Prevention Better than Cure

Based on past track record and a week where hindsight was a wonderful thing (tomato blight) I am looking for advice before I make any further plans/progress on my new informal rose garden.

So far I have dug the soil over quite deeply, removing all the weeds, there were a lot of ferns and I have removed all the roots (I think). The soil is nice and crumbly and has obviously been composted at some point, traces of eggshells and walnut casings as well as a few oyster shells. I plan to dig in some more compost and also ask our friendly farmer neighbour, in my best French (we are in the Dordogne) if I can have some of his manure and dig that it in too. 

I have ordered some bare root roses (so want to say barefoot roses image) from David Austin to be delivered in November and am also going to move a couple from some bad spots in the garden after they finish blooming. I have already had to move a climbing rose to accommodate the duck house, and it seems to have survived the move with a little shoot coming up off the main branch. Plan to make a little border from lavender, plant some Hollyhocks as a back drop and insert a little wooden rustic bench with a trellis cover for the climbing rose to scramble over and a spot for me to sit on and smell the roses!

Now, can anyone give me any advice to make this become a reality, what else do I need to do to the soil? It is a lovely sunny spot, but does have some dappled shade from a couple of small apple trees. As far as I can tell there were just a few woody shrubs there before and a bit of ornamental grass. There is a Buddleia in the backdrop and it opens out onto farmers fields, potatoes and maize I think. Really don't want to plant it all up and when the poor roses catch some awful disease people say - well why didn't you do so and so, as the title says, prevention rather than cure!

Picture below of proposed spot and the progress of replanted climber, looking a bit bare at the moment, but fingers crossed. Any advice, pointers etc, gratefully received.

Thanks, Jacqui. 

The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

— Gertrude Jekyll

Posts

  • Dordogne DamselDordogne Damsel Posts: 2,115

    Oops - forgot to add pics!

     

     

    image

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    The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

    — Gertrude Jekyll
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,823

    Roses are hungry plants so add as much manure and/or compost as you can.  They prefer heavy soils that retain moisture but are not soggy.   

    If you plant a lot of roses together you are asking to concentrate pests and diseases so I would plan to space them so you can grow other things between them - hardy geraniums make good ground cover and the macrorhizums keep low and don't sprawl and will flower earlier so won't compete either.   They have perfumed foliage which turns red in winter so are very good value plants.

    Planting lavender in and around the bed will help keep pests away and also alliums such as Purple Sensation which will add a vertical accent.  The onion scent is weak for us but strong enough to deter greenfly and so on.

    When your bare root roses arrive, steep the roots in a bucket of water for at least an hour before planting and give them a handful of bonemeal each at planting time and water in well.  Microrhizal funghia - also available form DA - will help them establish well.    Plant them with the graft join an inch or two below soil level and protect from strong winds for at least their first winter.

    Which roses did you order?  i find some are very gutsy and can cope well with our colder winters but some are definitely wusses and need coddling.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Dordogne DamselDordogne Damsel Posts: 2,115

    Thank you so much, loads of info there. Was only going to plant four roses plus the climber at the back. Can see how the geraniums would fit in too. I have ordered Pat Austin and Charles Mackintosh roses, I do have two other small (ish) pink roses in the garden already that I need to move. They will be split by a small stepping stone path up to the seat, probably at least a metre and and a half apart. The climbing rose I moved had some rust on it, but I had been spraying it before I moved it. Do you think that will still be there? Also, should I be feeding it still while there is not much foliage, I presume so, but don't want to overdo it? Good tip about Microrhizal funghia, I was completely unaware of what it was. Briefly saw it on the DA site and thought it was yet another disease control. I am such a novice, but an enthusiastic one! Thank you so much. Jacqui.

    The love of gardening is a seed once sown that never dies.

    — Gertrude Jekyll
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 16,823

    I wouldn't feed it any more now as any new growth needs time to Harden before the frosts zap it.   Make sure it has plenty to drink though.   Can't help with rust as I don't get it except on hollyhocks and then I just ignore it but remove all affected leaves and bin them as they die down.

    I don't have either of your new roses so can't help with hardiness.  I have Gertrude Jekyll, Sceptr'd Isle, Falstaff, Generous Gardener, Teasing Georgia, Queen of Sweden, Crocus Rose and Benjain Britten all doing well.   William Shakespeare, Malvern Hills and Geoff Hamilton don't do so well buthave been OK this year after an unusually mild winter.   Tess of the D'Urbevilles had to be dug up so I could dismantle her trellis to let a mini bulldozer pass and is much happier in her new home with less east wind.   Hot Chocolate,  Jacqueline Duprée and Munstead are new this year so have yet to be tested.

    Molyneux, Grace, Guinée and New Dawn all curled up after two very hard winters in 2009 and 2010.  Even Kiftsgate was nearly wiped out at -32C but has finally grown back and has been glorious this year.

    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    obelixx... what do you think of Benjamin Britten...? I've just planted it and I'm getting mixed reports...

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