Monday, 21 July 2014



Dawn Chorus
Roses have always had pride of place in my garden. As a young trainee gardener in the sixties education was very important to produce first class gardeners who would maintain Dundee’s parks and open spaces to a very high standard. To achieve this we had a five year apprenticeship with day release classes and to get a wide experience all apprentices were shifted from one park to another  including a spell in the greenhouses and nursery and even a few months in the office to see how landscape planning and design were done. You met a lot of very knowledgeable and experienced gardeners who all had different gardening interests. There were carnation growers, tuberous begonia exhibitors, rock garden specialists, vegetable growers and fruit growers, but it was the rose growers that earned my deepest respect. There was always something very romantic about roses and it was a time when there popularity was never greater. There were numerous specialist rose growers all over the country. We had Crolls in Dundee and the nursery in Camperdown grew them by the thousand to meet the demand as our Parks Director wanted to spread colour and beauty all over the town.
Mme Alfred Carriere
Our training included a summer spell in the rose fields budding roses for weeks at a time. Those moments stayed with me all my life and I frequently bought in rose briar to bud my own roses as I travelled all over the UK.
When I went to College at Writtle near Chelmsford in 1968 I took on a special project to grow a rose pot plant using softwood cuttings of the scented hybrid tea rose Wendy Cussons. One pot took three rooted cuttings and I kept them dwarf with a growth retardant. It worked brilliantly and I new this could be worth pursuing, but my future destiny lay in another direction, so I left this task for others to follow and perfect.
Roses have always been a must in my garden in beds, borders, along fences and
E H Morse
clothing walls no matter which way they faced.
I keep some on my allotment for cutting for the house so a scented rose with a well shaped head is important. Rose growing for cut flowers is a major industry and breeders have worked very hard to find a range of roses that last long in a vase after cutting. Just a pity they never found one that was also scented. We recently received a gorgeous bouquet of roses and lilies that lasted a good fortnight. The roses still looked good after all the lilies had gone over, but it was the lilies that had the outstanding scent.
Graham Thomas
Today even those with the smallest garden can still plant a rose as patio roses have become very popular.
Boundary fences are a perfect location for numerous climbers and ramblers and if you have ample border space shrub roses will make great specimens if allowed to grow with the minimum of pruning.
Always check out the nature of the rose bush before you buy them as there is a massive varience in growth from one to another. My climber Mme Alfred Carrier is easily over ten feet tall and showing no signs of slowing down. My other climber Dublin bay on a south facing wall has had to be stopped at about 18 feet tall as it has reached the roof.
This has been a great year for the roses as it has been relatively dry and black spot has not yet been too serious. They have really been brilliant as our hot summer continues.

Plant of the week

Yucca filamentosa known as the needle palm is a broad leaved exotic evergreen growing in clumps with the flower spikes of cream coloured flowers up to ten feet tall in summer. Although very hardy it prefers a sheltered spot with well drained soil. It has a distinct architectural form that looks great beside walls, courtyards and buildings.


No comments:

Post a comment