Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 23 September 2014

Lady Dixon's coming up roses in time for festival

... and there are a few tips for all you budding gardeners

Some of the roses on display at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park in Belfast. Belfast’s International Rose Week begins next Monday

Golden blossoms will spring up among the flowers next week to mark the 50th anniversary of Belfast's International Rose Garden.

Visitors will be able to enjoy around a million fragrant blooms at Sir Thomas and Lady Dixon Park as Rose Week gets under way on Monday.

Thousands of visitors will enjoy a week of free family fun. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Rose Garden, Belfast City Council is encouraging visitors to spot the 'golden' flowers among the blooms – such as Golden Flush, Heart of Gold, Golden Gate and Golden Smile.

Rose Week, running until Sunday the 27th, offers everything from children's entertainment, live music and dancing to competitions, rose displays and plant stalls.

Family activities take place between 1pm and 5pm each day, including water zorbing, boxercise, kite-making and a 40-metre zip line on the final day.

More information on Rose Week at www.belfastcity.gov.uk/roseweek.

Top Tips

1. Buy a good plant. At the end of the day you get what you pay for, so go to a proper accredited grower.

2. The soil has to be humus-rich. Go for fairly heavy soil in preference to sandy soil as long as it's not waterlogged.

3. If it's the first year, prune hard in March, feed immediately afterwards and again later in the summer.

4. Dead-head as soon as they start to show blown roses.

5. Start a programme of spraying right from March to September, every 10 days, with fungicides and insecticides.

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