I am in the middle of renovating, finishing and replanting my rose garden. This is an ongoing project that I do quietly plodding along on my own pace adding the odd plant here and there, dividing up perennials etc.
A view across my garden a few years ago, the exquisite roses ‘Mme Isaac Perieire’ and ‘Paul Ricault’.
A view of the garden looking across to the neighbouring fields, of mainly sheep, wheat and barley farms.
We live in South Australia with a Mediterranean climate with hot dry summers and cold wet winters. In between the roses I grow Mediterranean dry climate perennials, ones that are tough enough to survive the frosts in winter and the heat and dry of summer. However overall our climate is mild.
These are some photos from a few years ago when the garden was at its best. It has since has a number of year of neglect, family life, life and the odd harsh dry season .
The pale pink rose bed in spring with the exquisite border of nepeta ‘Walkers Blue’
The garden even at its best was only half -finished. The other half did not have proper irrigation set up. It was on sprayers then water restrictions came in for a few years in South Australia then they were relaxed again after a new water desalination plant was built. So my irrigation sprayers (initially put in by my husband) were pulled out and only half the area were replaced with drippers back again.
Roses, particulay old roses can suffer abject neglect and come out the other end again sill alive. Some areas with no irrigation, lost some plants. The areas with the still intact irrigation systems survived.
So I am slowed but surely filling back up the rose garden with a mixture of old roses and the odd modern rose, the odd David Austin rose and modern shrub roses, that hardy breed that are more like super hardy long-flowering shrubs that happen to be roses.
The above photos is a more recent photo of my garden from last spring. The Gorgeous china rose ‘Craimoisi Superiour’ and ‘Mrs Anthony Waterer’ in the red rose bed.
I have been using woven plastic weed-mat around the plants as it cuts down significantly the need for weeding, particularly if you weed a garden single-handedly. My rose garden is also quite large and quite impossible to keep weeded by hand and have a life, (I’ve already tried that!).
I chose mainly Old Heritage Roses for this garden as I love and adore their fat blousy forms, intense and varied fragrances and huge and hardy growth and fascinating history. These roses grow more like normal shrubs unlike most modern roses. They have romantic names and forms and a varied history with many going back for hundreds of year in cultivation with many more being almost lost to cultivation due to change of fashions and fickle public tastes.
These roses just need pruning to shape, rather than pruning-to-bloom as modern, less hardy varieties do. It is all organic as are all of my gardens. I feed the roses manure from our ponies, pelleted chicken manure etc
In spring, which is their main flowering season when all the old roses are in bloom, there are thousands of blooms and the air is thick with the heady scent of old roses. It is quite a treat, you can start to smell the fragrance of the garden from a fair distance away. As old roses a very generous both is shrub size and in bloom quantity, spring in my garden is quite a flower-fest! Plus the butterflies, bees and local birds, lizards and honeyeaters love it too!
I’ll keep you updated as to my progress. xx
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Words and photo by Sarah Rajkotwala – writer & spiritual teacher at Love In Action and Petals & Buds Spiritual Teaching and Nature Classes — at Petals & Buds
Weekly Spiritual Development classes at Hansborough South Australia, (Wed and Sat mornings for 2 hours).
Weekend Spiritual Workshops:
♥`*•✿ How to talk to the plants and fairies in your Garden
♥`*•✿ All about Angels and how to work with them in your life.
♥`*•✿ The Law of Attraction in Action
♥`*•✿ How to read Signs from up above.
My Fairy Book ‘The Year of Talking to Plants’ : https://www.createspace.com/6469455
My website : https://petalsandbuds.wordpress.com/
My Spiritual Classes Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Petals-