Rose beauty

ost of us love the ro­mance of flow­ers

Real Estate Outlook - - Sections & Showhomes -

Sum­mer’s ar­rival spells party time for gar­den­ers. With plenty to rel­ish in our own back­yards there’s also the new sea­son’s ban­quet of fes­ti­vals and flower shows. While fes­tive gar­dens are beau­ti­ful to look at, they need a lot of work to en­sure con­tin­ued growth. Tasks for sum­mer: 1) Mulch and feed roses and peren­ni­als. 2) Wa­ter toma­toes reg­u­larly, es­pe­cially once fruit has set. Liq­uid feed weekly and spray with cop­per to min­imise dis­ease prob­lems. 3) Sow salad greens di­rectly into well pre­pared soil. Re­mem­ber in hot weather they will ben­e­fit from some af­ter­noon shade. 4) Feed and mulch cit­rus trees, and wa­ter them gen­er­ously in dry weather. 5) Raise the lawn mower a notch and wa­ter the lawn in dry spells. 6) Now would be a good time to fix that leaky tap or set up an ir­ri­ga­tion sys­tem, be­fore the Christ­mas rush takes over Most of us love roses. If we don’t, it’s usu­ally be­cause we see them as re­quir­ing too much work or the un­de­sir­able use of chem­i­cals to keep them at their best. For years, land­scap­ers avoided roses for th­ese rea­sons. The in­tro­duc­tion of the first Flower Car­pet Rose changed all this and now th­ese highly dis­ease re­sis­tant plants are planted ex­ten­sively in both private and pub­lic gar­dens. Apart from dis­ease prob­lems, plants have other traits we could do with­out. Thorns, for ex­am­ple. Many trees and shrubs (in­clud­ing roses) have been de­vel­oped with less. Flow­er­ing plants that hold onto their spent flow­ers need trim­ming to re­move the ugly brown (and of­ten dis­ease-prone) petals. Mag­no­lias are re­knowned for their spec­tac­u­lar spring blooms. Mod­ern plant breed­ing is re­spon­si­ble not only for bring­ing us big­ger, bolder, even more spec­tac­u­lar blooms in richer deeper colours, but they bloom on trees at a very young age. What’s more, the new age trees are small enough to fit the av­er­age town gar­den. Award win­ning New Zealand plant breeder, Mark Jury, has con­tin­ued his fa­ther Felix’s work in breed­ing some of the world’s best mag­no­lias. Re­cent re­lease Mag­no­lia ‘Black Tulip’ has tulip shaped blooms that are a beau­ti­ful dark bur­gundy colour. Slen­der up­right growth also makes it an ex­cel­lent small spec­i­men tree. New Zealand bred rose ‘White Ro­mance’ pro­duces its crisp white, clas­sic shaped blooms on dark glossy green fo­liage on a shapely bushy shrub, ideal for mass plant­ing or hedg­ing. It flow­ers pro­lif­i­cally from spring through to late au­tumn. Rose breeder, Rob Somer­field from Tau­ranga, se­lected ‘White Ro­mance’ for its tough na­ture, strong growth, re­li­able re­peat flow­er­ing and weather re­sis­tance. It also lasts well as an el­e­gant cut flower. Some plants are known only for great flow­ers or their daz­zling fo­liage. In­creas­ingly, we have plants that of­fer flow­ers and fo­liage of equal ap­peal. Many would ar­gue that the fab­u­lous striped fo­liage of ‘Trop­i­canna’ was its main at­trac­tion, but the hot orange flow­ers are a stand-out in sum­mer. It’s a chang­ing world with out­door liv­ing spa­ces get­ting smaller and smaller. Hav­ing a gar­den we can en­joy with­out com­pro­mis­ing on variety or over­whelm­ing the neigh­bours means choos­ing com­pact plants which give us ev­ery­thing we want in lim­ited space. Plants are get­ting shorter, nar­rower, and more com­pressed with no loss of flow­ers or healthy green fo­liage. Many trees, for­merly only for large gar­dens, are now avail­able in dwarf ver­sions.

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