Life’s too short to delay planting a rose garden! Now is the perfect time to lay the groundwork- no excuses!
Mudgee has the perfect climate for these tough, hardy botanical superstars. Here, anyone can have a display of colourful, fragrant blooms come spring-time.
This glorious rose in my garden blooms profusely from spring right through to June, when it is edged with frost
Starting your rose garden
Starting now, it’s time to work on building up the soil for new rose beds.
- Thoroughly dig over the soil.
- Work in a good amount of well-rotted manure or compost.
- Add a ration of rose food (Mudgee gardeners seem to favour Sudden Impact for Roses).
Do this and you’ll have beautiful soil ready to plant your bare rooted roses in September.
Bare rooted rose plants
Then comes the fun part- choosing your roses. There are many varieties- here’s some information about some of my favourites.
Heirloom roses (also known as Antique Roses)
• These are old roses which originated in Europe or the Mediterranean before the introduction of the first modern rose, ‘la France’, in 1867.
• They have strong qualities of fragrance, colour, subtlety, texture and hardiness.
• They only bloom once in a season, on stems from the previous years.
• They’re tough and relatively disease free.
Heirloom Rugosa roses
David Austin roses
• These are the classic English roses.
• They’re hybrids which have been bred to combine “old world” characteristics including flower size and fragrance, with the repeat-flowering ability and wide colour range of modern roses.
• They come in a variety of subtle colours.
A rose arbour dripping with heirloom rose “Pierre de Ronsard”
• These are native to Iran and Afghanistan.
• They thrive in our dry summer heat.
Persian rose “For your eyes only”
• They bloom continuously from spring through summer and autumn.
• They’re comfortable in a mixed flower bed with perennials and other flowering shrubs.
Persian Rose “Eye of the Tiger”
Looking after your established roses
After several hard frosts the rose bushes have mostly dropped their leaves and gone dormant. Roses are tough enough to survive without special care, but will appreciate being protected from the harsh conditions.
Don’t do anything that would encourage growth too early. Pruning in cold areas like Mudgee should be left until August at least.
To protect your roses over winter you can:
- mound up around the bushes with garden soil and mulch,
- wrap climbing rose canes with a light fabric, to help protect them from harsh winds.
Watering roses is important in winter.
- On warmer days, check the soil and water lightly as needed-don’t soak them.
- Then check the soil moisture again to see that it has improved.
Whilst they don’t seem to be a major problem in Mudgee, winter is the best time to combat fungal pests and other diseases.
- Collect and dispose of dead leaves and pruned branches (in Mudgee’s new green waste bins!).
- Then, spray the plants – and the ground around them – with an organic lime-sulphur mix.
- Finally, water your roses with a seaweed solution to stimulate root development.
For more information on growing roses, have a look at my blog post which features very down-to-earth advice on “no frills” rose growing- How to grow roses: advice from a very relaxed expert
What’s your favourite rose?
Have you grown Persian roses?
Do you choose roses for colour, or fragrance?