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Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

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Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by hariet~rose on 6th January 2013, 15:13

I have about 25 Graham Thomas plants in a row and they have been in the ground for maybe 4 years. They are in a site that gets wind from the paddocks. I can't get them to establish large plant bases - and i know the wind isn't helping. The plants are tall and floppy and they snap very easily.. (piccies below) But with so many plants I am looking for a support structure that I can efficiently make (ok the MOTH will do the making) to keep them upright and to stop them shaking..If i put one dropper in and tie to that it spoils the look and once i get the next lot of water shoots i will have the same problem.. anyone got any ideas?? thanks..
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hariet~rose

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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by maree on 6th January 2013, 20:33

I had the same problem with William Shakespeare , the canes just kept breaking off , bit of a useless plant that one .....
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by hariet~rose on 6th January 2013, 20:58

did you arrive at a solution Maree or did it go in the compost?
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by maree on 6th January 2013, 21:59

The solution was the shovel Harriet-Rose , and into the rubbish bin , sorry i haven't got any answers , dammed DA's , some of them are good , some of them are absolutely hopeless !!!
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by OzRose on 9th January 2013, 02:20

Graham Thomas is brilliant and makes a wonderful shrub/climber.
To get your G.T border established Hariet , I think a modified version of the Florida Weave might work.
Not only will it support the new branches as they are growing , it will also give you some thing to spread out and tie the longer canes to to create the golden hedge effect.
You can google 'Florida Weave' ; mostly you will see how it is used for tomatoes which are grown as an annual crop .
The same pattern works very well with roses to train them for hedging but you just have to use heavier materials and modify the pattern slightly.
If I can make this new beast of a printer whatsit work to my will , I'll draw it for you and post it .

I love my D.A's and they do very well for me ; even better if I neglect to prune them. My Sweet Juliet is some 4X4X4m atm.

cheers. Rosalie
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by Ozeboy on 9th January 2013, 21:52

When winter pruning I judge a keeper by the amount healthy canes, discards are the ones with a lot of dead canes. Unfortunatly DA's can lose 75% of their canes in this climate.
I still have 'Heritage' as a keeper though it's the only one left out of a batch of 25. There are four new ones suggested as worth trialing but time will sort them out. Hopefully these will pass the test as I would like to trial a few as breeders. They do well in dry climates like WA and inland but here most are hopeless. If you have the climate for them then lucky you.

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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 10th January 2013, 12:55

Hariet, from the paddock side are they visable to people or yourself
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by Guest on 10th January 2013, 15:32

Hariet, in Deniliquin around Sept the wind can be quite fierce, what I do for those cultivars which snap young canes is, get some bailing ties and wrap it around the plant canes once, apply a little tension . What this does is stop individual canes flapping around in the wind, they all move together supporting each other. When the wind stops just cut it off. I only do this to a few I have which are brittle in their early stages (Sept / Oct)

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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 10th January 2013, 16:07

That's a good idea Warren, Hariet could do it as hedge thing if the plants are big enough
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by hariet~rose on 10th January 2013, 19:43

Thank you so much Rosebuds.. sorry for the delay in replying as I am back at work with not so many moments for the garden except to move the sprinkler around.. i will go over your comments tonight and look up this weaving business .. tonight I noticed that the wind is flogging rosa rulgelda as well .. thanks everyone i will let you know how it works out.. sunny
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by The Lazy Rosarian on 10th January 2013, 20:40

I thought it was still school holidays lol! only joking hariet, I guess one has to prepare lol!
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by Ozeboy on 11th January 2013, 09:44

The best way to fix breaking canes on Graham Thomas roses is to stake them all. Then it will look so bad you will want to get rid of it so best dump it in the bin and save yourself all that work.

I really don't know why gardeners persevere with plants that require a lot of time and effort. I was speaking to a very old lady at one of the Heritage Rose meetings who has for the past 3 years sprayed a certain rose for mildew and wanted to know what to do. I did mention in a nice way to put it in the wheely bin. She replied "What a great idea I'll do that tomorrow"

Does anyone else want my help, guess not.

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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by Balinbear on 11th January 2013, 21:26

Yes Bruce you do wonder why some people spend so much time on plants that simply are not suited for the area in which the live.

I guess rose distributers should take some of the blame somehow believing that roses that do well in Europe (usually in a narrow latitude band so the conditions are similar) will do well in Australia where the weather is different not only with Europe but has a lot of variation within the country.
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by hariet~rose on 12th January 2013, 08:29

But all the best layed plans and due diligence can be to no avail when your own micro-climate comes into play. GT is actually pretty successful in this district, which is why i chose it, i have just sited them in the wrong spot (make that 25 of them in the wrong spot).. I am thinking of pruning the long canes by half when they begin to toughen up - so keep the bush lower to the ground and so 1.5 m in height or there abouts..

I don't give up so easily guys, if i did i wouldn't have any roses here in this harsh climate, just snow grass.. sunny
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by Ozeboy on 12th January 2013, 11:05

hariet~rose, what a wonderful climate you live in for growing roses.
If you are having problems growing 'Graham Thomas' there then it will be hopeless anywhere else on the island (Oz).

Your attitude "I won't give up" would be better directed to breeding the perfect rose which seems to have eluded most of the breeders on the planet. There's an opening there for anyone with your attitude.

Our old friend Gary (Balinbear) has a magnificent garden in an area considered hopeless for rose growing. Carefeful selection has resulted in a rose paradise.

I have a friend of 45 years in Armidale with Japanese type gardens. He has grown a lot of HT's to perfection but recently used Roundup too close to the roses with disasterous results.

Given time you will see some breeders concentrate on health and others like DA are breeding for old rose type blooms and fragrance.
Health and fragrance rarely come together on the one rose. I'm still looking for a number of floribunda roses with strong fragrance to breed from. Brownell and subsiquent generations have put a lot of time into breeding what he called the "Sub Zero Series" for Canada and Northern America. Since health is my main objective I have managed to collect two of his, 'Arctic Flame' and 'Curley Pink'. The latter is new to me and in one season has not proven to be suitable in humidity. Surprising though for I find snow roses can usually handle heat and humidity well. Could be healthy roses are hardy at both ends of the temperature scale.

Two I would suggest you trial in your climate are 'Arctic Flame' and 'Elina'

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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by Balinbear on 12th January 2013, 12:07


At present it is the complete opposite. We have had a grand total of 32mm since July last year with a lot of hot days. Our lawns are close to death, plants that are supposed to be suitable to dry gardens are struggling but the roses are still all standing up well. Not a lot of flowers (our big Nur Mahal for the first time that I can remember does not have any flowers on her) but they still looking well.

Throughout it all there is not a lot of fertilizing done, our soil is that water resistant stuff that is quite acidic in places (4 -5.5) and rarely are any of the roses pruned at any serious level (most don't really ever get pruned at all).

Most of our plants are heritage roses breed in Europe in the 1800-early 1900s and these have been found to suit our conditions better than any of the “newer” plants. Unfortunately a lot of plant nurseries and retailers seem to think we need to import roses and not support Australian breeders who are breeding to suit the conditions.

It is time to change this level of thinking and we all need to start supporting the efforts of Australian breeders. Our gardens can only benefit from it.
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by hariet~rose on 12th January 2013, 13:04

My suggestion to get the Australian roses known more widely and so that the public go in to garden centres and ask for named varieties, is for one of you, or a group of you breeders, to prepare a coffee table book of fabulous pictures of the aussie roses and stories of the breeding.. lots of pictures of roses in place, dotted with iconic shots of historic homesteads and modern settings too.. With the cost of printing coming down in the last 5 years and the real benefits of using the internet to market the book and sales (so as not lose 80% to distributor plus book store) is that people will give them as presents, buy them for their own reference and then the orders for the roses will start coming through...so we need better marketting and the lesson from DA is to write about your own products professionally so people have to have the roses...

boody hell it is hot here today ..
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by betsyw on 12th January 2013, 15:42

How in the world can Australians support Australian rose breeders when the breeders are failing to promote their own cultivars? I mean, how many times have people on this little board alone asked to buy Ozroz's roses. I don't recall anyone being met with cries of delight or encouragement. A lot of coy silence, mostly. If you're not ready to sell your roses, breeders, then you can't complain that no one's buying them.

At any rate: get yourselves together, build a website, beleaguer gardening editors, write your own story(ies). Put together an All-Star Australian Collection of five of the best Oz varieties so far. Sell 'em as the OzRoz Collection, whatever!

But let's also be frank: European and American-bred roses have successfully taken root around the world, including Australia. How mis-apt for "our conditions" are they really? You can't grow noisettes in Michigan very well, but they are fab here. And I'm staring out at Kordes and J&P and Meilland roses right now, in the 44C heat. They don't look tragic at all, this bunch. In fact the only one looking a bit poorly is our very own Oz bred Big Purple.

And which Oz conditions do Oz roses excel in, anyway? The Far North, the Deep South, Tas or WA or - where? I think it's going to be an interesting way to sell roses, but as a marketing position I think it will fail. It would be like trying to promote Australian-made skis on the grounds that they work better in Australian snow Shocked .
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by maree on 12th January 2013, 17:01

Whats Big Purple doing Betsy ?
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by Guest on 12th January 2013, 17:12

betsyw wrote:How in the world can Australians support Australian rose breeders when the breeders are failing to promote their own cultivars? I mean, how many times have people on this little board alone asked to buy Ozroz's roses. I don't recall anyone being met with cries of delight or encouragement. A lot of coy silence, mostly. If you're not ready to sell your roses, breeders, then you can't complain that no one's buying them.

Besty its not like growing a few cuttings in the backyard, for it to be done properly it needs to be taken up by a grower , who deal in growing vast quantities of root stock for grafting. I do not have the space to grow vast amounts of roots stock. If I did , I would n't be writing this!

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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by betsyw on 12th January 2013, 18:45

Which ones are the French trialling, OzRoz? From their (discerning, I would think) selection, surely you could bud a few and sell to us?

Or sell off a few "custom" grafted creations. It's all money, it's all promotion.

I could say, for example, "Warren, I'm looking for a fragrant medium-sized rose. Possibly a deep pink, possibly a bi-colour, possibly a red" . Someone else could latch on to one of your mauves or whites or whatever. A few of us have already spotted Atomic (k?).

It just seems to me that your beautiful life's work should not languish in your backyard because you feel you can't do it 'properly". That would be far more "improper" and ultimately self-cancelling. IMO only, of course.

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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by betsyw on 12th January 2013, 18:50

maree, one of the BPs has lost a lot of leaves, not well branched at all, doesn't look like a happy camper, while the other is fine, with new buds. The more I see of this one, the more I am convinced that all BPs are not created equal, whether it's the grafting or the bud wood itself or what.

Across a few varieties, I have seen a lot of this disparity this year, to be honest, from bareroots I ordered in pairs: one will thrive, one will not - true of Sweet Intoxication, of BP, of Baronne E de R, and several others. Almost as if there were two piles at the supplier's, a 'good' pile and a "not so good " pile, and you get one rose from each pile ;-(
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by maree on 12th January 2013, 19:18

Eeek , Betsy , gees i hope not , but i suppose it does depend on whos packing the roses , and what sort of day they have had ....
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by Ozeboy on 14th January 2013, 03:18

Not all grafted roses are identical due to varying degrees of growth tissue alignment. This results in some being smaller to begin with. Over time the smaller ones catch up unless very badly grafted. The use of selective hormones in nurseries can also effect growth, particularly when buds are being activated.

Sometimes variation in size is due to difference in age. The propagators callendar must be adhered to for best result as seasons play an important role. Selection of understocks and sizes, when grafted etc all play a part in final results.

I find best results from 2 year old budded plants.

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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

Post by betsyw on 14th January 2013, 06:55

Yes, not all grafts are created equal. But the law of probabilities doesn't explain the exactly equal proportions of good stock. bad stock of each rose I received in 6 pairs of varieties,ie:one good Rose X and one poor Rose X, one good Rose Y and one poor Rose Y one good Rose Z and one poor Rose Z, etc.
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Re: Branch Problems with Graham Thomas ~ any suggestions?

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