flowers for the summer.

What you need.

It is coming to the end of blooming so the rose bushes can be pruned, fertilised and mulched (do not use pine bark to mulch around your roses, we use sugar cane mulch).

We use on our established garden the chicken poo and soil  from our trusty chickens around the roots then mulch them. If you don't have trusty chickens to provide you with the poop the chicken pellets are just as good.

We usually do a big fertilising and mulching every season but of course with anything you have to do maintenance, for that we use:

Flourish soluble plant food - every 2-3 weeks I just follow the instructions on the box.

Soapy water in a spray bottle - a squirt of soap in a full water spray bottle to remove those nasties (aphids).

Water - we water our rose garden 2-3 times a week. In summer more often on those hot days.

How to remove caterpillars and other plant eating insects - I am afraid we remove them with our own hands, we do not use any pesticides because we have children who play in the garden, and we have a vegie patch which we take pride and joy in as we grow our organic produce and we have the chickens and the neighbour's pets to think about. At first I was squeamish about removing the caterpillars and disposing of them but the environment will thank you for it.

and that's what we do.

Would love to hear what tips and ideas you have?

We are always looking for ways to improve our knowledge in gardening.

Have a great day
Farmer Joe & Karla