Our Rose Garden at Weiti Waikato

Now featured in NZ Gardener

Designing a rose garden

New garden area cleared, fenced and ready to start…

We owned the property for 2 years while I  gardened in the areas around the house ,before my partner, Graham, came up with the idea of stealing a big chunk of the hay paddock to build the main garden in. Good idea, Graham! our friendly fencer found some budget deer netting and the job was done!

Transplanting roses

We were very lucky to be in a position of gradual moving of the garden. It was 3 years from when we bought the farm in Mangatangi, till I moved permanently from Weiti Station at Redvale to Weiti Waikato. The first thing I did was establish a hospital bed for the weakening roses from my old garden . I planted them in an area out of the way and into a deep bed of local topsoil. This garden has now become the vege garden. 95% of these roses came back from the nearly dead and are now burgeoning in the new gardens. Much moving of roses continued the next winter as some of the beds were put into place. My ute plied up and down the motorway loaded with roses and plants. Often the horse float was on the back…I moved all my established buxus hedges which was a pretty mammoth task as most were 10-15 years old. I had been making cuttings in advance too, a couple of hundred to edge the long border.

In the winter of 2015 we dumped several tractor trailer loads of stable manure in a strip and planted all the David Austin collection en masse while I decided what we were going to do with them. In the summer I decided, and in the winter of 2016 we moved most of them again! They were a lot bigger 1 year later, that’s for sure.

the ” hospital”

The David Austin Collection

When we started collecting roses in the 90’s, we chanced upon the David Austin roses and fell in love. Mary Ellen, who lived in the Waikato at the time and had a fairly large garden, grew Constance Spry and Heritage along her boundary fence and loved them most of all her roses, without knowing much about them. The first rose I ever bought was Mary Rose on sale at Mitre 10 for $5. I bought it because it was $5! and happened to be the maiden name of my beloved mother in law. The next one I bought was Charles Rennie Mackintosh…Mackintosh being the name of my favourite horse! It’s amazing how much the name of a rose dictates it’s popularity! By now Mary Ellen had moved back to Auckland and built a new house and garden. We both started buying roses whenever the price was right, and they were mostly Austins. We read a lot about them and learnt that thanks to Trevor Griffiths all the early Austins had been imported to NZ and set about collecting them. Often at full price!

bees make a beeline to sir clough with his generous stamens

At Weiti, most of my gardens were colour themed, so the Austins were scattered throughout, but when I moved I decided to make them into a collection as we realised many of them were no longer available commercially and someone should try to keep them available to people who want to have certain plants. The “old” varieties have been superceded by better and healthier specimens and the DA company don’t seem to want to keep the old ones available. And  to be honest, some of them are complete losers and need to be cossetted to keep them alive! but them’s the breaks – a collection is a collection, end of story.

the david austins “heeled in” December 2015
getting things sorted, September 2016
and in their (hopefully) permanent positions dec 2016

I lost a few in the move, but most of the hoary up to 20 year old plants rocketed away with new vigour in their new home. More than 75% are now growing on their own roots.

The Border

The border is home to most of the true old fashioned, once flowering beauties, with a mix of repeat flowering old fashioneds and modern David Austins to keep up the year round action.

the north end of border in dec 2015
same view 1 year later

Because the border is quite wide in places with a hedge of lemonwoods and ramblers/climbers on the back fence, we felt some structure was needed in the bed to home some of the climbing roses and clemati. 4 old cattle yard gates fitted the bill, and we suspended old wharf ropes between them to imitate the swags I’ve always lusted after!

a “structure” in place, being used for beans and tomatoes before this part of the garden was established

Roses in The Border

North – Souvenir de Malmaison, Indigo, Rose de Rescht, Jacques Cartier, Comptes de Chambord, Lady Mary Fitzwilliam, Frau Karl Drushki, Vicks Caprice, La Ville de Bruxelle, Falstaff, Mme Hardy, Raubritter, Reine Victoria, Souvenir de St Annes, Lewesengower, Boule de Neige, Reine Victoria, Mme Pierre Oger, Champion of the World, Baronne Provost, Darcey Busell, Mme Isaac Pereire, Mme Alfred Carriere, Variegata de Bologna, Tuscany Superb, Mme Lauriol de Barny, Duchesse and White Duchesse de Brabant, Leda, Commandant Beaurepaire,  Honorine de Brabant, Mme Plantier, Princess Anne, Mme Boll, Francis Dubreuil, Eugenie de Guinoisseau, Little Gem, William Lobb, Konnegin von Danmark, Papa Hemeray, Skylark, Wedgwood Rose, Sceptere’d Isle,  Restless, Hippolyte, Blush Noisette, Narrow Water, Aimee Vibert, Antonia D’Ormois, Belle de Crecy, Cardinal Richelieu, Charles de Mills, Great Western, Fantin Latour, La Rubanee, Pompom de Bourgogne, Tour de Malakoff, Duc de Cambridge, Ispahan, Lady Alice Stanley,  Lavender Dream, de la Grifferie ,Cardinal Hume, Etoile de Hollande, Spong, Ferdinand Pichard, Orphelline de Juillet, Sir John Betjeman, General Kleber, The Bishop, Falstaff, Othello, Seafoam, Weiti Electric, Sweet Chariot, Souvenir d’Alphonse Lavaller, Souvenir du Dr Jamain

South – , Paul’s Scarlet, James Mason, Jane Austin, The Pilgrim, Compte de Champagne, Buttercup, Papa Meilland, Angela, Grace, Crepescule, Pat Austin, Summer Song, Mari Dot, Charlotte, Lady of Shallot, Tea Clipper, Charles Darwin, Troilus, Lady of Megginch, Red Cascade, Frensham, Dean Hole, Ellen Wilmott, Mme Falcot, Ellen, Colonel Sharman Crawford, Crepescule

The Hunk

A man’s take on some suitable edging to back onto the strip, which has the old sheep yard posts as an edging. We didn’t have enough ;left to do the other side, so Graham got some “logs we chopped down” from the farm he manages over the road…My daughter texted me a photo with the words “Badminton Horse Trials has arrived in your garden”. When I got down here the next day I was deeply shocked by the size of the logs…giant gum trees. A bit of artistic input was called for and “The Hunk” was born..

The Hunk is slightly colour schemed, being main home to the Hybrid Musks, so is mostly in cream, apricot, yellow and soft pink shades.

Roses planted here are …Moonlight, The Active, Ballerina, Ghislaine de Feligonde, Prosperity, Devoniensis, Autumn Delight, Penelope, Thisbe, Charles Darwin, Pegasus, Mrs Oakley Fisher, Miss Ellen Wilmott, Nevada, Golden Wings, Marie van Houtte, Danae, Buff Beauty, City of Timaru, Allistair Stella Grey, Felicia, Cornelia, Crown Princess Margarita, Tipsy’s Imperial Concubine, Mme Abel Chatenay, Catherine Mermet, Windermere, Lichfield Angel, Gruss an Aachen,

The Buxus Brests

Home to the Polyanthas, some Chinas and early Floribundas.

It was hard to decide what to use to edge this garden with, as it adjoins the Hunk with it’s huge gum logs forming it’s perimeter. The border is opposite with baby buxus for it’s edging but they were only about 2″ high when planted, so would have been dwarfed by the logs. Transporting one of the mature hedges from the old garden did the trick. Roses in this garden are Eblouissant, Kersbergen, The Fairy, Red Fairy, Gentle Maid, Little White Pet, Mrs RM Finch, Baby Faurax, Frensham, Gruss an Templitz, Dainty Bess, Lilac Charm, News, Sunny June, Cecile Brunner, White Cecile Brunner, Pink Prosperity, Ena Harkness, the 3 Paris roses, Horstmen’s Rosenresli, pink Gruss an Aachen.

The White Garden

At the old garden in Redvale, pretty much all the gardens were colour coded cos I quite fancy that, but as I wanted to put all the classic Austins together in a collection here, I decided to arrange the gardens more in families of roses rather than in colours.

rescue roses

However I had only recently made an all white garden at Weiti North before we bought the farm down here, so I wasn’t quite ready to let go! and had to find a place to put one in the new garden. As it is on the south west side of the chalet and garage I wasn’t planning on planting roses in it. The best laid plans of mice and men…tentatively put just a couple in to see how they went…(it’s not a very big garden)…so presently roses include,,,Mrs Herbert Stevens against one chalet wall and Sombreuil on the other, Jacqueline du Pre, Winchester Cathedral, Devoniensis, Kaiserin Viktoria, White Maman Cochet and Weiti Lady in Waiting ( a new seedling, looking quite interesting) finally in a nearby corner yet to be developed there is a row of rescue roses ( we can’t bear to kill unwanted roses and always have to dig up other peoples unwanted roses and rehabilitate them and re-home them) The ubiquitous standard Iceberg…

Around the House

The gardens around the house were full of trees and shrubs when we bought the property, you could only see green out most of the windows, and the weta count inside was scary! We set about cutting down the trees and moving the shrubs, there are plenty of trees all over the property and I didn’t feel the need to live inside a forest.

Most of the dirt had to be replaced. I have planted roses and perennials all around the house now, although the front “hot” garden has very few roses as the nearby presence of 2 huge oak trees means all the nutrient and water gets stolen immediately.

Around the house are, Lordly Oberon, Strawberry Hill, Wild Eve, Young Lycidas, Radway Sunrise, Comptesse de Cayla, Christopher Marlowe, Lady Hillingdon, Fourth of July, LD Braithwaite, Claire Austin,

At the back of the house I have planted the Rugosas:-: Topaz Jewel, Agnes, Eugenie, Belle Poitivine, Frau Dagmar Hartopp, Shneezwerg, pink Grutendorst, Henry Hudson, Corylus, Blanc Double de Weiti, Blanc Double de Coubert, Mme George Bruant, Roserie de l’Haye

Around the garage I have planted some of our homegrown Weiti roses – Sherry, Northcross, Wild. Electric, Madame and Sweetie, together with 2 saved standards, Cornelia and Gruss an Aachen.

The Stump Strip

The Strip on the SW side of the inner garden lawn was supposed to be a border, but was born in my absence when I was still living at Weiti North. I was deeply disappointed when I arrived to see it, but could cope once I stopped thinking of it as a border… Anyway it provided a new place to put roses and stuff in the meantime until I could get a real border.  This piece of garden is basically a long thin bed with 2 large tree stumps in it.  I have widened it a bit and it now holds most of the Chinas and early hybrid teas.

Roses in The Strip:  Mum’s Old Red, Francis Dubreuil, Mme Abel Chatenay,  W R Smith, Homere, Mme Antoine Mari, William Shakespeare 2000, Mme Falcot, Queen Mab, Munstead Wood, Louis XIV, Alice Hamilton, Viridiflora, Weiti Betty, Hermosa, Old Blush, Papa Gontier,Ellen Wilmott, Kaiserin August Viktoria, Lilac Rose, Geoff Hamilton, St Mikes Red Tea, Deep Secret

Up the North side of the “garden” there is a wide border with lots of trees and shrubs in it. I have also planted a small citrus collection and some other sub tropical fruit trees. In between these are bulbs for every season, and, surprise, surprise a few roses here and there!

Roses on this side of the house are: Mutabilis, Mme Berkeley, Triomphe de Luxembourg, General Gallieni, Souvenir d’un Ami, Archiduc Joseph, Dublin Bay, Maman Cochet, Captain Christie, Benjamin Britten

The Species Garden

rosa ecae is very happy in it’s new position and flowered for more than 2 months off and on in the spring

The Species garden is at the bottom of the driveway, a line of flowering cherries made it a pain to mow, so we sprayed and mulched it and started planting the species roses and some of their crosses, with “weed” perennials in between. Most of the roses are doing well down there, the tougher ones under the trees should get away in the autumn/winter when the trees lose their leaves.

We have Stanwell Perpetual, Banksia lutea, Banksia Purezza, Trier, Foetida bi-colour, Ecae, Euphrates, Anais Segales, de la Grifferie, Dupontii, Rouletti, Indica Major, Canina, Glauca, Alba Maxima, Ann Endt, Rosa Rugosa and Rugosa Alba, Roxburghii, Laevegata, Rosa Mundi, Pom Pom de Bourgogne, Multiflora,  pimpinelifolias – Altaica, William III, Single Cherry, Dunwich, double cream, Glory of Edsell, Falkland, Suzanne

 The Nursery

The Nursery is situated at the back of the garden, behind the potting shed. We have a good carpark area and also have the glasshouses, the chook run and orchard and some extra veg space down here. As it is all fenced with lovely deer fencing, there is plenty of room for climbers.

Roses in this area are: Mme Sancy de Parabere, Blackboy, Kathleen Harrop Parade, Pierre de Ronsard, Adam, Blanc Pur, Climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison, Long John Silver, Celine Forestier, Zephirine Drouhin, Teasing Georgia, Mme Gregoire Stachelin, Lamarque.

Roses Rambling Around the Edges

Roses here are Banksia Normalis, Veilchenblau, Violette, Amy, Dee’s Blackboy, Pinkie, Silver Moon, The Garland, Adelaide d’Orleans, Sylvan Beauty, The Balmain, Lavender Lassie, New Dawn, Nancy Haywood, Paul Transon, May Queen, Alberic Barbier, Seafoam, Felicitie et Perpetue, Pink Bells and a host of unnamed ramblers collected from old farms and the side of the road.