Everything’s Coming Up Roses

After a couple of very harsh Winters here at Chartwell, some of our roses have unfortunately taken a bit of a battering. The picture below shows one of our Rosa ‘Ingrid Bergman’ plants looking decidedly sick back in January!

Poor old Ingrid!

We have therefore decided to remove the whole bed of this cultivar and replace it with a brand spanking new batch of Rosa ‘Champagne Moment’. Named the Rose of The Year in 2006, this lovely Floribunda rose produces clusters of pale ivory flowers with delicate apricot centres and can grow up to 90cm in height. We expect them to flower profusely all Summer, set off perfectly by the glossy, disease-resistant foliage. A picture of what you can expect to enjoy next Summer can be seen below:

Rosa 'Champagne Moment'

However, before we can think about planting these new roses we have to completely change the soil of the old bed. This is to prevent something called Rose Replant Disease. This is a commonly recognized but actually poorly understood occurence where roses will not establish or grow healthily in a soil that has previously had roses growing in it. The roots of the previous rose need only have been in the soil for a matter of months for problems to arise. There many theories as to why this might happen including nutrient depletion, chemical inhibitors, fungal accumulation, eel worm nematodes and many more ideas, yet nobody really knows exactly why this happens.

Because we don’t know the cause, we can’t therefore come up with a cure. Apart from replacing all the soil with beautiful fresh stuff! After removing the soil down to two spade’s depth we have re-used it to create a new top soil for the Herb Border in the Kitchen Garden. As no roses will be planted here, there is no threat of any growth problems with anything planted here:

The new Chartwell Herb Border

The series of pictures below show the process of how we went about refilling the bed in the Rose Garden:

We fill the bottom half of the bed with our own Chartwell compost which can be seen being loaded up into our trailer here

 

Alastair can be seen unloading more compost into barrows in this picture.

Once emptied into the bed, which has had its base roughly forked over to avoid a pan in the soil horizon forming, it is spread evenly and raked to a good tilth, as we can see Matt and Rhiannon doing here

 

This will be topped up with some of this newly delivered top soil before being allowed to settle

 

The new 'Champagne Moment' roses have been heeled in here in an empty bed in the Kitchen Garden before being planted out in the new year

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