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Growing Roses in Brisbane

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Growing Roses in Brisbane

Post by Jac2 on 3rd July 2012, 00:00

One thing I learned should never be done when growing roses in Brisbane, Zone Au 4 /A 10, and I only admit to doing this incognito, is moving them in the middle of summer. Itís a terrible thing to see your roses perish, and in hindsight I would have preferred to lose them to a new owner rather than completely; and a much better strategy would have been to ďvisitĒ at the right time, ďHallo, I planted all theses beautify roses here in your garden Ö If you like, Iíll show you how to prune themĒ.

My list of roses with the common theme, indestructible, includes: Charlotte (David Austin), Twilight Glow (Large-Flowered Climber), Juliaís Rose (Hybrid Tea), Iceberg (Floribunda), and Penny Lane (Large-Flowered Climber), the only survivors of 26. They didnít only survive the move, but also being forgotten in pots that were only meant to move them and getting hardly any water. Lagerfeld, R.I.P., did very well for a long time after moving, and was the only rose that actually kept on blooming.

Of the survivors, none was my favorite in the old garden, because they had no fragrance for me, but Iíve long forgiven them, because theyíve forgiven me. They have all proved their ability to survive anything beyond doubt, to get by with very little water, and with one exception, to stand the hot Brisbane sun.
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Re: Growing Roses in Brisbane

Post by Balinbear on 3rd July 2012, 12:15

Jackie
I don't think i is so much the hot Brisbane sun as it gets hotter in summer down south (and the heat goes on for longer) than it does up our way. It is more the humidity and summer rainfall (and thus the fungal problems).
I think out of the few hundred of roses we have I can say we have never lost one due to the rain. Over the years we have purchased and subsequently removed quite a few that do not like the conditions which is why if you check the varieties we grow you will find that they are mostly Teas, Chinas and Noisettes which do not seem to have problems with the climate. There are a few varieties of these that don't handle the weather real well but we persevere with them (mainly the later breed Teas) but generally they have few problems.
We have a few Polyanthas, Hybrid Musks and older Hybrid Teas (mainly Alister Clark ones) which are not too bad. We did have quite a few varieties of David Austin Roses but they have all gone save on Teasing Georgia (because it is yellow), one Graham Thomas (again because it is yellow) and one Kathryn Morley (the last of several that it grew from cuttings and its only there because I have not gotten around to removing it but will be soon as I need some space to move one of our teas).
The DAís are nice but unless you are prepared to spray every second day in summer (because of the rain) you will end up with a stick bush with only a few flowers and no leaves (gone due to the Blackspot). You also have to keep the feed up to them. We do not spray our plants and fertilise at the start of spring (though there has been years when we did not and others where we fertilised over summer as well). Really if anything we need to add a couple of tonne of Lime to lift the PH as most of our plants grow in spoil with a PH of 4 or less. But as they grow fine without out all the fuss we figure why bother.
With the all year warmth and rainfall some of teas can get quite large so if you only have a limited space be careful of what plants you pick.
Iím not too sure where you can get any decent roses in Brisbane. You canít get any up our way unless it is someone growing from cuttings etc as no nursery really sells them and thanks to the garden shows on TV if you live in Queensland you have to have a Bali inspired garden. We actually have a lot of Camellias as well and we went to buy a couple at the start we were told by one highly respected nurseryman that they simply would not grow in our climate and not to bother with them or roses either. Wish he was still around o show him what we have managed to grow.

Gary
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Re: Growing Roses in Brisbane

Post by Bonita18 on 3rd July 2012, 21:46

Wish he was still around o show him what we have managed to grow.

Yes Gary I was amazed at your rose garden and the rest of the garden too when I visited last year. For those of you who are newer to this forum, Gary supplied detailed drawings a couple of years ago on how to construct really sturdy structures to support roses. What a wonderful contribution that was to Rosetalk.

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Re: Growing Roses in Brisbane

Post by sallybcs on 4th July 2012, 09:06

Gary I share your frustration with horticulturalists in SE qld, they don't even believe what they can see with their own eyes. It took years for a guy who used to help with some hard scaping in my yard to agree that my 3m x 3m teas were healthy, thriving plants. Another thing that annoys me that if they see a rose bush without flowers it gets bagged, but how many other plants will flush at least every 2 months? And those plants that only manage it once a year are still valued by nurserymen. I have also been told that camellias won't grow here, it is very frustrating.
Perhaps the most annoying thing is the advice written by Annette MacFarlane about OGRs in her book on sub-tropical gardening. I've been trying to write to her about it, but I get so annoyed and want to call her a cloth eared bint that I quit. She claims that you can try the old fashioned varieties but be prepared to only see flowers once a year as they are once flowering. Yep all the Teas, Chinas, Noisettes are lumped in with the European once flowering varieties. I guess just because you know all about getting fruit out of a passionfruit vine doesn't mean you know everything. Ok, so now I'm just being mean, but seriously couldn't she have spent at least 30 mins doing some research on the internet????
Sorry rant over.

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Re: Growing Roses in Brisbane

Post by Balinbear on 4th July 2012, 09:37

Sally

The thing about tea and china roses are they (most but not all) can be used as a landscaping plant. Due to their size and form they are generally an attractive bush as well as having repeat flowering that most other plants cannot match.

Also due to their breeding they are generally resistant to the problems that modern roses have and thus need little (if any) chemical treatment. Add this to their drought resistance combined with their ability to handle lots of rainfall and you have a good plant for the garden. Even Don Burke admitted that roses outperformed the drought proof natives that he had pushed through the dry years. Those who fell for that in SE Queensland during the dry years are now looking for plants to replace those that died when the rains returned because they all died.

Donít get me wrong I like native plants and once had a garden full of them but with native plant we found that the only ones to survive were ones that grew around the area that I lived. The rest did not like the rain or had such poor root systems the plants simply fell over when the ground got wet. We decided that they simply were not worth the effort and have moved (over a period of years and are still moving) to heritage roses. We have a large garden which (when finished) will have, apart from mowing the grass surprisingly little maintenance. The use of mulches and the in-filling of plants is slowly removing weed problems and as mentioned above we do not need to spray the roses. We can thus concentrate on propagating plants and other more enjoyable things.
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Re: Growing Roses in Brisbane

Post by Balinbear on 4th July 2012, 09:38

Thanks Bonita. I will get back up to Toowoomba one day and drop in for a visit. I'll let you know when we can get some free time.
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Re: Growing Roses in Brisbane

Post by sallybcs on 4th July 2012, 10:15

I hear you Gary. My neighbour has given up on natives particularly Grevillias. She experienced similar problems with them falling over for no apparent reason. Some of them were quite large and overnight she would have enormous holes in her garden. She has mainly gone to Lilly Pilly varieties. She tried roses, but I couldn't talk her into the OGR's, hence a ridiculously lanky Mr Lincoln struggles on.

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Re: Growing Roses in Brisbane

Post by Jac2 on 4th July 2012, 20:19

Garry,
Your response was most useful. Thank you for taking the time to provide so much detail. Have copied you comments on what grows well here, and bookmarked the link to your amazing galley for inspiration. I donít think I need to research any roses for a long time; youíve sorted them, all I have to do now is follow your footsteps.

I think gardening TV shows aim at providing information that will work most of the time for most people; everybody from the keen and informed to the plant and walk away and not so well informed. Bali themes are safe. When I learned I lived in zone 4 /10, I thought, oh my god, Iím not supposed to grow any roses at all, but the many beautify roses I see here in the area and posted on RTA are perfect proof that roses will do very well anywhere, and you just have to pick the right ones. This is where a forum like RTA is invaluable. Just from my first post I learned that planting Moss and Centifolia Roses in Brisbane would have been a mistake.

Yes, I noticed in my old garden that doubling the given dimensions for some of them is only a conservative estimate, and this time left more space than recommended between all roses, not just the Austins. I have a Graham Thomas, too, and hope itíll grow very tall.
Youíre right in saying that the diseases that thrive in our humidity can be a far greater problem than sun-burning: seeing some gardens here could easily turn anybody away from growing roses at all. But I can honestly say that I didnít really have a problem with any of the common rose diseases in my old garden; and didnít get what all that fuss was about. I didnít see any black-spot for the longest time, and probably only got some, because in the end I stopped taking it seriously. And when I eventually found some, it wasnít that big a deal and could be controlled. But my garden was not that big and I spend a lot of time in it.

I found the sun was my problem, something beyond my influence, and that some roses burned much faster than others. E.g., Juliaís Rose must be kept in full shade here: On breezy days I can see which of the branches were swung out of their shade, and exactly how far; and crisping happens almost instantly. Just Joy was another that burned, but nowhere near as fast, and this time round I put Jude the Obscure into a large pot that can be shifted, because it too burned, but only when heat was tops and prolonged over days, and only the new leaves. And I wonder why this information is not tailored to the different zones, because the recommended daily sun requirements can surely not be the same here as wherever the labels were printed.

And burning is probably no problem in established gardens, like yours where larger shrubs and trees provide some shade some of the time, but I donít have that here: The house is set far back from the street, and there are no trees nearby on council land, and I am more worried about some of the roses where I could find no or worse conflicting information regarding their heat tolerance; Othello is one of them.

Sally,
I think itís a good idea to write to authors, if their information is lacking or incorrect. They probably appreciate constructive feedback and interacting with their readers, because it would help improve any following editions; and that must be good for everybody.

Good to know the Teas, Chinas, and Noisettes will flush at least every two months. Quite right, no other plants bloom continuously, so why would I expect that from my roses. Faster repeaters are probably of greater value in parts of the world where the winters are long and gardeners have to get the most out of their roses during short summers. Wherever there are no leaves left on any trees and everything looks gray and dull over winter, every single day of summer is precious and must be used to the fullest. Not really a problem here, where lots of different things bloom all year round.
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