GARDENING: Which roses are best to grow in CQ?
THIS long weekend provides most gardeners with the green light to start the preparation for the spring displays and/or garden competitions.
With a most unusual start to the year, we have had mild weather during December and January and then the drought breaking rain, which has combined with the pleasant weather of April to provide one of the best gardening weekends we have had in years.
This long weekend each year usually provides most gardeners with the green light to start the preparation for rose gardens.
The better the preparation, the better the result, is a motto that many of the rose enthusiasts abide by.
Firstly, it is always important that the soil where the bushes are to go is loose, friable and organically enriched.
At this stage, uncomposted green materials can be used because, by the planting, it will have been broken down.
Materials to use could include animal manure, grass clippings, vegetable waste, egg shells and other other organic items that will decompose.
However, if you haven't prepared the area by this weekend, you will only be able to use materials that have already been decomposed.
If the area is already an existing garden, remove the remaining mulch, loosen the top layer of soil, then replace or add more mulch to the surface.
It is very important to remember to always allow a 10 centimetre radius of area around the plant stems clear of mulch, as this is needed to promote air circulation which is essential for good growth.
Established roses will require a light trimming now, with the emphasis being on light, because now is not the time to interfere with the main branches. Instead, reduce the young wood, which has produced the most recent flowers, by one third, and also to remove any unhealthy growth, including distorted leaves. Always make sure you prune your roses with sharp secateurs.
I believe the single most important requirement for successful rose growing is selection.
Many local gardeners would vouch for research of the best species grown in other gardens in their districts as the best way to initially start your own garden.
A champion country rose gardener was quoted as saying, "If you buy only those roses known to be grown in a climate similar to ours, and plant them in a well prepared, well drained soil in a sunny situation, then only extreme neglect will kill them". Each year a myriad of new roses are released on the Australian market, with some being good and some being exceptional, and this year will be no different.
However, I still believe that when you start your first rose garden, growing tried and tested Central Queensland roses is best.
5 HARDY CQ ROSES
Cecile Brunner - Polyantha Rose was bred in France in 1881 and is referred to as a modern repeat flowering polyantha rose. This rose produces large clusters of small, perfectly shaped pink blooms. The scent is sweet and slightly spicy. It is a very strong grower in Rockhampton. Another advantage is that it has few thorns.
Christian Dior - Hybrid Tea Rose that has been quite popular since it was introduced in 1958. The cherry-red flower buds are especially attractive. It is reported to have little tolerance to powdery mildew.
Friesia - a Floribunda Rose with very fragrant bright yellow flowers that keeps its colour, which is rare in yellow Roses. This rose is hardy in our climate and makes an excellent bedding rose.
Iceberg - a Floribunda Rose is one of the most popular roses in the world. Masses of pure white double blooms are produced throughout the year. This is a very hardy rose that will grow in most parts of Central Queensland.
Mister Lincoln - a Hybrid Tea Rose with exceptional rich red fragrance flowers. Its ability to flourish in all season makes Mister Lincoln the finest red hybrid tea of all time.