gabriola garden

Wednesday, March 14, 2007







A Deluge, a Few Sunny Days, New Roses

Last weekend, we had over 200mm of rain in a three-day period. It was a veritable deluge and had people talking about the possibility of flooding. Rubber boots and rain gear for everybody, and Hedgehog wrote an essay about rain, and why it’s good for plants.

The first sunny day after all that moisture felt like a holiday, even though it was a Monday. The Crocuses and Daffodils opened their petals and embraced the sun. The Tulips and Hyacinths burst forth from the ground and announced their imminent arrival.

Sara, undaunted by the inclement weather, went shopping at the garden store. She bought two Roses in pots, A Floribunda called Intrigue, and a Hybrid Tea Rose called Purple Passion. These are specific strains grafted onto rootstocks and they came all the way from California.

Purple Passion is a patented rose, which means that you can grow it for your own pleasure, but not for selling (unless you’re willing to pay a royalty to the patent holder). Rose patents usually last 20 years, after which period the strain goes into the public domain.

Hybrid Tea Roses have been called the aristocrats of roses, since they embody the classic rose shape and the concept of what a rose is in our minds. Commercially, they are cultivated to be marketed as long-stemmed cut flowers, especially around Valentine’s Day.

The sales hype for this particular strain pegs it as “regal, deep purple, high centred blooms with an irresistibly tangy, lemon fragrance.” It must be a relatively new strain, because it doesn’t yet appear in two different rose guide books that we have.

Floribundas are usually chosen by gardeners to provide a large splash of color, perhaps among less vibrant flowers. Intrigue will give Sara’s flower garden clusters of deep red, almost burgundy flowers that are disease resistant and possess an intense, lemony fragrance.

Roses prefer six hours of direct sunlight per day (good luck getting that on our Wet Coast) and a well-drained soil. They do not like standing in water for any length of time. They also don’t like too much Nitrogen, so I’ll have to recalculate the NPK of our base fertilizer, in order to custom feed the roses.

Iguana Juice Grow (our 100% organic fish-based fertilizer) has an NPK of 3-1-3. If you use another Advanced Nutrients product called Colossal Bud Blast alongside the Iguana Juice, you have to add its NPK which is 0-3-6 to determine the overall NPK of using them together.

So you end up with an NPK of 3-4-9 which falls within the range of a desirable balance of macronutrients for Roses.

Using Iguana Juice Bloom (NPK = 4-3-6) in conjunction with Colossal Bud Blast will give Sara’s Roses an NPK of 4-6-12, which is also within the desirable range.

A common misconception about Colossal Bud Blast is that since it is a bloom enhancer it should only be used during the flowering stage. However, the Advancedpedia on the company’s website clearly states that it can be used during both the vegetative and floral growth phases.

Colossal Bud Blast is a complete blend of nutrients, with biostimulants, chelators and surfactants, all from natural sources. It was originally formulated for foliar application, but it’s equally effective when applied to the root zone of your plants.

It is a complex supplement designed to intensify the growth of plant tissues, whether stems and leaves or buds. It imparts vigor to all of our plants and we’ve been very pleased with it ever since we started using it.

Sara can’t wait to plant the two new roses in our garden and I’ll be sure to update you with pictures as soon as they start blooming.

posted by Tim at 9:33 PM

2 Comments:

  • I’m actually looking to get involved in growing roses, and your post really intrigued me (no pun intended). I like the idea of your “patented” roses, the unique quality it gives to what you are doing. And you mentioned that they are they are “disease resistant” which sounds like an important quality. However, I don’t really know enough to know whether such varieties of roses would be too complicated for a beginner. I followed your explanation of the Nitrogen levels fairly well, but I’m afraid of jumping in over my head as a start. I want “unique” but only if I can handle it. As a final note, I live in Arkansas. You didn’t mention exactly where you are, and I didn’t see it in your profile, but do you think I live in climate that would be acceptable for these strains of roses?

    By Anonymous Fragrances, at 8:42 PM  

  • Hello there! I’m an artist but have been tasked by my beloved grandmother to photograph and pain her rose garden. Your post really intrigued me because I only know red and white roses. It is actually my first time to know that the blue or the yellow one really exist, for real! Thanks for sharing this post. I think my grandmother would love reading your post as she is a rose-addict.

    By Anonymous reproduction paintings, at 3:59 AM  

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