Dig It! Listener Questions (7 October 2019)
This week's show is a listener question from Marie, who has a problem with non-flowering and leaning roses. The roses are suffering from a lack of sunlight, as they are in the shadow of a large magnolia tree. Roses prefer an open sunny situation. The options to help the roses are 1. To have the tree crown lifted or thinned, best done by a tree surgeon from either the ASSA, the Association Suisse des Soins aux Arbres www.assa.ch or the German-speaking group, the Bund Schweizer Baumpflege http://baumpflege-schweiz.ch/ The second option is to move the roses to a sunnier situation, and the third option is to plant something else. My suggestions include the Dryopteris erythrosa, or autumn fern, a Brunnera, like "Jack Frost" which has slightly furry green and silver leaves, and a golden-leaved grass like Hakonechloa macra "All Gold." Add in some snowdrops or lily-of-the-valley and you'll have a shade-loving planting that will look good all year round, but won't break the bank to install and takes minimal time to maintain. The last option, entirely suitable for this garden, is to take out the plants altogether and pave this small flowerbed. Sometimes good design isn't a question of swapping one plant for another, but looking at the design as a whole and making a choice that's right for the garden.