Responding to roses

By Allan Horwell (Formerly of the Canterbury Rose Society)

It has been said roses cannot be overwatered. An overstatement perhaps, but with a La Nina (wet) weather pattern affecting the country, my garden has rewarded me with an abundance of showy blooms.

The bushes, I admit, have required an occasional watering. Also, with enough moisture in the soil, there was no need to add a mulch.

Absolutely Fabulous, a yellow/gold standard, planted in memory of my late wife, flourished during each of its three flushes. Hybrid Tea bed mates, Michelangelo and Paddy Stevens were also great performers. Curiously, the buds were predominantly free from aphids and other sucking insects. Indeed, a random blast from a hose proved a sufficient control.

Black Spot, however, was prevalent on the leaves of all my bushes. This disease thrives in wet/damp conditions. I admit I was remiss in my efforts to control this pesky pathogen. Each time I decided to spray with a fungicide, it was raining.

Roses use copious energy producing three or four bloom flushes a season, therefore I usually cease deadheading after the third flush. This allows the bushes to produce hips and to rest before being pruned.

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