Roses, polyanthus …and more leaves!

Dislodged by this past week’s Atlantic westerlies, the trees in the Scottish Country Garden have now shed most of their leaves and we have been raking them up as best we can and storing them in large open-slatted crates to make next year’s crumbly leafmould.

imageWe’ve also been moving some polyanthus to the flower beds nearer the house. Curiously they have all turned out the same shade of dark pink with a cheery yellow centre but they will make a splendid show for Easter next year.

We’re also going to try some hardwood cuttings of our hybrid tea roses this autumn. November’s a good time to take them and you don’t have to graft them if the varieties are fairly vigorous. We’ve selected the most vigorous shoots of the colours we like, about 25-30 cm long, removed all the leaves and planted about 2/3 of their length below soil level. We should get an idea next spring of how they’re going to do. Provided that you’re not in too much of a hurry, hardwood cuttings are a great way of propagating a wide range of shrubs, including roses. As a member of the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society), I find their Propagating Plants guide excellent.

As the leaves have now come off the apple and pear trees that cloak the walls, the annual pruning has begun. More about that soon…

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