Gardeners rose to pruning challenge

Rose pruning day at the park

By Kate Lockyer

It may be the middle of winter, but preparations for springtime blooms have begun in New Farm Park as gardeners pruned back more than 7,000 roses.

Senior Team Leader Jean-Charles Guex has a team of five gardeners at the park, but apprentices are brought in to help with the job.

Deanna Mete, Jess Rhodes, George Chan and Chantelle Binstead

Central Ward Councillor Vicki Howard said: “It’s always an exciting day because it’s a hands-on experience for our apprentices to be able to work in such a beautiful park.”

“I think the roses are extra special part of New Farm Park.”

Councillor Vicki Howard and Colin Johnston

Mr Guex said there are many challenges to looking after the roses in the Southern hemisphere.

“Roses in Brisbane are not in the perfect climate; it’s the opposite to what they like, they don’t like the humidity of summer, they get a lot of fungal disease.”

“Sometimes being a public park too there are accidents,” he laughed.

Mr Guex, known as JC, has been working at the park for 17 years now.

He said there are hundreds of different rose varieties in the gardens, with the three main types being Hybrid Tea, Floribunda and Heritage roses.

Colin Johnston, High Profile Operations Coordinator, Public Space Operations, said: “Pruning is important in removing damaged, diseased, weak, and poorly formed parts of a plant.”

“It also allows good airflow and light to the plants and is particularly important in Brisbane’s sub-tropical climate.

“… though it’s sad to see them pruned back, we know this means an even more spectacular display come bloom time in September.”

6 thoughts on “Gardeners rose to pruning challenge”

  1. Wilkinson Sharon

    Hi congratulations on your fantastic roses just wanting to know when is the best time to prune?
    For our garden as we have 21 roses..??

    1. Brisbane City Council has said:
      At New Farm Park, we used locally-supplied mulch from Centenary Landscaping Supplies.

      This is a mulch consisting of aged green waste ranging in size and makeup from fine through to chunky.

      We use this mulch as an economical way to provide an organic based mulching solution that provides good moisture retention in the garden beds, adds organic matter to the soil as this product breaks down, balanced against longevity and maintenance of the mulch.

      However, any organic mulch (aged forest mulch, sugar cane, lucerne etc.,) can be used by home gardeners for growing roses to conserve moisture, whilst adding organic material to the soil.

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