Highcroft Garden is a 2 acre garden at Harrogate in South Australia. Maureen & Chris Highet’s beautiful property, which also farms Red Angus cattle, captures the wonderful views across the ranges. After retiring 12 years ago, Maureen was disappointed when she realised she had absolutely nothing to do. At the time, Maureen had no interest whatsoever in gardening other than maintaining the lawns and shrubs. “I found myself wandering out into the front garden and doing a bit of pottering around, and you know what, I enjoyed it!” enthused Maureen. “It didn’t take long before I fell completely in love with gardening.
The coldest month is also the busiest in our gardens as the old is swept away and we prepare for the coming bounty that our roses will soon offer. With frosts as heavy as I have seen in our area, temperatures dropped to minus 2.7 and as a consequence the roses have largely defoliated.
Naked plants makes visualising the location of each pruning cut easier, it makes disposal of the prunings easier; it however adds to the burden of cleaning the beds of fallen leaves much more onerous.
Joy & Ray Nolan made the tree change from Hoppers Crossing in Melbourne to Rutherglen 6 years ago. Joy & Ray had had many wonderful family holidays along the Murray and when it became time to consider making the move, Rutherglen was on their list. What a great decision it has been for them too. Nothing is too far away and they’re living in a vibrant country town.
Joy describes their home as being on a “battle-axe” of a 1 ¼ acre block. Built in 1994, some of the original owner’s garden plantings were evident, although the overall impression was of a neglected garden. However, they could see the potential for an impressive display. There were 12 very neglected roses in the driveway roundabout with the plan being to save them. The removal van put paid to that and squashed five of them! Today though, there are 18 roses in the roundabout.
If you have roses in your garden and need to know how to care for them over winter, Dr. Jacinta Burke from the Rose Society of Victoria has some great tips. “Winter is upon us and it is time to get ready for pruning our roses. The roses should have put on plenty of growth over the spring to autumn months, and now need to be rejuvenated for the next season’s growth. Before starting, make sure that your tools have been cleaned and sharpened. Blunt tools make the task more difficult, and more importantly can lead to bruising of the stems, which may result in disease and cause the stems to die back.
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.
Heather Huxley has spent many years in the horticultural field, and in March 2019 was successful in obtaining the role of Program Officer Parks & Reserves with the City of Hobart, which encompasses the care of 148 parks and gardens in the metropolitan area.
The Uni Rose Garden is one of the main gardens under Heather’s care, and is located on a main entrance into the Hobart CBD. The garden features almost 700 roses with around 40 varieties. “Most of the roses were quite old and well past their prime” said Heather. “Given the condition of the roses, I made the decision to get tough – either they had to improve or we’d make the decision to remove them.”
Perhaps you’ve taken the step of planting some roses, you’ve enjoyed their fragrance and colour during the year, and now you’re feeling a little panicky at the need to prune shortly? Sandra Turner, President of the Victorian Rose Society explains how to do it.
When pruning all roses, you need to be prepared. Be dressed appropriately, have good gardening gloves – preferably elbow length. Correct tools such as sharp secateurs, loppers and a pruning saw are essential. You will also need a cloth and jar with diluted bleach to disinfect your tools as you prune your roses.
Ross Kemp is a member of the Rose Society of South Australia and is from Riverton, a small town in the mid-north of SA. He designed his own fertigation system to stop pellet wastage, as he found that birds and other wildlife loved to eat them, so he’s kindly provided us with his research. “Fertigation used in home gardens is probably the most efficient and effective way of applying fertiliser to your plants. A fertigation system delivers nutrients directly to the plant by using a hose attached to the 13mm inline dripper system, with water delivering a rate of 1.7 litres per hour. The issue with fertigation is that most people need to get their head around how and why it works. Applying fertiliser by hand is possibly the easiest way that we fertilise our plants – unless you use a fertiliser cart, most people just grab a handful and…