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Friday 24th May, 2019
1 bag, 2 bags, 3 bags, 4,
come on guys, I need some more!
OK! its all happening again and the centre of the nursery is slowly beginning to fill with our new seasons roses.
I have been potting roses for as many years as I can remember and in the early days of Wairere I remember loading the potting mix into a wheel barrow, then barrowing it up a plank and dumping it on the then potting table.
I wonder how the the millennials of today would go doing that LOL. It wasn't too many years later that we managed to score a second hand potting bench with a hopper like feed and bench to pot on which has now served us now for many a year... and I might add has had a few make overs in its time as we have had to repair it. A tractor with its front bucket loads the bin with the new potting mix that comes from the iconic Daltons over there in Matamata.
The last couple of weeks I have been chatting about Growing Spectrum's open day, including their relationship with Daltons for their potting mix recipes and how important that is. Well its the same for us and we have a specifically designed recipe for our roses. It comes with a full food kit designed to feed the rose until nearly Christmas time and to encourage healthy new root development. I'll digress here briefly on the point of potting mix, I know that many are tempted to add compost or soil to make it go further when potting their plants at home but this is not a good thing to do. Know that potting mix is designed to have the correct pore space for air and water and is designed to drain, adding other materials interferes with that ability.
We have now been potting for three days and it has been going so smoothly as other than a couple of newbies they have all done it before. The South American team being (Virginia and Cecilia) manage all the inwards area. This involves sorting the roses into order, scanning them into our system, allocating descriptive tag and colour labels. Roses are then root pruned so that they fit into their planter bags, labels with their colour and names attached and set down for the potting guys.
Simone and Alex (the garden team) are old hands at flicking those planter bags open, shovelling in some mix, placing the rose and complete the bagging, achieving well in excess of 500 units each per day. They have a newbie helping them on the potting table this year and must be one of the best that we have had as he managed to do over 400 bags on just his second day... Congrats to Ben!!
The roses are then put down in alphabetical order in that huge empty space (currently but not for long) in the nursery.
I have been helping with labels and root pruning team and I have noticed quite a few new names go past and I will look forward to seeing these bloom in the nursery, assuming they stay here that long.
These are just a few of the 2019 new season roses to check out.
Skyla Rose Named to celebrate the life of 7 year old Skyla Rose Keating, who was a brave fighter of DIPG brain cancer.
Nostalgia is a stunning two tone with a cream base edged in cherry red giving a lovely blended effect of cream to red radiating out from the centre.
Love Bug is a dark cardinal red bloom with excellent disease resistance.
Otago University Named to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the university. Thanks Rob for letting us have a few of these gorgeous rich yellow roses, I think the only other place that has them is Otago Uni.
Strawberry Blonde has an abundance of fragrant, soft apricot blooms that are produced continuously throughout the season.
Catherine is a gorgeous new Hybrid Tea with soft pink, creamy buds that open into vibrant pink flowers oozing with fragrance.
While on the note of new roses there have been some really good new ones over the years that have flourished in the nursery and have just gorgeous flowers. Have a gander at Eye Candy, Fireball, Gold n Glory, Little Miss Perfect and Lemon n Lime.
So long, farewell and goodbye.
This is the last year that we will have roses supplied by D and S Nursery who have been one of our main suppliers of roses for many years. Doug and Sue have decided it is time to put away the budding knifes and grafting tape and retire to a more relaxed way of life. We have always been well looked after by Doug and Sue in the extensive range of roses they have grown for us and we will sorely miss them. So thank you both for all the wonderful roses you have supplied us over the years, the team and I wish you all the best for your well earned retirement.
On that note this may be the last year that we will have the incredibly varied range of roses that we have been able to offer in the past so if there are rose varieties that are close to your heart it may be a good time to put your name down for them. Either book online or come to the nursery and browse the extensive range available this year.
Tis the season to plant strawbs, garlic, shallots, broad beans and peas.
Not only is rose planting time about to begin, but you should also be planting strawberries. Ours are bare root Camarosa strawberries and so they need to be in the ground getting their roots well established before spring. The ground is still so warm, as we haven't even had a frost yet, and so they will just romp away.
Make a hump 10 to 15 cm with rich well composted soil... mix in some strawberry food and then plant these strawberry crowns at approx 15 to 20 cm apart.
If you are planting rows of strawberries then make the rows around 80 to 100 cm apart... it will be handy to know that you should plant approx 5 plants per member of the house, last tip would be the addition of straw mulch to keep the developing fruit clean and off the soil.
While planting that edible garden, grow enough garlic to get you through the following year, that is what I do, try to grow enough to last me until the next planting season. I usually start with new cloves each season and this year I will be planting them in a fresh part of the garden that hasn't had any onion crops there.... Get Printanoror Elephant.
My broad beans are well up and I m thinking that maybe I might try another cultivar and so I'm planning to put another row in. Have to have a small brag here but managed to pick some from my first sprouting!
We have finally got some nice shallot bulbs in, these are in 8 bulb packs and are lovely firm plump bulbs and don't forget to get your peas in, you will want to give them something to ramble over for support.
Kalmia Icing sugar bushes have been missing from our inventory for some years so it is great to have them back. We have two varieties available this season Tawa Glen a lovely mid pink and Raspberry Glow, buds are a rich raspberry red then open to pink. Kalmia are a semi shade, woodland type of plant that like a peaty, moist, acid soil but not wet. Kalmia buds look similar to cake decoration flowers that you see adorning many a celebratory cake hence the name Icing sugar bush.
How's your training going for the Boobilicious 5K charity event, I have to admit I have missed some swimming sessions due to the rose potting. It's this Sunday 26th hope to see lots of support for this worthwhile fundraising event.