Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Caring for your garden roses

Hybrid roses have more than five petals because they are made for ornamental purposes.

 Everybody loves roses  they can be quiet fussy to grow but a little care goes a long way to produce beautiful blooms. They come in all colours from whites, yellows, reds and even black. Did you know that real roses only have five petals? This means other roses are hybrids made for ornamental  purposes. By following my easy method your roses will look lovely throughout the year.
Watering and feeding
The plants must be watered every two days. Always water after applying granular fertilisers.

Feeding and watering
When feeding roses it’s good to use a granular fertiliser, just before the first blooms are opening, about 30g scattered in a circle around the stems of medium sized rose bushes but always read the requirements on the packaging. Always water after applying granular fertilisers.

Watering should take place at least twice a week, or every second day depending on the season but it’s always good to feel if the soil surface is dry or not, it gives a good indication of when to water the plant. Water at the base of the plant and not the leaves.

Black spot on roses appear as round lesions, these spots can be small to large lesions.

Pest and diseases
Black spot and aphids love roses. They never seem to go away and the best advice I could give here is that prevention is better than cure. Black spot is a disease and the truth about it is that once it’s there it can’t go away. You need to spray your roses regularly with a systemic fungicide. This means that the fungicide will be taken up by the plant and then protect it from the inside out. When you see black spot all over your roses try and prune the serious parts but if you can’t leave it alone it will eventually go away.

Aphids attack soft new growth, therefor you’ll always see them on your flowers and new leaves. These pests can be sprayed with a contact pesticide and they’ll die, if you want to you can also hose them away with water or wipe them off with your fingers ( although it’s to stomach-churning for me.)

While I was a student our class went to a local rose garden and this is where i learnt most of my rose pruning skills. I couldn't wait to get home that day to prune all our roses as well!

Two important techniques I’ve learned during a rose pruning practical at Durbanville Rose Garden are to prune your roses in such a way that you leave the bush in an open wine glass. Meaning cut away branches that are growing inwards. Try to leave the middle open so that air circulation can take place, it also decreases the risk of disease on the leaves.

The second technique is when pruning make sure you leave all the branches at more or less the same length, this will ensure that when they grow you have equal amounts of growth from each stem, if one stem is higher than the others the plant will generate all its energy to just that one stem giving you large roses from that stem only and smaller roses from the others.

When cutting roses for the house, don’t cut too many blooms at once as it drastically reduces the amount of leaves resulting in root disturbance this will set the rose bush back. Roses bloom best when they are a third to half open when picked. And don’t forget to watch out for those thorns!

I hope these few tips help you with your roses at home.

Creeping roses in my garden

Friday, June 21, 2013

Fab 5 - orange flowers

It's winter now and what's better to brighten up the garden and your homes with orange flowers. Orange is such a nice warm colour for winter and will make any environment look and feel cosy. My fab 5 orange flowers will defiantly be the colour you looking for this winter, these 5 are nice garden plants and cut flowers, attracting wildlife in the garden and lasting long in the home.  

Proteas are lovely flowers to have in your garden and as cut flowers for the house because they flower for long periods and even look nice when they dried out.


Everybody is familiar with roses, they come in loads or colours and varieties, I love how this one had a bit of yellow in it, and looks so nice with any greenery added to it.

 Orange and blue flowers in summer, indigenous to South Africa. They attract birds and butterflies into the garden as well.

  These plants form part of the protea family, their orange flowers last long and attract numerous birds.

 Aloes are one of my favourite succulents because when they flower in masses they look absolutely
magnificent. they very hardy plants and fit  well in rock gardens as well.

Why some indoor plants die after being purchased

Beautiful pink Cyclamen indoor plant with twisted petals, infront you can see one going into seed form, and the marbled foliage at the bottom.

When buying indoor plants from retail nurseries and shopping centres, it always seems to last a month or two and after flowering they don't flower again or they die. This happens because these plants are grown in greenhouses under strict temperatures and conditions to make them produce such lovely foliage and flowers so that they can sell well.

On Mother's Day my mother received a beautiful Cyclamen plant, and the following month we could see how the plant was withering away, I was determined to save this plant from dying and the key to doing that is to try and mimic the way it "grew up" in the greenhouse, or to find out what country they originate from and what temperatures occur there.

Cyclamens are an enchanting group of plants admired for their attractive, mostly marbled foliage and distinctive flowers with swept back, slightly twisted petals. They prefer a warm to cool climate. Most species originate from the Mediterranean and southern Europe.

What I did with this specific indoor plant was after some flowers had withered I cut the leaves and flowers off some tubers and left others on because I want them to set seed. When they set seed I will leave all the tubers in the soil, until they produce new growth the following season.

In general with all indoor plants give them enough sunlight and fertilise in their growing season this is very important because it encourages growth. Do some research on the given plant and find out if the sunlight needed to be direct or filtered. Water them according to their requirements. When working with bulbs and tubers like Cyclamen it’s vital to give them a GOOD watering once. When you feel the soil surface is dry you can water them again because if overwatered rotting can occur.

Beautiful pink Cyclamen indoor plant with twisted petals, infront you can see one going into seed form, and the marbled foliage at the bottom.

Thursday, June 20, 2013


I love plants especially flowers. Never knew that there was actually a career in working with plants until I went to universities and saw that I could study plants, the way they grow and why they do the things they do.

Horticulturists work involves plant propagation and cultivation with the aim of improving plant growth, yields, quality, nutritional value, and resistance to insects, diseases, and environmental stresses. They work as gardeners, growers, therapists, designers, and technical advisors.