ROSES can be expensive plants but they last for many, many years and are easy to establish if you follow a few simple steps on planting and aftercare.
Now is a great time to come into the garden centre and see the roses in their full glory, all in flower and all offering their fragrance for you to enjoy and choose your favourite.
My current favourites are Rhapsody in Blue and Scent-imental, both in flower now and smelling divine!
Scent-imental is a wonderful red and white striped variety with a richly spiced musky fragrance and Rhapsody in Blue is the closest yet to a blue rose, with a beautiful sweet scent.
Both available at Fermoy's from £7.50 each.
Our potted roses can be planted all year round, as long as you follow a few simple rules:
mix a bucket of rotted manure into the area where you are planting
dig a hole twice the width of the pot and a spade's depth
apply general fertiliser over the area
tease out the roots of the rose and ensure that the grafted stems are at soil level.
AFTER the recent droughts, many gardeners will have been grateful for the recent rainfall but it has left another issue to deal with in the garden — the increase in slugs eating our plants.
The combination of a mild, frost-free winter and a damp spring has provided the perfect conditions for the pests and sent numbers doubling or even tripling.
Slug expert Dr Richard Meredith, of Bayer Crop Science, said: "Conditions over the last couple of months have been really good for the slugs to reproduce. As long as it's wet and warm, they just keep going. They like the rain and warm, and we prayed for rain, and now we've had months of it — and the slugs are thriving."
Fermoy's staff are seeing slug pellets fly of the shelves — great value at the moment is DOFF traditional slug pellets at only £1.80 per kilo but if you prefer the more humane methods, here are some new ones to try:
Beer — yes, it really does work. Place a jar or old margarine tubs on top of the soil close to the damaged plants, wait until dusk and then fill them with the cheapest, but freshest, beer you can find. The next morning, they should be filled with dead drunken slugs
Coffee — new research has found caffeine to be very effective at dispatching slugs. Save your dregs and spray them full strength directly on the beasts in the evening. Surround plants under attack with a mulch of used coffee grounds to deter slugs and feed the plants.
Board — lay some old planks between your garden beds. The slugs will crawl underneath to hide from the sun. Come morning, lift the boards and scrape the slugs into a bucket and take them far away from your plants.
Human hair — surround your plants with a protective barrier of hair taken from your hairbrush. The slugs will get all tangled up in it and the hair will eventually add plant-feeding nitrogen to the soil.
Citrus — leave lemon, orange and grapefruit rinds out overnight near slug prone plants, and then collect them in the morning complete with slugs.
If you have any other sure fired way to get rid of them, let us know at Fermoy's and we will tell other readers more ways of trying to slow down their progress.
THERE is still time to enter your garden into our jubilee competition. So, if you know of anyone who has a great red, white and blue front garden or a business with a themed display this year, tell them to give us a ring and they may be in with a chance of winning £100 of Fermoy's vouchers in our summer competition.