Roses… “Among the most straightforward and most worthwhile of all plants, but they really don’t have to be regularly watered, dead-headed, pruned and sprayed – just simply just enjoyed”.

“Roses answer to feeding, all shrubs do. I water them when I obtain time,” states rose authority Charles Quest-Ritson, and gardening columnist CEDRIC BRYANT agrees.

AS we go into spring, right here are some tips on the care and focus of roses. 

The regular information was that now is the time to get on with pruning. Even so, in the write-up “Time to fall the myths about roses” in the British “Country Life” magazine, Charles Quest-Ritson claims: “Almost all the regular information on how to grow roses is baloney”.

Cedric Bryant.

Quest-Ritson is an authority on roses and creator of the Royal Horticultural Society’s “Encyclopedia of Roses”. 

He goes on to say: “Roses are wonderfully worthwhile and easy to expand, but they have a standing of remaining hard. All that mumbo jumbo about pruning and earnest information about pests and ailments – that is the place the issues commences. 

“I really do not spray my roses and most of my vegetation get mildew or black location or equally. Does it matter? Fungal health conditions never killed a rose. 

“Life is also brief to spray and we are not below to underwrite the income of the chemical business.” 

I surely agree with that assertion given my consistent attractiveness to gardeners not to use chemical fertilisers and sprays. 

On pruning, he claims: “I do not prune at any certain time and only prune when I imagine they are having way too major, not flowering sufficient or want opening up. 

“That’s the important to pruning, just feel of them as one more shrub. 

“Take hybrid teas for example, I dead-head them if I have the time and at times permit them go for three or 4 years without a correct prune, whereupon they get started flowering a lot earlier and deliver numerous a lot more bouquets. 

“I increase at least 1000 roses of just about every variety and they really don’t seem to be to put up with from my failure to use the standard rose knowledge of ‘pruning in late wintertime to inside an inch of their life’.” 

“The thought that roses are gross feeders dates again to 19th century manner for developing roses for exhibition… Roses are yard vegetation and I do not have the time to lug barrow loads of manure round the backyard garden in winter. Roses react to feeding, all shrubs do. I drinking water them when I obtain time. 

“So let us abandon the myths I know, I know, roses are among the the simplest and most satisfying of all crops, but they do not have to be consistently watered, dead-headed, pruned and sprayed – just only enjoyed”. 

I’m certain any individual rising roses to win prizes will strongly disagree. Even so, for the common gardener, I concur with all these sentiments.

Clematis… 1 of the most amazing climbers.

MOST birds want quite shallow h2o to be able to drink, stand in, dunk in and wash the dust off their feathers, and when it will come to garden bird baths, many are filled far too deeply. I recommend a water depth to a maximum of 6 centimetres. 

Ideally chicken baths must be positioned in an open space in the garden, not close to bushes or beneath trees exactly where cats can sit and wait around to attack. Birds like to see 360 levels close to them. 

Whilst currawongs are explained to assault and frighten off most other birds, working experience in our backyard has been the reverse. While we have a typical pair applying the chook bathtub on a everyday foundation, we also have major-knot pigeons, wattle birds, pee wees, parrots and, my favourite, the blackbird. 

On events we have more than a single selection in the fowl bathtub at the very same time, say parrots washing and major-knot pigeons sitting on the edge ready for their turn. 

NOW’S a fantastic time to plant clematis, with most backyard centres by now acquiring a vast assortment. According to some on line assistance, they are straightforward to expand delivering a couple easy measures are followed: 

  • Dig as deeply as achievable a patch at the very least 60cm across. 
  • Incorporate compost labored properly into the soil, but not animal manures. 
  • Include a dusting of yard lime. 
  • Plant clematis at minimum 4cm deeper than it is in the pot.


  • Keep off tidying up frost-afflicted leaves on evergreen shrubs. Late frosts can cause actual damage to newly rising leaves.
  • Dig and divide bearded iris, lightly trim scraggly roots. Replant rhizomes struggling with north and south.
  • Citrus can be planted now, nonetheless be ready to go over if frost is forecast. I favor to wait until eventually mid-November ahead of planting.
  • End chopping conifer hedges, shaping the major narrower than the base to let even daylight on the whole hedge. Conifers will then not typically have to have to be trimmed again until finally March.

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Ian Meikle, editor