ISSUE 21, April 2007
Editorial
Historic: Philanthropist and scientist: Sir Henry Wellcome
Travel: In Darwin's footsteps
Grand Secretary: Interview with Nigel Brown
Quarterly Communication: Speech by the Pro Grand Master and Report of the Board of General Purposes
Faith and Freemasonry: A Salvationist and the Craft
Young Mason: Keep up the tradition
Freemasons' Hall: Refurbishment
Ladies Groups: Cheshire Ladies Circle
   Library and Museum: Masonry and music - the role of the organ
Specialist Lodge: A new Lodge for showmen is consecrated
Serving the community: Two Masons win major rescue awards
Spain: How a Cleveland Mason found his Spanish roots
Wales: Welsh Mason lands national sporting award
Hospices: The Craft's historic links with hospices
Ancient Craft: Herefordshire's ancient boat builder
Education: Forthcoming events and Andrew Prescott and Own free will and accord and First Universities Scheme Initiate
Masonic Charities: Latest from the four main Masonic charities
Letters, Book reviews, Gardening

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An abundance of roses enhances any garden
According to a poll held last year, the nationís favourite bloom is the rose. One of the benefits of growing your own is that you can, if you wish, choose a variety that produces a lovely fragrance.
    Roses can be grown in most positions, although they do like a good deep soil and not too much competition from the roots of other plants, especially trees and shrubs.
    Ideally, this means a minimum of 50cm all round, including the depth. The only unsuitable spot is where they are overhung by trees. Shade from buildings is not too bad as long as they have at least four or five hours of sun a day.
    Roses appreciate good ground preparation, so plenty of well-rotted manure or garden compost should be mixed into the soil. The best time for planting is late autumn through to late spring, early summer.
    It is best to avoid the summer and late summer months, if possible, as at this time of the year, they require lots of watering.
    All roses, whether bare root or in pots, should be soaked in a bucket for an hour or two before planting.
    Once planted and growing, roses appreciate good, fertile soil. This means feeding them, preferably twice a year, in April and late June-early July using an organically-based fertiliser. After the spring feed, mulch with well-rotted manure or garden compost.
    Keeping the soil moist is important. If it dries out, give them a good, deep watering. This will make them repeat flower quicker, grow stronger, and produce better quality flowers. To encourage better flowering, take off the dead flowers. If you donít, you are likely to get hips, which will prevent more flowers.
    If you want to propagate your roses, take cuttings from the more vigorous varieties such as the ramblers and the big shrub roses, which tend to be more successful, rather than the hybrid teas and floribundas. The best time to do this is around September or October.
    It is important that the cuttings, approximately nine to twelve inches long, come from the current yearís growth. About two-thirds needs to be buried in the soil, and then left undisturbed for at least twelve months.
    All roses benefit from pruning, the aim being to encourage an attractive plant that flowers freely, and is healthy. The best time to do this is between Christmas and the end of February while the roses are still quite dormant.
    Reduce the height down to about a third or half depending on how tall you want the flower to be, cut out any dead or diseased stems, as well as any that are getting too old.
    Climbers should have the side shoots reduced to about three to four inches with any new, strong, main stems tied in.
    Planting alliums amongst roses can help to deter aphids. If, however, they do become a problem and there is no sign of natural predators, beneficial predators can be bought from most garden centres, which will mop up the pests. Or simply squash them with your finger and thumb!
    As there is so much choice when buying roses, David Austinís catalogue has 900 different varieties, the Royal Horticultural Society recommends that you look out for their Award of Garden Merit. This is symbolised by a trophy on plant labels.
    If roses capture your imagination, you might want to investigate the benefits of joining the Royal National Rose Society. t. 01727 850461. e. mail@rosesociety.org



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