Don & Dawn Vivian

Don and Dawn Vivian married in 2004 and moved into Don’s home. Neither Don, his parents or grandparents had ever grown roses, however Dawn had been happily involved with roses for more than 30 years. When Don and Dawn started getting to know each other, they both had lovely gardens, but with two completely different styles – Don’s featured an immaculate lawn with lovely green shrubs, and Dawn’s garden was a riot of roses and colour.

To Dawn’s surprise, in 2005 Don suggested turning the front lawn into a rose garden, after having just planted a token flower carpet rose.  Work started in March 2005 with the entire front lawn being sprayed out. A paved path was then established to create two large beds. Holes were dug, water holding capacity was tested, Seamungus pellets were placed in the bottom of each hole, irrigation was laid and the roses were purchased. Dawn’s criteria meant that the roses had to be perfumed as well as a vigorous growth habit. Standard roses were set out along the path and bush roses were planted in the beds. 72 roses were purchased from garden centres and rose growers which were planted, labelled and mulched, and Don’s love of the rose began.

Don Vivian

Don and Dawn attended their first Rose Society of South Australia show in 2005 and became seriously interested in 2012, when they joining the society. They attended a number of workshops from the absolute aficionados of the rose; Dean Stringer, Peter Burton and Tony Hanna. They exhibited for the first time in 2012 and were overwhelmed with their success, gaining numerous prizes culminating in Grand Champion and State Championship at the 2016 Spring Show.

It was through the rose society that Dawn and Don heard about Neutrog. Today, the Neutrog range is first and foremost their “go to” product. “Dawn had not been overly happy with the quality of the foliage on our roses, so I decided to start using GOGO Juice monthly, and the results were simply staggering” said Don. “There’s so many products which we just love to use. Cock ‘n Bull, Seamungus, GOGO Juice and Sudden Impact for Roses. Liquid Sudden Impact for Roses is applied every 8 weeks during the growing season. Liquid Seamungus is applied before and after hot spells. Suffice to say, that they’re all used on our other garden beds, because over the subsequent years, we’ve turned most garden areas into rose beds. Neutrog’s range of Gypsum, Blood & Bone, Cock & Bull, Cow Manure and compost was added to these beds and dug in. We now have 176 roses, consisting of hybrid teas, miniatures and floribundas and climbers” concluded Don.

Normally, if you’re not into roses, you wouldn’t even consider them in your garden – we’ve heard all of the grumbly, thorny comments over the years. It just goes to show though, how fascinating the rose is; with Don changing from one distinct garden style to a completely new one. He now even does his own budding and propagates his own rootstock! Happy gardening Don and Dawn.

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