Tis the season to make cuttings …….(fa la la la la, la la la la)

The seasons seem to be continuing in their confused and chaotic order.2 good frosts last week, followed immediately by positively balmy nights and warm days again. Whatever the weather, the days are drawing in daily and the winter solstice is less than 4 weeks away, so it must be late autumn and time to go full steam ahead making cuttings and moving roses, mostly simultaneously.


autumn colour behind The Pottery

We are well on the way to completing the moves into the new Hybrid Musk garden…Thisbe, Autumn Delight and Prosperity are waiting till an excavator (either human or mechanical) digs out the hole for a small fish pond below the leaking water tank. I left my thriving goldfish population behind at Weiti, and really miss them. Felicia is also waiting, for strength of body and mind! She is looking so superb in The Hunk, and wafting her beautiful scent everywhere. She is also very big!! Will get onto that anytime soon…

We are also very busy in the potting shed packing roses to send. We have been getting lots of orders from around the country, and also an increasing number of pick ups. Pick ups are so much easier than posting, however they lead to a problem for us…when people pick up, they take the roses away in their pots (obviously!!!) Up until last year this was not too much of a problem as every year the inorganic collection came to our district, and we trawled the North Shore streets spotting and collecting the plant pots from the “rubbish”. But the very unhelpful council put a stop to this age old custom (I learnt it from my father as a child!) so now our source of free pots is gone, and if we have to start buying them new, we will certainly have to up the price of our roses to cover it. And all those precious pots will now be getting crushed and wasted. Sad world…

So, if anyone vaguely local is reading this and hoarding rose size pots, we will a) love you forever and b) give you a free rose if you drop off a stack! Or we would be happy to pick up if you have lots, anywhere from Silverdale to Thames. Contact us if you can oblige.

So back to the cuttings… A very unscientific procedure, it can be very heart breaking as pot after pot of promising looking cuttings wither and die. But the successes make up for it and whether we truly are improving techniques with experience or just having a run of good luck, we seem to be having a slightly higher success rate of late. Some tricky families, like the Noisettes and Bourbons are coming to the party a little more often and the older Austins seem to be coming firmly onside. The proportion of our 500 odd roses growing on their own roots since the garden move has jumped and I really wonder if this has any affect on the results. I can’t see why, as cutting wood is cutting wood however it is produced, but the results may be telling us something??

Dainty Bess has kindly agreed to grow on her own roots for us

The upshot of this waffling is we are hoping by next season to have a wider range of Old Fashioned and Classic Austins available on their own roots…Here’s hoping!