Monthly Archives: July 2012

Rose budding


July is traditionally the month we spend budding roses. We plant approx 40,000 rootstocks each March (mainly Rosa laxa but also some Rosa multiflora), which by July have established well and grown into small bushy plants. Budding is the name given to the process of inserting a small bud of the variety you want to grow into a T – shaped cut at the base of the rootstock plant. This will then grow away, and you can cut off the top-growth of the rootstock, to leave a plant with the roots of the stock, and the top-growth of the desired variety.

Preparing the T cut in the rootstock

Like almost every other nursery in the UK, we mainly use R. laxa – it is a superb general purpose rootstock for use in the UK, as it is very hardy, rarely suckers and lives a long time. For a few of the exhibition varieties we have started budding onto R. multiflora, as they produce more flowers over a longer season, but they are shorter lived – a rose on this rootstock will only last about 8 – 10 years.

Preparing a bud

The weather so far hasn’t been too bad – if any spot of moisture gets behind the bud before the wrapping tie is put on, the bud will die, so they have been dodging the showers on occasion. This year is certainly a far cry from some of the years when they have opted to start work at 5am to finish early and miss working in scorching heat!

The prepared bud is then inserted into the T cut.

Our team of highly-skilled nurserymen aim to bud 1000 roses each per day. It’s back-breaking work, but it’s a job they actually look forward to each year – the chance to start another cycle of cropping. Plants budded now will be grown on for a year, and then will be available as bare-rooted plants as from November 2013.

A budding tie is then put on to protect the new bud, and it’s ready to grow!

Our Field Manager, Steve Dawson, demonstrates how to T bud a rose:

Rosa ‘Red 4’

On Saturday, Ian Roger went down to the Festival of Flowers show held at the Lincolnshire Showground. This was the first show hosted by the newly formed British Isles Rose Society. As well as meeting a lot of familiar faces (and seeing a lot of our roses on the show tables!), Ian was there to help with the presentation of a new rose ‘Red 4’.

Rosa 'Red 4'

Rosa ‘Red 4’

On the 20th August 2011, Flt Lt Jon Egging tragically lost his life whilst taking part in a display at the Bournemouth Air Festival. He was just coming to the end of his first year with the Royal Air Force Red Arrows aerobatic team. Jon’s wife, Emma, has since set up The Jon Egging Trust, which aims to help and inspire young people take control of their lives.

In support of the Trust Fund, one of the country’s leading amateur rose growers, Ronnie Rawlins, donated a new rose which has been named after Jon’s call sign ‘Red 4’. We are growing the rose here at the nursery, and we will make a £2.00 donation from each sale to the Trust Fund. The first roses will be available as bare-root plants in November 2012.

Mrs Marlene Rawlins (left) and Mr. Ronnie Rawlins (right), with Jon’s mother (centre)

A bouquet of this wonderful rose was presented to Jon’s mother at the show, which was followed by a fly past by the Red Arrows. It was a very emotional day, but it was also a chance to recognize the hard work and commitment of the many people who are helping the Trust to realize Jon’s dream.