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Buying plants in SE1

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Thursday 27 July 2006 10.49pm
Apologies if this kind of query has been posted before, but I am looking for a plant. More specifically a rose bush. I can beg a friend into driving me to a garden centre over the weekend (yawn), but I wondered if there was anywhere local, i.e. near(ish) London Bridge which would have anything I could use. Not fussy about colour. I asked BOST if they could spare something but no response as yet. All (well, most really) advice appreciated.
Friday 28 July 2006 2.23am
Hi Red Bus,

I've not found anywhere in SE1 - would like to know if a good plant place exists here too. Most of the top rose centres are rather distant from the SE of England unfortunately.

I find Peter Beales or David Austins have very good websites and very fast delivery for bushes in pots. They are two of the best UK breeders - not cheap, but top quality product with a 1 year guarantee. Be warned, looking at their catalogue gets expensive - they have so many gorgeous roses it's hard to stop at one or two!

If you are wanting to plant a bush in the garden, best time is November with a bare roots bush. You need to heavily prune a rose after planting, so now is not a good time as it's likely to keel over and die in this heat.

If you just want to keep it in the pot you buy it in, it should be okay for a few months.

I can't understand people who buy roses that don't smell at all. If you think like this too, then I can highly recommend David Austin's "English" roses, which are the result of interbreeding the old fashioned rose's scent and shape with the modern rose's colours, disease resistance and ability to flower many times over a season.

A couple of recommendations:

Margaret Merril - White with slight pink sheen to centre, amazing lemony scent.
Graham Thomas - Yellow, tea rose scent, very popular.
Fantin-Latour - Pale Pink, looks like an old master painting type rose, delicate scent.
Gertrude Jekyll - Deep Pink, Fantastic quintessential "rose" scent.
Ingrid Bergman - Deep Red, strong fragrance, voted world's favourite rose in 2000

All of these should be easily available from a good plant centre.

Finally, if you buy from a DIY store or similar (some have a plant section), be very careful as they have a habit of not watering for ages and then drowning the poor things - result: weak plant that will either perish shortly after you get it home or will need huge amounts of TLC.

Happy hunting!
Friday 28 July 2006 6.37am
east lane, down blackwood street,sunday morning....or there is a garden centre as you come of rotherhithe tunnel, sharp left into ratcliff it is on right...not really se1 though...near enough...or is there a wilkinsons around? woolworths sometimes sell roses...
Friday 28 July 2006 6.52am
Hi, There is a small plant centre right next to limehouse DLR station (on the side - you can't miss it). I'm not sure if they sell roses though, but its very well stocked with everything from bedding plants to trees.
Friday 28 July 2006 7.09am
Helen your right, if I have a sniff of a lovely looking plant i feel cheated if its not fragrant....
Friday 28 July 2006 7.34am
A little further afield is Columbia road market - early Sundays ...
Friday 28 July 2006 9.48am
There's B&Q on the Old Kent Road, near Asda. A little further afield, there's a garden centre opposite Denmark Hill BR, and also one next to East Dulwich BR, both of which stock roses IIRC.
Friday 28 July 2006 10.19am
You can buy roses and lots of other plants very cheaply in the East Street market on Sunday mornings only.
Friday 28 July 2006 10.34am
Thanks all! Great stuff. I will take your sage advice and hold off on ordering something special online until Oct/Nov. Sadly no garden - I have a south facing ground floor 'balcony' and have got some big tubs with climbers that are doing *really* well (a climbing rose, a honeysuckle and a clematis) but I was looking for something bushy and I like the shape of rose bush leaves. Flowers and fragrance are of course a bonus and the thorns might help deter the 'cute' foxes from weeing in my balcony.

In the meantime I will cycle down to East Street and pick up some smallish roses for the balcony top. Of course it might be a bit tricky to bring them back on a bicycle - but I am sure if I stick to the pavements I should be safe ;o)
Friday 28 July 2006 12.16pm
I keep all mine in tubs on my balcony too. Lots of roses are very happy this way. You'll need to be a bit careful if you are south facing as some roses can get "sunburn" and need more shade. They all love London air and I have never had so few problems with mildew, black spot and aphids.

I have found that quite a lot of roses that are not supposed to grow in pots actually do very well - occasionally they start climbing as well! So don't be put off if you see something you love and they tell you it's not suitable for pots.

I've put in a passionflower and a wisteria this year. The passionflower has gone crazy and is already covering some of the nasty pipes up the side of the house. No flowers yet, but hopefully the roots will start to become restricted and should have lots next year.
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