News and Trends

Ring Around the Rosy

Original Text Compiled by Michelle Snaddon It’s no surprise that rose lover Liz McGrath, owner of The Collection by Liz McGrath hotels, has a rose named after her. Her rose gardens in Cape Town and Johannesburg are nothing short of spectacular. We asked her advice on pruning: "With 1,000 rose bushes in the Constantia garden, we begin at the end of summer by removing old mulch and dead wood. Shrub roses are pruned to 1m high, climbers are neatened and tied up, and supports for standards are checked. Then we spray with a lime sulphur solution. Old fashioned roses are pruned only after their first flush in spring and we don’t usually water until September. Feeding begins in summer with Vigarosa and we spray twice a month with Ludwig’s cocktail, starting when leaves turn green. Mulching is done late November." Liz adds, "In Johannesburg, the Tana House garden has been pruned for 25 years by Henry Khumalo of Garden Green who prunes at the beginning of July. Bushes are then given a heavy soaking before stopping all watering for three weeks, giving the roses a chance to rest. My favourite rose is obviously the Antique Modern rose that was given to me by my family but I also love Elegant Beauty. Germiston Gold thrives in Gauteng, and is amazing value because it lasts forever in water and dies with open petals in a most elegant manner." The original article, In the Name of the Rose, was published in the July 2011 issue of House and Leisure (page 129).