We export rose trees to Ibiza

Mattock’s Ibiza Rose Trials and Drought Tolerant Rose Varieties

Significant signs of Climate change and Global warming first came to our notice during the early 1990s. In particular we began to see a reduction in the volume of heating fuel we were using to heat the glasshouses we use for forcing roses for Chelsea Flower Show. Back then we potted on rose trees destined for Chelsea starting at the beginning of November and we switched on the heat the week before Christmas. Fifteen years later in 2009 we start potting in mid January and we are using almost no heat and no fuel at all. More and more we are having to hold plants back rather than bring them on so as to have them in flower for that all important day of judgement the last Monday of May. That is when the Royal Horticultural Society passes judgement on the exhibits at its prestigious flower show.
Conscious that we needed to be prepared for a long-term change in the conditions under which plants were to be grown in the United Kingdom we commenced putting rose varieties on trial on the Bonet’s small finca in Santa Innes on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza. The island is particularly dry with temperatures rising to 25°C and above during July, August and September.

Ibiza weather facts Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rainfall (mm) 36 36 25 15 05 03 00 00 08 18 38 58
Rainfall (inches) 1.38 1.41 1.09 0.59 0.21 0.03 0.01 0.04 0.20 0.7 1.08 1.72
Min Temp (°C) 15 15 16 16 16 18 20 21 21 20 18 17
Max Temp (°C) 21 21 23 22 23 25 27 28 27 26 23 22
Min Temp (°F) 59 59 60 61 62 66 68 70 69 68 65 61
Max Temp (°F) 70 70 74 72 74 77 81 83 83 79 76 72

Under the sunsets, in among the figs, the grapefruit and the onions on Toni and Antonia’s finca we have been growing climbing and shrubs roses in trials since the mid nineteen nineties.

Plants having been grown under the’ Robert Mattock regime (described in detail on our web site under "Roses Grown in Pots") were shipped from Oxford and planted during late November. The soil had been previously ploughed and rotovated; holes were dug and the bare-root, root -pruned plants let into the holes with a couple of handfuls of local proprietary compost. The plants were heeled in and watered once only. No further irrigation was employed. Straw mulch was employed each summer.
The results have been illuminating to say the least. One might have expected the large flowered hybrids to have suffered but we had held high hopes for the Tea roses, particularly those bred from the tough Gloire de Dijon.
The climbing polyantha rose ‘Phylis Bide’ has proven to be the trial winner and one has to wonder why? Although this is a very English rose bred by Bide in Farnham 1923 it is a cross between roses from sunnier climates, the parentage being Perle D’Or (Polyantha x Tea Rose and Gloire de Dijon (Tea x Bourbon).

Interesting is the success of the climber Dreaming Spires (Arthur Bell seedling x Allgold). Is the success down to the robust under all conditions R. eglanteria which is in the parentage of Arthur Bell? An examination of the table below indicates that drought and sun tolerance in the parentage is the key factor for success.

Drought Tolerant Climbers
American Pillar
Chaplins Pink
Crimson Conquest
Dorothy Perkins
Dreaming Spires
Dr. van Fleet
Mme. Alfred Carriere
Mme. Gregoire Staechelin
New Dawn
Paul Transon
Phylis Bide
Sanders White
Drought Tolerant Shrubs
Anne Aberconway
Frau Dagmar Hastrup
Rosearaie de L'Hay
Drought Tolerant Rose Species
R. banksiae ‘Lutea’
R. multiflora
R. foetida bicolour
R foetida
R. harison ’Harison’s Yellow’
R. hemispherica
R. nitida
R. rugosa Alba
R. rugosa Rubra
R. spinosissima
R. spinosissima ‘Grandiflora’
R. eglanteria

Root growth

The directors of the rose trials...
Antonia | Toni | Toni and Hester

Impact of Climate Change on Gardens in the UK
Garden management in a warmer world is presenting a range of challenges and opportunities.

The impact of climate change in the UK is leading to reduced frosts; an earlier spring, higher average temperatures all year round, increased winter rainfall, leading to risk from flooding and hotter, drier summers, increasing risk of drought.

The existence of the traditional English country garden, parks, cricket pitches and bowling green’s will all be threatened by summer water shortages.

In the UK, in the next 50 to 80 years, the British lawn will be particularly affected and become increasingly difficult and costly to maintain. Some traditional garden features may have to be replaced by new ones, more suited to changing conditions. For the professional gardener, the greatest challenge will be the long-term care of historic layouts, plant collections and planting effects, originally developed in climatic conditions that no longer exist.

However, there is an upside. Gardens plants grow in very favourable conditions. They are usually propagated in controlled conditions, planted into carefully prepared ground and protected from pest and diseases and competing plants. Thus the elasticity of the human response to climate change is very much greater than in nature.

Whilst the principal factors determining climate change impacts on gardens are plant tolerance and water availability (plus additional management costs such as irrigation) at the same time there are new opportunities for gardeners to grow a wider range of plants. Climate change is also releasing the potential for developing the search for new species and varieties.

Export of Roses to Ibiza
Deliveries run from Oxfordshire to Ibiza every fortnight. The price of plants is as per those on our web page ‘The List’. Payment may be made on Ibiza. The cost of delivery varies in terms of the number of plants ordered.