Roses for Valentine’s Day
My love is like a red, red rose - Robert Burns
Instead of giving your loved one a single, perishable red rose on Valentine's Day, choose instead a long-lived red rose bush as a symbol of your enduring love. No flower is associated more with romance than the rose. For the Greeks the rose was the flower of their goddess of love, Aphrodite, and they wore garlands of roses on festive occasions and adorned their bodies with rose-scented oils. Romans associated roses with Cupid, the son of Venus and imported red roses from the island of Rhodes for perfume, and to decorate their lavish banquets. In the fourteenth century the rose was described as `the flower of flowers' and red roses, in particular, were considered symbolic of true love. One of the oldest red roses is the spring-flowering Rosa rugosa. Cross breeding between this antique rose and many other rose species and cultivars have produced the magnificent red roses available today.
Choose a red rose:
- 'LD Braithwaite' - Eng. 1,5m tall. Large blooms. Good fragrance
- 'Mainauperle' - HT. Urn-shaped flowers. Prolific blooms
- 'Bavarian Girl' - Fl. 1,2m tall. Fragrant blooms
- 'Tornado' - FL. Semi-double blooms. Vigorous.
- 'Five Roses' - HT. Romantic fragrance.
- 'Charlotte Searl' - HT. 1,2m tall. Does not fade to blue
- 'Cora Marie' - HT. 2m tall. Sweet fragrant. Excellent cut flowers
- 'Lava Glow' - FL. 0,7m tall. Keeps its colour well
- 'Francois Krige' - Eng. 1,5m. Long-stemmed blooms.
- 'Satchmo' - FL. Semi-double blooms. Prolific growth.
- 'Mother's Value' - HT. 1,8m. Long-stemmed roses for the vase
- 'Red Pixie' - FL. 0,8m tall. Strong fragrance
- 'Samourai' - HT. Large, double booms. Floriferous.
- 'Amanda' - Min. 0,5m tall. Long flowering season
Eng = English rose
HT = Hybrid tea
Fl = Floribunda
Min = Miniature
How to plant roses
- Choose a place in the garden that receives at least 6 hours full sun per day, and, if possible, some shade in the afternoon. Avoid planting roses too near trees because their roots will compete with the rose for water and nutrition.
- Each rose bush requires a square hole 50cm x 50cm wide by 50cm deep in size. If you are planting more than one rose bush, each hole should be about 1m apart from edge to edge. Remove all the soil, placing the topsoil and subsoil in different piles. Mix the topsoil with a bucket of compost, 2 tablespoons of bonemeal and a handful of balanced fertiliser, and return to the hole.
- Cut the planting bag off the rose bush and, without disturbing the roots, place the rose bush into the centre of the hole, so that the soil in the bag is level with the soil in the hole. Press down the newly prepared soil firmly around the rose and water deeply.
- Make a round basin around each rose bush with leftover soil. Fill this basin with a mulch or bark chips to conserve water in the soil. Leave a circle of about 30cm in diameter free of mulch around each bush.
- Water daily until new growth appears.