The Rose House opened at my favourite greenhouse last weekend, where roses of every colour and variety are lined up on benches tempting any rose lover to buy everything in sight. So many roses, so little space!
This is a photo of Bunny Guinness. I am hooked on her YouTube channel…my only regret is that she doesn’t post more often. She is a professional gardener, and her style aligns perfectly with mine. Recently she posted a video on roses that was of particular interest.
Bunny Guinness is a niece of David Austen, the rose expert and breeder extraordinaire. He strongly advised against planting new roses in soil that had previously planted with roses over the past five or six years. He believed the soil became “rose sick“. Roses planted in this soil will be 50% smaller, the stems will be fragile, and the roots become blackened.
Recent research done in Germany on “rose replant disease” has revealed that fungi attack the roots of the roses. Several options that combat this was recommended. It found that if you planted marigolds in the diseased soil for a season and turned the whole plant over into that soil in the fall, the bad fungi were reduced, and good fungi increased, both being beneficial to roses planted the following year. An easier alternative is to plant roses in an empty wine box filled with fresh, rich soil buried in the ground. It takes a couple of years for the rose to mature, and by the time the roots grow through the decomposed box, it will be established enough to withstand the “rose sick” soil. Research backs this up, and roses do flourish using these methods.
My rose garden runs down the side of my garden in a prime location that faces south. I don’t have another area to plant new roses. Unknowingly, in past years, I have planted new roses in soil contaminated with “rose replant disease“. In the future, I will be planting my tender roses in wine boxes!
It’s too early to plant roses (probably four more weeks to be on the safe side), but it’s given me time to get a few things done in the rose garden. The paint on the fence has been peeling for the past couple of years, and thankfully my son painted it for me last week over a couple of warm days we had. I also wanted to create a formal “entrance” into the garden, which meant moving some overgrown roses and adding some paving stones. I’ve also decided to plant 2 roses in pots (an experiment I’ll write about in a couple of weeks).
At the risk of overcrowding in my rose garden, I showed some restraint by only picking up 6 new tea roses! I go out early to the garden centre because I know that the roses get picked over very quickly. For the next few weeks, they will be protected in my greenhouse.