This week we visit the beautiful
Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.
Bruce Ballard, the Gardens Manager provides helpful hints
for keeping your Roses flowering throughout the remainder
of the season. Since the first flowering of the season has
ended we're going to cut the plant back to help it establish
new growth. Go down the stem to the branch that has at least
5 leaflets. Cut on an outward facing bud, so that the new
growth comes up on the outside of the flower itself. Remove
as much of the old flowers as possible throughout the bed
of Roses. Bruce shows us a cluster of Regosa Rose. He removes
the entire cluster allowing the new cluster and growth behind
the original cluster to thrive. Bruce addresses Climbing
Roses. At the base of the plant he notices aging canes,
these need to be removed so the newer canes can take their
place. Again, at the base of the plant find an outward facing
bud and remove to that point so the cane grows out. The
wall behind will support the new cane and he'll train it
to grow onto a wire or the wall itself. Climbers don't receive
a harsh cut back in winter like Hybrid Teas or Grandifloras.
Maintain the shape, which is a fan. When irrigating Roses,
a drip system is preferable. Overhead watering can cause
disease and fungus. Their drip system wraps around each
plant with an emitter at the base of each plant. They water
at least twice a week. Each watering provides approximately
2 gallons per hour or about 4 gallons per week or one to
one and a half inches of water per plant each week. Of course
rainfall must be taken into consideration. To measure output
of your system, put the emitter on top of a cup or rain
gauge, let it run for an hour and measure the water.
Fertilization is one of the most important things you can
do for your Roses. Bruce uses 3 different ingredients, Cotton
seed Meal, Alfalfa and Phosphorous. He supplements these
with a liquid fertilizer approximately 3 times per year.
are becoming increasingly popular in America. They are rapid
growers and if space is limited, like on patios, you can
garden up, not out. We see Clerodenron and Aristolocia vines
that have grown about three feet in a week or so. In the
greenhouse at Biltmore most vines stay inside until after
the frost date, normally May 15th. They grow rapidly when
outside in the summer and vines like Pandoria will maintain
a lot of flowers throughout the summer, right up to first
frost. Before that they trim it back to a manageable size
and take it inside. We view Alistorlocia Gigantica, it has
a big, beautiful bloom. To force the bloom they fertilize
with a blossom booster fertilizer one week then and alternate
the next week with a 20-20-20 fertilizer. Also they use
a time release fertilizer that lasts throughout the season.
They train the vines, like Clerodendron Speciosum, using
a sisal rope. You could use nylon twine, an arbor or trellis
or anything strong enough to support the eventual weight.
Some species grow clockwise, some counterclockwise. Gently
wrap the vine around the support to get it started and it
will eventually cover an area. Passiflora Vitofolia is a
great tropical vine, a rampant grower and will have beautiful
red blossoms. A Hybrid called Incense will have blue flowers.
There are hundreds of Passiflora hybrids, all have different
leaf forms, petal forms, colors, even the fruits are different.
Many are edible.
Many of the vines at Biltmore are tropical, thus you won't
be growing them at your home, but they are worth viewing.
Cissus Discolor has velour leaves with a maroon underside
and is a rapid grower. It climbs with Tendrils, which are
adapted leaf petioles.
Parker Andes introduces us to Rudbeckia, Autumn Sun. It
is a cone flower and will grow to seven feet tall. It is
covered with yellow blooms in July and August, sometimes
into September. What typically happens is that a thunderstorm
with a lot of wind will knock this beautiful plant over.
Parker shows us how to stake this and other large plants
or multiple beds of plants. One method uses bamboo, which
is easily hidden in the plants, he then creates a cage with
string between the bamboo sticks. Since the plant is actively
growing in mid June he makes the stakes a little taller
than the plants, they will grow to the height by mid July.
He uses five bamboo stakes around the plant, the number
would vary depending on the plant size. Create a web inside
the plant and around the bamboo stakes. As you go around
the stakes leave the string rather loose but tie it off
at each stake. That way if one string were to break, others
would hold. In staking, the plant shouldn't be held straight
up. Then go around the outside of the plant with very loose
strips. This will be just enough to catch the plant when
the wind blows. Because this plant is tall, Parker creates
this web on several levels. He has created a bunch of pie
shaped sections. This technique works well for the Lily
Stargazer. It can grow to 4-5 feet tall and will get floppy,
so you'll use smaller stakes and will need to hide the stakes
in the flowers. But this technique gives them needed support.
Another staking method is called Peasing, as in English
Peas. Use a twiggy branch from last year, Parker likes Budelia.
Trim the twiggy branch, then push the branches into the
ground. Around a plant like Abelia, cut the branch so they
won't be seen. They help hold up the plant, yet nobody sees
the twigs holding the plant.
Biltmore Estate was designed by Frederick Law Olmstead,
the person that designed Central Park in New York City.
Mr. Olmstead wanted green, variegated color all year long.
Thus he demanded that gardeners plant Ivy, in beds and on
Deciduous trees. The Ivy competes with the trees for nutrients
and water. As the Ivy gets to the crown of the tree it will
compete for sunlight. At Biltmore, they manage and maintain
the Ivy and the tree. Because of historical reasons, Biltmore
leaves the Ivy in the trees and it is beautiful, but not
something your would want to try at home.
By Justin Hancock, Costa Farms Horticulturist,
Photographs courtesy of Costa Farms
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