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I thought that you would like to see what goes on the winter and how money raised from visitors goes straigt back into the gardens.
The rose garden is a beautiful part of the Lutyens and Jekyll garden. Cleverly designed so that Mrs Portman and her pals could sit under the shade of the elm arbour, listening to the sound of water running in the rill (and bubbling in a font that used to be there), whilst surrounded by the sent from roses that lingers in the sunken garden- amazingly well thought out.
The only trouble is that whereas modern roses have been bred with disease resistance, these highly scented old roses dont have any of that. This means that they have everything from blackspot to mildew and can get quite weak. Also the more delicate roses surround a great rugosa rose called 'Blanc Double de Coubert' which is a more thugish rose and can out compete the others for space and light. They had also sent out lots of suckers which needed to be removed.
Some of the roses have been struggling recently so we have dug out the weakest and replanted with new ones.
Now is a great time to plant out bare root roses. If like us you are replanting roses where there have been roses before you can be suseptible to rose replant disease. To combat this we dig out the rose and all of the soil it has grown in. We then plant it in fresh soil- in this case our home made compost.
Once watered in we will leave them until late Feb, give them a prune to get the branches growing in the right direction, and then feed in the summer to get them strong and established.
So hopefully this small bit of planting restoration will have a huge impact in the summer.
Check on our website for details of my rose pruning course next year!