“Hope is one of the essential tools of a farmer or gardener.”

“You have to have a sense of humility when you grow plants-never forget that nature is in charge”

Sebastion Bras

How could we ever forget that nature is in charge when in Australia we are living through such extreme weather conditions.? Smoke filled atmosphere from the fires burning many kilometres away, continual chance of dust storms, no rain, high winds and hot temperatures. I feel I should apologise to my roses for giving them such horrible conditions and expecting them to bloom for me as well as grow this season.

Away from the garden last week for just 4 days and despite having a reliable neighbour watering for me, some of the roses on my return were ‘crisp’ rather than showing luscious green foliage. Such a disappointment so early in the season to see so many burnt leaves on the rose bushes. It is not lack of water but the heat and strong sunlight and of course the dreaded two-spotted mites that suck all the nutrients from the leaves when dry conditions prevail.

Cinderella is one such rose that on my return I noticed was crisp looking resembling parchment paper. This beautiful rose has done well for 3-4 and is surrounded by other very healthy roses with lush green foliage and blooms galore. Yet for some reason Cinderella rose is sunburnt and in a bad way. I hope it survives after my watering and care.

Many Happy Returns

On the other hand, I had taken out several roses from the garden and potted them as I thought they didn’t look good and may eventually die. These roses have turned the corner from stunted and frail looking to showing healthy signs of lush new growth and buds. All it not lost. One of these was Diana Princess of Wales Rose for some reason was just a stick in the ground. So I potted it out thinking there would be a small chance of survival and much to my delight has now sprouted again and looks lush and green. Another called Tangles and several Many Happy Returns roses I also potted because they were stunted too and not growing very much. These beautiful roses are all doing well now and especially the Many Happy Returns pictured above. It was a good decision to make the move and I’m very happy not to lose them.

So there are success stories and many plants have blossomed through my care and attention. Take La Jago a richly coloured unique rose planted to replace a rose killed by frost last year. It is gorgeous with a strong fruity scent and raspberry pink blooms. This was in flower for my return and apart from needing slightly darker foliage, I love it.

“A rose is an argument. It proclaims the triumph of beauty over brutality, of gentleness over violence, of the ephemeral over the lasting, and of the universal over the particular. The same rose bursts into bloom on the North Cape and in the Sahara desert.

Alain Meilland

I agree with rose breeder Alan Meilland when he says that roses are the same everywhere. It does seem more satisfying though, to be able to grow a perfect bloom in the Sahara or the middle of a drought in Australia than in the perfect conditions of France or the UK. On a daily basis despite the horrid conditions I am quite chuffed that I have managed to grow any blooms at all this year. Given the current climate if I was not so vigilant almost all of my roses would be gone by now.

Today as an example although still early it is already very hot, the air is dry and a thick blanket of smoke lies across the landscape spreading in every direction choking all that resides outside.

“Adopt the pace of Nature: her secret is patience.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson reminds me again to be patient and hope that next year we will have more rain. I’m very grateful I have water as there are many gardens in the regional towns of NSW that will not survive the current conditions given the towns have such severe water restrictions. I have lost many plants this year from frost, dry weather, mites and sunburn but I’ve also saved more. I’m doing all I can for the survival of the rest of the garden because

“At the heart of gardening there is a belief in the miraculous.”

Mirabel Osler.

Words and Images by Di Baker All Rights reserved 2019

Title quote by Sebastian Bras from Country Style Magazine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s