Choosing the Roses for the new garden

I beg your pardon, I most certainly did promise myself a rose garden – and I’m choosing the rose plants now.

Over the last 2-3 weeks, I’ve had Roses on my mind. I love them, and in particular, I love sticking my nose in them and having a sniff, or even walking up to them and being enveloped by a beautiful fragrance.

With my new garden just 10 days away, I’m reminded that it’s devoid of any plant other than patchy grass and a few brambles in the backyard, so I’ve got a blank canvas, and I need to add roses in there for those moments of early evening fragrant wafts as I sit out on my patio and survey my Eden. Well, you know what I mean.

I happened to be in Ely on market day a couple of times over those weeks, and I spotted a stall offering 2 hybrid tea roses for £5 (or £3 each). They had all sorts and of a good size.

My first visit saw me pick one ‘very fragrant’ red rose named Rose ‘Ernest H Morse’, which I bought, almost with a ‘it’s too early’/’at least get the keys first’ guilty feeling. It’s a lovely plant, and I hope that it goes on to bring the fragrant red blooms that the label promises.

Rose 'Ernest H Morse'
Rose ‘Ernest H Morse’

Then on Saturday, I walked by again and once again they had the same offer. This time, I had little guilt and so bought 2 more – this time a pinky one Rose ‘Fragrant Cloud – Tanellis’, and a golden yellow Rose ‘Just Joey’. Again, these look like good plants, and they’re all marked as very fragrant.

Rose 'Fragrant Cloud - Tanellis'
Rose ‘Fragrant Cloud – Tanellis’
Rose 'Just Joey'
Rose ‘Just Joey’

I can’t wait to plant them into my new garden, alongside the Rosa that I rescued from Poundland a month or so ago.

There’s an alpaca farm and horse stables near my new house… I wonder whether I can get a free bucket of manure for them…

Thanks again for reading, and happy gardening!

Andrew

The Blueberry Rescue

When I switch into garden rescue mode in the middle of a discount store.

A few weeks ago, whilst browsing for some cleaning products in a discount store, I wandered past their obligatory Spring-time gardening section. They had bits of everything – string, gloves, tools, trellis, plastic flowers, watering cans etc, but also included real live plants.

Well. Real plants. Less of the living. More like ‘clinging on’.

The racks were stacked full of them in various states of dying in cardboard tubes, with the survivors desperately sprinting towards the shop lights from the back of the shelves. I guess this stock probably comes in quite quickly, and to be fair, I bet that it’s without any information for the staff on how to care for them or make them even more desirable to buy – they’re just opportunistic seasonal products on shelves for the customers to buy or for the shop to let die (just like the Christmas food, or the Easter Eggs). In pity for them, I rummaged through and discovered that it was predominantly roses and blueberries.

I eat a lot of blueberries (they’re great with some raspberries in a bowl of porridge), so I thought that I would try to grow some too. I picked up a couple of the healthiest Blueberry ‘Vaccinium Corymbosum Patriot’ plants.

A blueberry plant with buds of leaves
One of the Blueberry plants seems to have recovered in its new pot.

When I got home I discovered that Blueberries hate lime, and therefore need Ericaceous compost because they require that acidic soil – putting them in a pot of this compost avoids that problem all together. They also prefer rainwater rather than tap water, again related to pH levels.

Having sourced a small bag of Ericaceous compost, I’ve now potted them up and stood the pot in the garden. If one of these two plants doesn’t make it, I should find some more, as they’ll crop better if they can cross pollinate.

Whilst rummaging, I also took pity on a rose bush – Rosa Pink – and so I carried all three to the checkout and paid the meagre £3 for them. I potted the rose up as soon as I got home in a pot with some soil and compost.

Rosa Pink plant
The Rosa Pink is doing very well. Note to self: thick gloves.

It’s showing great signs of recovery with lush shoots – it still looks a bit rushed with the reddish stems, but hopefully it’ll sort itself out. Hopefully I might see this one flower in the summer.

It’s rained a lot, and it’s been quite mild, so maybe, in a year or two, I might get some to blueberries for my porridge.