The Millbrook Rose Festival
The Millbrook Rose Festival takes place annually and this year starts on the 21st of June. Our centres are flooded with stunning, colourful and unusual blooms from rose experts Whartons and David Austin, as well as plants and flowers that are perfect partners to our roses, such as lavender, nepeta and salvia. Make sure you come and take a look – it’s a feast for the senses! Plus, our Millbrook family members can choose two from any 3 litre patio, shrub or hybrid tea rose for the special price of £16 or £9.99 each (non-member price).
This year, we’re highlighting carpet roses! Carpet roses, or ground cover roses, are ideal for bringing low-growing colour to a relatively large area, without a huge amount of effort. They form a large, hardy thicket and many repeat flower, or flower over an extended period. They’re low-maintenance and hardy with very good disease-resistance, plus their extensive root systems enable them to cope with very little water as they can access water from lower levels. This year we’ll be stocking some stunning varieties from Whartons at a special price of £6.99 (was £9.99).
The Millbrook Prettiest Rose Competition
If your own roses have already bloomed, why not enter The Millbrook Prettiest Rose Competition for a chance to win a rose hamper? More details coming soon.
Top Tips for Beautiful Roses
Soil, compost, mulching and feeding
Roses are hungry plants and really need a well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter, so planting in the right compost is an important first step. Levington’s Rose, Tree & Shrub compost contains nutrients and water-retaining agents that help with fast root establishment, plus it works to improve poor soils with a combination of peat and organic recycled materials. Mulching, ideally in the Autumn, is also helpful for keeping moisture in the ground and preventing fungal problems like rust and black spot. We recommend putting down a 2-3 inch thick layer of mulch around the base of the plant every Autumn.
Container-planted roses need a little more TLC because they are essentially trapped in their pots, and depend on you to provide them with the nutrients they need to thrive. We would suggest feeding them with a slow-release plant food, such as Miracle-Gro Rose & Shrub Continuous Release Plant Food, once in the Spring, and again after they have flowered to give them a boost for more flowers later in the Summer. Millbrook family members can take advantage of our Miracle-Gro Liquid Feeds offer (all-purpose, ericaceous, rose & shrub mix and match), 2 for £9.
Planting and watering
Roses always flower best in full sun, so choose your site carefully. Dig a good-sized hole or choose a good-sized pot with room for growth, incorporate some farmyard manure or Rose, Tree and Shrub Compost into the existing soil, and then just before you put your rose in, add some Rootgrow, a beneficial fungi which is a little miracle worker in getting your plants to establish faster and better. Backfill with compost, and water in very well. Roses do have a high water requirement, so make sure you water very well a couple of times a week, rather than giving them a little bit more frequently.
Pruning and deadheading
Prune and deadhead in Spring before the new growth starts. If you haven’t pruned roses before, take a look at the RHS website, which has excellent detailed instructions on how and when to prune the different varieties. Then when your roses start to flower in the Summer, keep them deadheaded regularly, which will encourage more flowers later in the summer. Don’t forget, a really good, sharp pair of secateurs, like the Wilkinson Sword Bypass secateurs are essential. This month, Millbrook family members can save £5 on Wilkinson Sword Pruner Twin Pack, now £9.99.
Roses are unfortunately prone to fungal diseases, particularly blackspot, rust and mildew, all of which look unsightly and weaken the plant. Prevention is better than cure, so as soon as they start to leaf up, spray every 2-3 weeks with RoseClear Ultra 2 to keep the plants free of infection. It also has the added bonus of dealing with any aphids, which tend to attack the soft new shoots in May and June. Millbrook family members can choose from Roseclear 2, Bugclear 2 and Fungus Clear Ultra Guns and receive 2 for £12 (£6.49 each).
In the Autumn make sure that you clear away any fallen leaves, bag them up and throw them away rather than compost them, and then put down a mulch around the plant, which traps any fungal spores under the mulch, and prevents them re-infecting the plant the following Spring.
All above-mentioned offers (with the exception of carpet roses) are available to Millbrook family members exclusively until June 30th or while stocks last. Simply show your card to be treated.