Murambi roses ready for picking

The annual Murambi Roses rose- picking event was held on Saturday November 12, and attendees from far and wide arrived early to put their secateurs to use.

Murambi Roses provides roses to local and international markets, and offers venue space for hire that includes a chapel for wedding ceremonies. Murambi’s greenhouses have more than 70,000 rose bushes which produce numerous varietals.

Established 10 years ago, the event enables rose enthusiasts to pick up to 80 roses a bucket for only R150 a ticket. Owner and founder of Murambi, Barbara Allen, said: “The event is held when we have a flush of roses and is a great opportunity to share the beauty of the roses with the community in a social context.”

Varietals on offer included Esperance (light pink), Pretty Woman (pink peach), So Pretty (apricot cream), Vendella (cream), Tienieke (white), yellow, Royal Baccara (deep red), Black Baccara (deep burgundy), Madiba (lilac), Sunny Leonedes (bright peach), Amsterdam (pink coral), Burnt Orange, Cerise, New Cerise (deeper cerise), New Peach (pale orange peach), Aqua (ice-cream pink) and Mimi-Eden (soft pink spray).

The event is much beloved and many turned out to participate. When attending rose pickings, it is important to remember to have secateurs, which are proper gardening scissors, on hand for easy picking that will not damage the bushes. People must not pick tight buds as these will not open later and will be considered wasted.

Once picked, the roses need to put in water to prevent the ends from hardening, as once this happens the rose will not soak up water and will wither.

A great deal goes into preparing for the rose picking and from year to year, the date for the event depends on seasons when roses are in demand in national and local markets.

“There is a lot that goes into farming roses, such as maintaining the tunnels and irrigation systems. The roses need constant care, such as weeding, pruning and nourishment, and their nourishment comes mainly from fertiliser through the irrigation system,” Allen said.

“Being located in windy East London, the tunnels are often needing plastic repair and replacement, and for fear of pests the roses have to be sprayed on a weekly basis.

“It is an expensive venture. We have to make sure that open roses are not left in the greenhouse for too long as they attract pests. However, for our rose pickings we leave the open roses to create that beautiful setting. Any open roses that are left behind will quickly be cut off on the following Monday.”

IN BLOOM: Flower lovers select roses to pick in the greenhouses. Pictures: SUPPLIED


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