Back at Garlington

Back at Garlington
Jackie Kalley owner/editor at Otterley Press,
Jackie Kalley owner/editor at Otterley Press,

Jackie Kalley, recent recipient of the Zoë Gilbert Award for outstanding service to world of roses, gives her eloquent and often humorous account of the development of the Garlington Heritage Rose garden.  Follow her blogs over the next few months to stay in touch with the progress of this incredible project to conserve the old roses of the KZN Midlands. You can join in the fun by contacting Gail Birss (see the Midlands Rose Society Page) or contact us via http://rosesocietysa.co.za/contact/

 

 

20170704_100319_resized (002)The Bobcat smudged the borders of our carefully calculated beds so tape measures at the ready, we met on site. The real allure of the morning was the prospect of a  vision coming to fruition. The arches and their side struts were piled in the centre of the garden – an innocuous pile of metal with the potential to transform the garden. We sorted out the paths into the garden (once again!) while Gill and Gail talked earnestly on the tactics of arch construction; there was more measuring and with the capable help of Voyo, holes were dug, the side struts erected and suddenly nuts and bolts were called for and the arch was fixed in place.

 

No concrete was used as roses don’t care for concrete. Excitingly our entrance tunnel of six arches followed the master plan; the side arches went up quickly as our tactics were by now perfected but the three-arched exit caused consternation. The two  entrance/exit gates were not identically opposite each other ! In fact there was a 90 cm difference made all the more acute as the centre of the gate was then not the centre of the arch and the long run of string from one gate to the other revealed just how badly out of sync it was. Eventually we decided the arches had to be exactly opposite each other and to call in the fencing firm to move the gate…  otherwise they would have been forever out of kilter and spoilt the whole design. The bad gremlin continued to wreak havoc.

The ground on that side was so hard  the bottom horizontal on the strut was bent ; Gail was wheezing from her bout of flu and shouldn’t have been there at all so we gazed in awe at our twelve arches standing proud and left the last three in the dust for next time.

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Ludwig’s driver (from Ludwig’s Roses – one of our sponsors) offloaded a treasure trove of roses,  now in safe custody until we can plant them but we can’t do that until the irrigation pipes have been installed. When will that be? Why is one thing always contingent on yet another??

It’s all happening at Garlington!!!

Jackie Kalley owner/editor at Otterley Press,
Jackie Kalley 

Jackie Kalley, recent recipient of the Zoë Gilbert Award for outstanding service to world of roses, gives her eloquent and often humorous account of the development of the Garlington Heritage Rose garden.  Follow her blogs over the next few months to stay in touch with the progress of this incredible project to conserve the old roses of the KZN Midlands. You can join in the fun by contacting Gail Birss (see the Midlands Rose Society Page) or contact us via http://rosesocietysa.co.za/contact/

 

IT IS ALL HAPPENING!

We arrived at the newly levelled and fenced  Garlington  Estate land – dusty, brown and empty. A  long stick, tape measure, mallet and a large ball of thick string were our main tools along with lots of enthusiasm  and laughter.

Our first task was to  find the centre of the garden which we accomplished quite quickly . Then on to mark out a one and a half metre path around the perimeter wide enough  to accommodate two people  walking  comfortably side by side to view the roses, or  for a lawnmower or wheelchair to be easily pushed around.

Jackie Kalley marking the way forward
Jackie Kalley marking the way forward

Our trusty stick proved to be an excellent marker and we tried to spray paint the marks  to delineate the path but the white disappeared into the sand… we implemented Plan B and tied the  thick green string  on to short stakes, all of which had to hammered into the hard earth. As the area is 40×30 square metres this took a little time but voila! A walkway appeared out of the dust. We had to take cognizance of the archways – six at  the entrance and the three each at the middle of the other sides. “Easy”, we thought and it was……But when we completed the first two they were not  directly opposite each other! Can you imagine the comments of visiting engineers if that remained the case. The fencing that we used as a yardstick was marginally shorter than it should have been. So, much measuring later, we got it right.

Then we had to measure out the magnificent six-arch entrance. The air turned blue as we initially marked it out on the wrong side! Too much talking I guess……

The real geometrical test was yet to come – to create an oval  in the middle of the garden. Several small drawings appeared in the sand and intense discussion on circles and intersecting concentric  circles ensued.

In the end it was quite easily done by creating a huge circle that touched the end of the paths  on two opposite sides of the ground and a freehand-joining to the other two  completing the oval. It actually worked! We again had to secure our markings with green string and bricks to keep it in place dreading windy gusts that  would blow away our work, so carefully calculated!

The magic oval
The magic oval

Sounds complicated? Of course it wasn’t! Just a trifling exercise in measuring interspersed with laughing, a  few tense moments and a fair amount of pride to see the first step in creating our Heritage Garden come to fruition.

Midlands Rose Society Rose Show

Members to bring their roses on 28th October and judging will take place at 4.30pm. Roses on display throughout Saturday 29th October. Garden talks throughout the day in the Conference hall. A fun filled day with garden goods for sale all day. Ludwig Roses will be there selling rose bushes and other products.

2018 – A Fairytale of Roses

Fairytale of Roses 2018
A Fairytale of Roses, 2018

The 18th World Rose Convention will be held in Copenhagen, Denmark from the 28th of June to the 4th of July, 2018.

The event will mark the 50th Anniversary of the World Federation of Rose Societies. The host, the Danish Rose Society, will be celebrating their 25th Anniversary. The occasion promises to be a feast of roses, including visits to sumptuous fragrant rose gardens, with the added backdrop of breath-taking landscapes and stunning Danish architecture. There will be an exciting mix of lecturers from various corners of the globe.
Copenhagen is renowned for its galaxy of fine restaurants, bars, galleries and theatres. It is the ideal location for such a prestigious event

Read more about this exciting event at A Fairytale of Roses.

10 Reasons to Join a Rose Society

You will receive:

  1. Information on forthcoming shows and rose-related events.
  2. Invitations to attend free demonstrations on different aspects of rose care.
  3. The opportunity to visit breathtaking gardens not open to the public.
  4. Information on newly released products and rose remedies.
  5. Discounts on certain rose fertilisers.
  6. Local newsletters.
  7. National newsletters from ROSA.
  8. ROSA Annual with news and views from all over South Africa and abroad.
  9. Affiliation with the World Federation of Rose Societies and all the benefits derived therefrom.
  10. The opportunity to travel to world rose conventions.

Become a member now by contacting the Secretary of ROSA or a Rose Society in your area.