Rose mad­ness is on its way

For gar­den­ers who love va­ri­ety, the most ex­cit­ing thing about roses is their amaz­ing diver­sity, writes Alice Spenser-Higgs

Business Day - Home Front - - HOME FRONT -

ROSE month is just around the cor­ner, and ir­re­spec­tive of whether the roses have been pam­pered or not, they all flower with equal en­thu­si­asm, pro­duc­ing blooms that take one’s breath away. It is easy to get caught up in the rose mad­ness and there are al­ways new roses to add to the col­lec­tion.

Like ev­ery­thing else in the gar­den world, the way roses are grown has be­come more en­vi­ron­men­tally eth­i­cal. Breed­ers are pro­duc­ing disease-re­sis­tant roses that don’t need spray­ing for black spot and many of them are also more wa­ter­wise. There is also a greater range of or­ganic pes­ti­cides and fungi­cides for gar­den­ers to en­cour­age gar­den wildlife and bio­di­ver­sity.

This year, it is the turn of hy­brid tea roses. Ac­cord­ing to rose grower Lud­wig Taschner, the new su­per-hy­brids have huge, shapely blooms are strong grow­ers and have healthy disease-re­sis­tant fo­liage.

Of the six new fragrant roses, three have a par­tic­u­larly pow­er­ful fra­grance.

“Pur­ple Fra­gran­cia” is a rose with old­fash­ioned pur­ple blooms and an as­tound­ing strong fra­grance. Taschner says the blooms are al­ready high on the lists for bri­dal bou­quets. This An­tico Mod­erno rose has the growth habit of a hy­brid tea, mak­ing it a good gar­den rose that flow­ers very well.

“Free and Loyal” is another that seems al­most too good to be true. The strongly fragrant blooms start as el­e­gant urn-shaped buds that open into a huge, full petalled white bloom with a soft apri­cot cen­tre. The white petals do not blem­ish eas­ily and each bloom is car­ried on strong, long stems.

“Johline” was bred by Lud­wig’s Roses and has a most un­usual colour com­bi­na­tion of pink and orange. The orange it in­her­ited from the ma­ter­nal “Har­monie” and the deep pink of “Prid­win”.

The in­tense scent ex­ud­ing from the firm petalled blooms is also in­her­ited from both par­ents, says Taschner. Each shapely bloom is car­ried on a long straight stem.

For gar­den­ers who like yel­low or golden coloured roses, two pleas­antly fragrant va­ri­eties are “Sue Gush”, a free-flow­er­ing golden yel­low hy­brid tea, and “De Vil­liers Rose”, a hy­brid tea with cop­per yel­low blooms.

Don’t say that rose gar­den­ers don’t have a sense of hu­mour. “Fifty Shades of Grey” is named af­ter book!

Taschner was prompted to name such a rose af­ter chat­ting to a group of rose lovers (all women) in the Cape who in­sisted on hav­ing a rose of that name.

“I im­me­di­ately knew which rose to pick. It was a trial va­ri­ety from Kordes that stood out with its huge 50-petalled blooms of an un­de­ter­mined colour,” re­lates Taschner. It is a pow­er­ful rose with “Papa Meil­land” in its genes. It is a tall grow­ing bush, with each bloom on a long stem.

The best cut roses for the home are those with large, per­fectly shaped blooms and one that Taschner rec­om­mends is “Giver of Hope”. “As the white blooms open, they re­veal a dis­tinct cream-yel­low on the in­side. What re­ally ex­cites about this rose is its de­sired ex­hi­bi­tion shape: a high, sharply pointed cen­tre with the un­fold­ing petals curl­ing and spi­ral­ing uni­formly for days while still hold­ing the pointed cen­tre.”

For lovers of “Ice­berg“there is a new, like-Ice­berg rose. The blooms of “White Light” are full and pro­duced on longish up­right stems all sea­son long, sim­i­lar to “Ice­berg”. New shoots keep on sprout­ing from the old wood and th­ese small neat clus­ters are nice for flower ar­range­ments.

The new roses are fea­tured in the new cat­a­logue avail­able at Lud­wig’s Roses branches. In ad­di­tion to il­lus­tra­tions of ev­ery rose va­ri­ety it in­cludes more in­for­ma­tion on rose care, im­ages of what could be wrong with one’s roses and ex­pla­na­tion to pre­vent or solve the prob­lems.

The roses will also be on dis­play at Lud­wig’s Spring Rose Fes­ti­val that starts next week, on Satur­day, Oc­to­ber 5, and con­tin­ues un­til Sun­day, Oc­to­ber 13.

This year the fes­ti­val in­cludes the Roots and Rose The­atre pro­gramme of talks, work­shops and demo’s. Lud­wig Taschner and well known gar­den writ­ers, Tanya Visser and Lizette Jonker, will be giv­ing talks on mod­ern land­scap­ing with roses, gar­den­ing made easy and colour com­bi­na­tions in gar­den de­sign on Oc­to­ber 12 and 13.

There will be plenty of ac­tiv­i­ties for young gar­den­ers with Anja Taschner lead­ing Pixi Pot plant­ing and rose-ar­rang­ing demos on both week­ends.

For­mal rose gar­dens never go out of fash­ion, above. What an en­trance, be­low: a rose and laven­der lined drive­way.

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