THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL

SHAKE­SPEARE TELLS US A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WOULD SMELL AS SWEET AND THERE’S NO DOUBT­ING THE CHARM OF THE MOST BEAU­TI­FUL BACK­YARD BLOOM

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - EYE | GARDEN - WORDS AND PHOTO: KATE HEF­FER­NAN Kate Hef­fer­nan is a hor­ti­cul­tur­al­ist, ed­u­ca­tor and honorary life mem­ber of Friends of the Gold Coast Re­gional Botanic Gar­dens. You can lis­ten to her ra­dio show Gar­den Talk­back on ABC 91.7FM. De­tails at kate­hef­fer­nan.com.au

My gar­den features just one de­light­ful rose. A Flori­bunda rose called Friesia, which has been grow­ing suc­cess­fully in a pot for around 10 years. Pre­vi­ously it had spent a few years in-ground.

Friesia blooms pro­lif­i­cally, with up to 25 roses all open at once, and af­ter a hard prune it bounces back quickly with even more bril­liant yel­low flow­ers. A gift, it was the per­fect dis­ease-re­sis­tant, fra­grant rose.

De­spite be­ing known as an avid sup­porter of re­gional na­tives, I would grow more roses if I had the space, and the knowl­edge of Bris­bane-based rose ex­pert Paul Hains. Paul is pres­i­dent of the Na­tional Rose So­ci­ety of Aus­tralia, as well as the Queens­land Rose So­ci­ety. He’s also cur­rently vice pres­i­dent of the World Fed­er­a­tion of Rose So­ci­eties, Aus­trala­sia. He’s a knowl­edge­able cham­pion for the beau­ti­ful and much-loved flower whose ori­gins are thought to have be­gun mil­lions of years ago in Cen­tral Asia.

Many gar­den­ers in south­east Queens­land are shy of grow­ing roses, their ret­i­cence per­haps stem­ming from a lack of ex­pe­ri­ence.

Paul has pub­lished sev­eral books on rose grow­ing. His lat­est is an easy to read guide for ev­ery­day gar­den­ers who would like to have a cou­ple of roses in their gar­den, as well as long- time rose devo­tees look­ing for more de­tailed ad­vice.

The 215-page book is well set out, with beau­ti­ful coloured photos. It al­lows read­ers to head straight to in­for­ma­tion on help­ful topics, or read step-by-step ad­vice.

Grow­ing Roses by Paul Hains, en­dorsed by the Na­tional Rose So­ci­ety of Aus­tralia, is now in the Gold Coast Re­gional Botanic Gar­dens Friends horticultural li­brary and will doubt­less be a favourite with the vol­un­teers.

Ev­ery week a cou­ple of these ded­i­cated vol­un­teers tend a bed of roses in the mid­dle of the Hor­ti­cul­ture Dis­play Gar­dens. It has been trans­formed through their hard work prun­ing, mulching and weed­ing.

They ap­ply the right fer­tilis­ers, or­ganic pes­ti­cides and fungi­cides to keep the roses healthy through the tough hu­mid con­di­tions of sum­mer.

My pot­ted Friesia rose stands among a gar­den of basil, laven­der, rose­mary and gar­lic chives, per­fect fra­grant part­ners that mask the scent of roses from pests, as out­lined in Paul’s book. Paul in­cludes other com­pan­ion plants that deter ants, aphids and even black spot.

He also gives es­sen­tial ad­vice on rose se­lec­tion. With thou­sands of cul­ti­vars de­vel­oped by rose breed­ers it helps to have a shorter list sup­plied by some­one with Paul’s suc­cess and ex­pe­ri­ence.

The An­cient Ro­mans, Greeks and Egyp­tians grew roses as long ago as 5000 years. If you’ve heard the phrase “a bed of roses” it comes from fact — some Ro­man states­men were known to sleep in a bed of roses. There are many fas­ci­nat­ing rose sto­ries. The most de­light­ful I’ve read is a novel called

For Love of a Rose by An­to­nia Ridge. It tells the story of the fa­mous Peace rose and would be an in­spi­ra­tion to have at least one rose in ei­ther your gar­den or a pot.

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