Friday, June 16, 2006

"New Dawn" rose

A "New Dawn" rose scales the trellis over the kitchen door and climbs to the floor above. Here, my view from the bedroom window finds the buds and blooms craning towards the sun. At the height of rose season, their scent seeps into the house.

As with Briar Rose's castle, in past years, the canes have insinuated themselves into the windows. Come October, putting in the winter storm windows becomes a serious challenge. My rose care is straight-forward. Every spring and fall, I dowse with 1/4 cup epsom salts dissolved in two cups of water. On the first of the month from June to September, I claw in 3/4 cup of Rose-Tone. If the leaves exhibit yellowing, which I think is chlorosis caused by lime in the adjacent foundation, I toss on a few handfuls of chelated iron. After the New Year, I winter mulch the base with evergreen boughs.


rose rookie said...

I have recently purchased two New Dawn climbers on-line and am anxiously awaiting their arrival. I have never grown roses before and am worried that I will do something to hurt rather than help my roses thrive. You mention several maintenance things you do using products I have never heard of. Do you have any advice for a novice gardener, living in the Ottawa area of Ontario (Zone 4), 6 hours of afternoon sun, and without a clue what I'm doing. Help!

Doctor Mom said...

Hi There!

My major advice has to do with garden practice rather than products:

1. Stop fertilizing a month before your first frost so that cold weather doesn't kill any new growth. I stop fertilizing here in mid- or late August.

2. Later in the fall, tie up the canes to your climbing support and prune back the laterals--the smaller branches that grow out of the upright canes--to about 3-4 inches in length, with an angled cut just above a leaf node. This will prevent damage from winter winds, to you as well as the plant. It's no fun to be whipped with a thorny rose cane! Also, the growth will be appear more even and tidy in the spring if it starts from a plant that's been shaped uniformly in the fall.

3. Be sure to winter mulch after the ground has frozen. I lost one "New Dawn" the year that I failed to mulch. If you mulch too early, rodents and the like may nest in the mulch. I loosely pile up old Christmas tree boughs over the base of plant to the height of about 8 inches. I've also used seaweed and pine needles for this purpose--okay, what can I say--I'm cheap and not afraid to publicly collect nature's cast-offs--but salt marsh hay would also work.

Have fun!