Oh roses, beautiful roses..

…filling the vineyard with colour and fragrance.

But why do we, and many vineyards grow roses?

Shrub Roses, Hybrid tea roses (Southcott Vineyard)

Why do we, and many vineyards grow roses at the end of the rows? Is it because they are pretty?

No. It’s because they are more vulnerable to mildew and botrytis than the vines and so give an early warning of trouble.

They act like the canaries used to in mines, an ingenious and beautiful early warning system for the winegrower.

Preserving natural and biological cycles, without using invasive techniques

“The Vineyard is like a rose garden – watch for the thorns and keep the pest dust handy”

– Anonymous and slightly changed for the purpose of this blog (“life is like a rose garden – watch for the thorns and keep the pest dust handy”, original quote)

Some more interesting facts, so they say… did you know?

Doing a little digging on this subject, I came across this little gem of a story.

In the early days of grape growing, the vineyard work was completed using horses or oxen – roses encouraged them to turn properly at the end of the rows because of their thorns, ensuring that the working animals weren’t tempted to cut a corner and damage the last vine.

True or false?

At Southcott Vineyard, we have many roses, including those shown in the pictures taken by Sarah Ingram Hill.

Roses also add beauty to the vineyard landscape, provide food for bees and offer habitat for beneficial insects preying on undesirable insects that can damage the grape crop.

Shrub roses : they are tough, hardy Shrub roses with an ‘old rose’ character, flower generously from summer to autumn and usually to the first frosts.

Hybrid tea roses :  the oldest classified modern garden rose, flowering in a kaleidoscope of different colours, the roses themselves will flower on more than one occasion throughout the season.

Shrub Roses, Hybrid tea roses-Southcott Vineyard

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