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Saturday 29th May, 2021
Roses are due and we are organized
Labels, Check! Space created, Check! Deliveries timed and organized, Check! Potters recruited, Check
Still to do ...area sprayed with spore kill and space to mark out to get roses down alphabetically, but hey, I think that we are onto it and pretty organized... it just means that we have one weekend with a pretty large space looking very empty.
It has been a bit of a juggle to move all the plants around and fit them into other spaces around the nursery and so while there is a big gap ready and waiting for the roses the rest of the nursery is pretty full.
The whole process should flow pretty smoothly this year as we have a very experienced crew. Most of them have now been there and done that for a couple of seasons and know the drill and any newbies will go with the flow pretty quick. If you don't know the process, we will receive around 6000 roses this coming Monday (Thats just for next week) from Rob Sommerfield. If you can imagine a huge pile of bundled, roses that need to be sorted into alphabetical order. Once ordered they are counted and scanned into our inventory ready for the root pruners and labelers. The roots get trimmed back to stimulate growth, and so they fit into a planter bag. Labelling is pretty obvious but there is a knack to getting a tie tag and a colour lable onto a prickly hybrid tea rose stem without sacrificing blood or skin. The last is important as there are over 20 thousand roses to be labelled over the next few weeks.
Next step is onto the potters who open the planter bag, shovel in some potting mix, centre the rose holding it at the right depth and then filling the bag and packing the mix down... not too hard and not to soft... (too hard takes too long and too soft means that over the season the rose slumps in the bag)... onto the trolley and then, if not backordered, out into the garden centre in Alphabetical order. Usually we can only get the letters togather at this stage and when they are all here we then space and get into strict A to Z order so it can be a couple of weeks where finding a particular rose takes us a bit longer.
Repeat this process for the next 3 to 4 weeks with aprox 5000 to 6000 arriving each week.
We have allocated a large space for backordered roses as over a quarter of the roses coming have already found their homes. Usally we have a 10 day max hold period for plants that are being held in the nursery for their new owners but as our roses come to us from a number of different growers we allocate an area for them to be held so we can put orders together where we can as it takes a while and there can be a delay in collating orders as we wait for all the suppliers stock to arrive.
Because we have such an extensive selection of roses we have grouped these on our website by their types as we have learnt that many of you have a particular preference.
Hybrid Teas are like florist roses and without going into too much detail are traditionally high centres and one rose per stem with a high petal count so the rose will remain longer.
Floribunda are renown for being cluster flowered and prolific, they have nice buds and make for a great show in the garden.
Austin roses are modern shrub roses that have been bred to look old fashioned with those cupped and full blooms that we all love ... some have fragrance which is a plus for many.
The rest of the Rhodos, Azaleas and Lily of the valley shrubs have arrived and now complete the stock that we have in the nursery for the year. Orders will be notified but here are a few rhodo tasters.
Rhododendron Glenfalloch Blue is a real stunner with it's luminous blue flowers. Hardy to full sun. Always creates a great interest when flowering as it is truly different to other blue rhododendrons. The vibrance is spectacular.
Rhododendron Apple Brandy delivers beautiful showy trusses of cream flowers with an attractive pink edge which stand out against the leathery green foliage in spring.
Rhododendron High Society is an amazingly prolific flowerer, offering strong apricot pink flowers. Dark green rolled foliage and compact habit. Plant in semi shade.
Rhododendron Lucy Lou is a nice compact grower, a real cutie! The soft foliage emerges bronze with 'eyelash' hairs on the margins. As the season progresses it becomes a darker green, thick, full bush. Masses of White flowers will greet you in spring.
Rhododendron Ken Burns has buds of buff yellow with a pink flush and the fully open flowers fade out to a cream with a yellow throat and is fragrant. The leaves are quite small and slightly hairy and the plant stays well furnished and compact.
Rhodo's prefer rich deep soil that has an acid ph. Basically this excludes heavy clay or chalky soils. Soil condition can be improved with the addition of peat or bark mulch. Avoid lime. Rhododendrons prefer a little dapled light in the afternoon but can be surprisingly tolerant of sun as long as their roots are kept cool with a nice layer of mulch or compost.
From those that know..... aka Waikato Rose society
We get a lot of calls from people asking how to prune their roses or how to improve the health of their roses so if you have these questions or just want to grow the most amazing roses, perhaps even to show and compete with. Maybe you are looking for tips and advice or help with what are the best varieties to have in the garden. There are some total rose enthusiasts out there that just live and breathe roses and the best news is that they want to share what they know and for the want of a better expression their love of the rose.
The guys from the Waikato Rose Society have again put their hands up to come out to the nursery to be on hand to give pruning demos or just general chit chat about roses. It's a no brainer to come on out as you dont often get this level of expertise. There are quite a few 2 hour slots that hopefully circumnavigate school sports, shopping and all those weekend commitments that we all have. Just choose a time frame and register your interest on our facebook page or email us at email@example.com. By registering you give us a guide to help the rose society with potential numbers so they know many crew to bring. Just click the slot to go to the event to register.
What do you make with a fennel bulb, that looks as if it should have been eaten at least a week ago, and two red bell peppers that have started to shrink and get that wrinkled look? It took a bit of thinking about but then it came to me, a pork casserole, since there just happened to be several pork medallions, or the equivalent pork steak, in the freezer. It was one of those nights... this is what I have so what am I going to do with that fennel instead of throwing it out.
I cubed the pork, floured it, then seared it in hot oil in the casserole dish (just like your mother taught you). Removed the pork, and set aside, then threw in a couple of diced onions and all of the chopped fennel as well. I spied some chillis down in the bottom of the vege draw and so chucked 4 of these in whole as well... sliced red bell peppers, crushed garlic and in the garlic drawer there were some old dried up Kaffir lime leaves, salt and pepper to taste. Add back the pork pieces, plus a heap of halved gourmet potatoes, a litre of bought vegetable stock and into the oven for an hour and half or maybe two.
It made enough to have for the next three nights which is great 'cause then you only have to do one major effort. First night was it was served with rice and the second night with roasted tatties and roasted, mashed pumpkin... and night three is yet to happen... some home grown sprouting broc completed dinner.
Oh My what a beautiful moon last night .. tempted though I was to stay up, or rather get up, to view the blood moon, I must admit the temption wasn't strong enough for me to miss my beauty sleep. Though I did see the moon on it's upward journey, on my way home from work, and on it's way down in the east on my way home from swimming at 7 am. I always associate full moons with a cold night and usually frosts but, as one of the new guys suggested to me, it was because the sky was clear and we could actually see the moon. Check out this pic on facebook with the garden and the early full moon... got to love having a beautiful garden.
Not this week but the following, is another long weekend being Queens Birthday an extra day to get the garlic in if you havent already... mine is still there waiting to be planted ... perhaps it will be this coming long weekend.