July is the time for roses

July is the time for roses, not just in the gardens of Dennenlohe Castle in Platnersberg, where over 10,000 roses bloom, but everywhere…

English roses, floribunda roses, historical roses, climbing and rambling roses, wild roses, modern roses or long-stemmed roses, dog roses, thornless rose – the choice is almost inexhaustible. In the monastery gardens of the middle ages, the rose was cultivated as a medicinal plant and full-flowered varieties, mainly rosa gallica have spread for almost 1,000 years. Oriental garden roses came to Europe later, thanks mainly to the crusaders, while rose varieties were first cultivated in the Renaissance, forming one of the key elements in European horticulture.

As early as 1700, rose oil was already being extracted on a large scale and by the Baroque period, the rose had become acknowledged as the "queen of flowers" in Europe. Among the most famous rose lovers was the French Empress Joséphine, whose garden in Malmaison gained an international reputation. Because our daughter has been a great admirer of Joséphine for years and was very enthusiastic about Malmaison, on her 20th birthday she received her own rose cultivar, which has just been introduced: "Emilie von Süsskind" is an open-blooming alba hybrid with a sweet citrus fragrance, something that is very important to us Süsskinds – just think of "Perfume" by Patrick Süsskind and the associated scents…

There are about 250 types of rose (Rosa), most of which have the typical characteristics thorns, hips and non-paired pinnate leaves. Roses prefer calcareous soil types, something we can't provide in Dennenlohe (but nevertheless they thrive here) and we only ever water them when they are first planted and never again after that…

Roses have deep roots. If you water them, they lose their ability to fend for themselves and become more susceptible to disease. And unfortunately, there are many different rose diseases: cancerous diseases, fungal diseases like botrytis cinerea or podosphaera pannosa.  Insects, such as the gall wasp or sawfly, hollow out tender buds, nodes and branches. Rose aphids, rose scale or rose cicadas, as well as caterpillars, such as the rose button moth or spotted black pigmy moth also love rose leaves, which is why there are almost as many rose sprays as rose type. However, you won't find any of these in Dennenlohe, because we are an organic garden and only spray with nettle stock, thus looking after our ladybirds, who love to feed on the aphids.

Baron Robert von Süsskind
VIKING garden expert

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