What a wonderful gift, I was thrilled and terrified in one breath because as you now know I had a bit of bother with the last rose garden. Having gone through that we had branded ourselves as kiss-of-death to posh roses and given up.
Anyway, just look at them now...
NOOOOOOOOOO..... I am fibbing, that is not they, that is someone else's who is clearly God's gift to roses, and I am green with green-fingered envy, so I will welcome all rose advice.
We planted the gifts somewhere sheltered and safe and nursed them through the winter and here's what we have...
They were fine, then I looked and they were less fine verging on sad, and though sheltered they weren't going to get the requisite six hours of sun a day so we moved them.
Rambling Rector is now in and settled with trellis north-ish facing, by my Book Room French windows, and he's up and away with no problem. I fed him some bone meal, mulched him up a bit, tied him up and he seems quite happy. He's budding up nicely and may be about to bring forth flowers any day.
Jacques Cartier and Beatrix Potter are sharing a bed round the front (which I hope Beatrix doesn't mind) facing south where they will get as much sun as shines. But here's the thing... I forgot all about pruning.
Well, no I didn't forget, I just didn't know I was supposed to.
When do I prune him??
And what else does he need beyond bone meal, mulch and a regular feed??
Is horse manure really helpful??
And what about aphids??
They have all had a bad bout of black fly which I have sprayed to oblivion with something ghastly which I would prefer not to use, but do aphids actually do harm or can you really do as Monty Don (BBC Gardener's World) suggests and leave them alone.
I read somewhere that a solution of tobacco water sprayed on will sort the blighters out... presumably they start coughing and fall off or something, does anyone have any other magic methods??
Now Beatrix, poor love, was looking veeeeery peaky indeed and I panicked. Not a lot going on up top, barren of foliage and not a hint of flower would sum it up, so I fed her up, mulched her up and...eeeekk took a risk and pruned. Beyond sleeping out there with her there didn't seem much more I could do, so I told her she was on her own and to pull herself together etc. This seems to have done the trick and she's throwing out some new growth, so at least alive but not out of intensive care yet.
So all your rose experts out there... could you just give me the low down on basic rose care??
And if I were to plant more roses (all depends on passing the test and keeping these three ) I would choose them for their names but this might not be the best idea, so which would you suggest??
And I thank you all in anticipation as do the Reverend, Jacques and Beatrix xx