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
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.