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Marie Bell
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Private rose garden   Listing last updated on 07 Apr 2020.
Maldon: Vic's 1st notable town, Victoria 3463
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I moved into my garden in April. 2003 so I am enjoying identifying the plants, especially the 60 or so roses already thriving here. My garden surrounds an old weatherboard cottage from the 1860's. Maldon was a thriving gold mining town during the gold rush of the late 1800's in Victoria. Today it is a peaceful but vibrant tourist village of about 1500 people. The National Trust has declared Maldon Victoria's First Notable Town and its heritage precinct is to be preserved in the style of the old times. Our shops and houses are from another era.
We have frosty mornings in winter but very hot summer days in the high 30's. Soil is gravelly and poor, but drains well. Rain has been scarce over the last couple of years and our reticulated water can only be used for gardens using hand-held hoses three days in a week. I do envy rose growers who have plenty of water.


1. Mid October 2003 : Pink and white old rose near letterbox, also climbing through flowering apricot. Also in rose bed in two places, near gum tree. R. indica major?
2. Miniature Cecile Brunner (?) 20/10/03. Near gum tree.
3. Dainty Bess 20/10/03. Bappo's fence near rhubarb.
4. Crepuscule 21/10/03. Climber on Bappo's fence, near vegie garden.
5. Bicolour weeping standard 21/10/03. Near lemon tree.
6. Meg 22/10/03. Climber, far left.
During the winter there were quite a few blooms on Crepuscule on the West fence. Also Perle d'Or had the occasional bloom. I have tipped wood ash from the fireplace on most of the roses during the winter, pruned more lightly than usual and the new growth is fantastic. I've also moved quite a few round to the bed on the West wall of the house, so will be interested to see how they go there. Must do my garden plan to keep track of where all the roses now are.
It is now October 11 and once again the old china rose near the front tap bloomed first, in the last fortnight. In fact Ophelia near Becky's kennel was blooming at about the same time. It is a lovely pink tall hybrid tea with a beautiful fragrance. I have picked two to enjoy in the house.
The Rugosa near the liquidambar is also just out today- I don't know if it is Sarah Van Fleet or Delicata. The aphids have been particularly bad on it this year, as they have been on lots of others. I sprayed with Clensel twice, which had very little effect. Have now resorted to Pyrethrin, which is still pretty harmless but seems to have worked. I worried about also killing the ladybirds, which have been around on the roses, but they just couldn't keep up with the thousands of aphids multiplying.
I have finally completed my garden map of the roses, named as far as I know them. There are still half a dozen or so I don't know.
It is only 10th September, and already the roses have started blooming. Crepuscule on the fence near the vegie patch and Perle D'Or nearby, started them off. Then Dainty Bess (which I hadn't got round to pruning!) and the old China Rose (Fun Juan Lo) in the bed under the gum tree. Today I finally moved most of the poor, starved, dry roses under the gum round to their new lush, damp and rich bed under the apricot trees. Some of them look a bit limp, especially Buff Beauty which is a big old bush, but I have cut most of the others back quite hard, so we'll keep our fingers crossed and water them regularly for the first summer.
Now October 5th and since I wrote we have had more cold, wet and windy weather and the roses have slowed down in their flowering. Clair Matin , Dainty Bess, Albertine on the side fence, Fun Juan Lo near the front tap, the bicolour standard and Crepuscule are all out now. Buff Beauty , Graham Thomas and Gold Bunny look very sick in their new bed. I moved them a bit too late. Today I have given them a watering with Maxicrop seaweed solution, so hope that helps. Lots of buds on just about all the other roses in the garden, so I will soon have a wonderful display and lots to pick for the house.
It is now October 12th. We've had more rain and cold weather. I've been lighting the fire again over the weekend. Crepuscule (the old big one) is ready to burst into flower. The old pink rose climbing through the flowering apricot is coming out, as it did last year. Penelope has one spray about to start. Clair Matin had two lovely pink blooms last week and has lots more coming. Dainty Bess nearby also had a beautiful rose. Ophelia is not far away too. I'm worried about Buff Beauty, Gold Bunny, Graham Thomas and even Sweet Juliet, which I cut back very hard. We'll see if the drastic cut-back helps it get established quicker than Buff Beauty, which I hardly touched, just moved it and quite a bit too late I think!
It is now October 25th. The old China Rose (Fun Juan Lo or R.Indica major?) is tumbling through the trees and bushes near the front tap and its mate outside the front gate is also out and annoying the postie. Clair Matin has lots of flowers. Ophelia too is displaying quite a few and I have picked a couple for the house, with Guinee, its companion in the garden. Albertine on the driveway fence has been and continues to be magnificent this year, the best I have seen it. I picked one beautiful golden bud from the poor, stunted-looking rose under the silver birch - is it Buttercup? Penelope is starting and The Prince won't be far away. So too the two Cecile Brunners under the apricot tree. Baroness Rothschild has also flowered and the cerise rugosa nearby - R.Rugosa? Sarah Van Fleet is an absolute picture and its perfume pervades that part of the garden. Perle D'Or has had a couple of dainty flowers, so too has Du Pontii. DAinty Bess has quite a few lovely pointed buds coming and I am watching Altissimo like a hawk - I just love that rose for picking.

It is now November 16th and I am in Oakland California, staying with Tim and Clare.
I left "Greda" with an absolute riot of roses out in bloom
Perle D'or was a picture as was Crepuscule on the fence nearby. Cymbeline was fully out and Leander also. I'm disappointed with Felicitee et Perpetue but it is in a lot of shade. I will cut down the Buddlea next year and see how the nearby roses improve.
Some of the roses I moved into the bed under the apricot tree still looked very sick when I left last week. I only hope my house-sitter is watering them well, as the weather is warming up now. I have asked my friend peter to go over and spread the lucerne ahy round the roses. It may have been a bit of an imposition, but I have helped them out when they were overseas recently. pete will also feed them with blood and bone when Becky goes into the kennels over Christmas. Otherwise she eats it!

2007 November 10th
Two years since I wrote these notes!
Last summer I lost quite a few of my roses as we're in the middle of a prolonged dry spell, lasting some years now. Maybe it's climate change starting? Last year in the early spring I was given some roses from "Ellamatta", a garden in Castlemaine. Most of them are still OK although Reine Des Violettes has just dropped all its leaves and looks dead. I was very glad to get another Crepuscule, which I have planted next to the other one on the side fence. Near it has gone Buff Beauty, which I adore. It is struggling a bit in the dry spot but I hope it gets established soon and grows well. Also a hybrid tea near the stump a bit like Superstar. Lili Marleen is near the box hedge but too dry there, so will move it next year if it survives. Another couple of Ellamatta roses under the old apricot tree are also too dry!
Not many pests this spring, but the dryness has affected most of the roses and they are flowering sparsely. Perle D'Or got a hard pruning and is blooming profusely. Also Alberic Barbier outside the gate, which has had no food and no water! Penelope is fine but Leander and Mme Hardy too shady now and robbed of water from nearby plants. The Banksian roses, both white and cream have been lovely - I should plant more of these, as they are very hardy. There will have to be a lot of roses moved next winter - but where to? Meg died and the two Albertines are struggling with too little water. We have been prevented from using any reticulated water at all on our gardens for about two years and my small tank isn't nearly enough to go round the whole garden. Just in the last month we have been allowed to water our gardens by hose for one hour, twice a week and that has helped a lot. Still, it isn't even Summer yet and the days are hot and dry.
Bushfire is always a looming threat here, so I have just bought a 12 Litre knapsack spray as part of my fire plan. Still have to get balls to block the spouting and need large fireproof containers of water here and there outside for using the mop if any spot fires start. I am determined to stay if a fire comes and defend my little house - it is too precious to lose!
2016, 25th August
Years since I recorded anything here! Already Perle d'Or has a few flowers and I picked some Dainty Bess flowers about 2 weeks ago. Everything is getting earlier and earlier - global warming???
Lots of my original roses are no longer alive. Crepuscule on the west fence suddenly died - sprayed over the fence by my detestable neighbour? Meg and Albertine on the north fence have died. All those roses I moved from under the gum tree to the apricot tree have died except one poor Iceberg, which is in too much shade now, Anyway. I rescued Mrs Oakley Fisher and put her in a big pot - she has never looked back and gave me so much pleasure last summer and autumn.
I have planted two more Mme Alfred Carriere near my favourite sitting spot in the garden - their fragrance is delicious.
I have just planted a Children's Rose near the big stump- hope it survives in that hot spot.
Alberic Barbier outside the big gate (actually in next door) was almost pruned to its death last year by people clearing up next door. It has survived and I'm looking forward to its yellow-white flowers later in the spring.
The Banksian roses all got a good pruning last year and should be ok for a bit. They are rampant roses that will pull down the shed and carport if I'm not careful!

Will report as the next lot start to bloom - still just starting to swell their leaf buds, in most cases.
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