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Rose Festival. 40th Year and still going strong.

Rose Festival, Chandigarh is held in the famous Rose Garden at Chandigarh. This is largest Rose Show in the country. This festival is celebrated in the Rose Garden every year in the end of the month of February or during the first few days of March. The festival is organized to encourage the people to enjoy the bloom of different type of roses here

As Chandigarh’s Rose Festival this week enters its 40th year, residents throng in large numbers.

The star attractions are the millions of roses themselves, but there is also a host of activities, including competitions and cultural shows, at the festival being held at Rose Garden in upscale Sector 16 here from Feb 24 to 26.

Children would be crowned “Rose Prince” and “Rose Princess” and there will be painting and flower contests. Commercial and food stalls will be set up in the adjoining Leisure Valley in Sector 10.

In recent years, the footfall at the festival has crossed over 300,000, officials here said.

The Rose Garden has nearly 40,000 rose plants of over 800 rose species from all over the world.

The garden was set up in 1967 and was essentially the brainchild of Chandigarh’s first chief commissioner and keen horticulturist M.S. Randhawa – a man credited for giving the city millions of trees and a number of gardens and green belts.

The authorities here claim the Rose Garden, spread over nearly 30 acres, is the largest in Asia. Along with the roses, the garden also hosts trees of medicinal value.

“The Rose Festival is an important event for Chandigarh. Though the city itself is young, different generations of families have been coming in the last four decades to be part of it,” former councillor Chander Mukhi Sharma said .

The Rose Garden has been divided into 10 sections. These sections are not only for roses but also for a children’s play area, scrubs, medicinal plants, a hillock and musical fountains.

Some of the roses at the garden have been named after international and other personalities – from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth and former US president John F. Kennedy to former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri and M.S. Randhawa.

Some of the unusual names given to the rose varieties are: Only You, Dulhan, King’s Ransom, Hippie Girl, Love Me Tender, Careless Love, Lover’s Meeting, Delhi Prince, Oklahoma, American Heritage, Louisiana, Canadian Centenary, City of Belfast, Wild Plum and Dorothy Peach.

“We have to take care of the roses so that they are in full bloom when the festival comes. This year the winters have been excessively cold,” said Subhash, a gardener.

For a few years the name of the festival was changed to Festival of Gardens by the local administration. However, for common people, it has always remained the Rose Festival.

Hundreds of people from Punjab, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh visit the city for the annual festival. They come here packed in buses, trucks and even tractor-trolleys. The festival also attracts people from other parts of the country and foreigners.

Chandigarh, which was planned and designed by French architect Le Corbusier and his team in the 1950s-60s as a symbol of a resurgent, independent India, has a total population of over one million.

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.




Jan 17 • 2012 • CultivationEssenceFestivalFreshPlantationRose NewsTaiffragrantroses




In Saudi Arabia, roses are synonymous with the city of Taif, which is internationally famous for agriculture and in particular the cultivation and production of roses, dating back to 100 years.

Stretched along the roads and streets of Taif are many vendors displaying cork boxes full of fragrant home grown roses, fruits and other fresh produce.

In addition, the city produces rose essence and rose water, and every year the municipality and the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities organizes a rose festival, which is visited by both local and international tourists.

Despite the difficult conditions, such as scarcity of water and labourers during the rose cultivation season, the number of rose plantations reached 750 during the last year festival. These are mostly located in the cooler Al-Hada, Al-Shafa, Al-Dahia, and Al-Ghadeerain areas. Together, they produce around 233 million roses and comprise 34 factories for the plantation of roses and production of 19,000 bottles of rose essence.

The planting of roses usually coincides with the end of the month of January and lasts up to 75 days. Planters start with digging groves in the plantation soil, in which carefully cut rose branches are planted, covered in rich fertilizer and manually watered in times of rain scarcity. They carefully plant the rose branches close to the earth and make sure they do not exceed 1.5 meters in height, which makes it necessary to trim them constantly. Keeping them low encourage the rose trees to produce as many roses as possible each morning. The flowers must be plucked before sunrise, when they are dewy and most fragrant. Every year, harvest time starts during the month of April and goes on until the end of May.

Rashid Al-Qurashi, owner of several rose plantations and rose products, asserts that there is no other rose like the Taif rose because of its strong delicious fragrance. Even the Syrian Juri rose, which is bigger and prettier, has not such a strong fragrant as the Taif rose.

Taif is also considered the favorite city to escape the hot summer days of Saudi Arabia. Situated atop the Sarawat Mountains, the visitors enjoy the cool weather and delicious fruits. They also make sure they don’t leave this cool, green and fragrant area without taking back home boxes of Taif roses, bottles of rose essence and rose water as mementos of a good and relaxing time spent in the pleasant parks of Al-Hada, Al-Shafa, Al-Ghadeer, and others.

Production of rose essence and rose water

As a first step, the roses are put into special pots. These are filled with water — the amount according to the quantity of roses used. Then, the pots are securely covered over a low burning fire. When the roses start to boil, the fragrant steam passes through a tube that is surrounded by cold water, so that the steam condenses and starts dripping into a special glass receptacle until a layer of rose oil appears on its surface. This is then carefully skimmed off the surface and quickly bottled. The process usually takes between ten to fourteen hours daily.

Unlike Oud oil, which develops a better fragrance and hence gets more expensive as it ages, rose essence should not be kept for a long time, as that affects the quality and devalues it, especially if exposed to light and heat. In order to prolong the life of rose essence, experts recommend removing the plastic stopper from its glass bottle, because with time the plastic interacts with the oil essence and ruins its purity.

Rose water is usually filled into large 20 liter glass bottles for a variety of uses, especially for the making of Arabic deserts, and can be added to drinking water.

There are two types of rose water: The ordinary kind that is sold in small glass bottles for SR10 in shops and supermarkets, and a more special type that is known as “Al-Aroosa” (the bride), which is distilled rose water resulting from the production of rose essence. This type is sold in small glass bottles that cost around SR30 and is the most preferred in the Gulf. People use it as a perfume at home and sprinkle it on guests, using traditional dainty rose water pewter sprinklers.

Women also use rose water as part of their beauty regime ever since its beneficial qualities where discovered, such as cleansing of the skin and tightening of the pores.

Details of all our roses are available on our web site. Over 1000 varieties to choose from.



Oct 22 • 2011 • Cape TownFestivalFloralMontaguRose NewsVines




Taking place just over two hours’ drive from Cape Town is the 23rd annual Montagu Rose Show from October 20 to 22, which signals the arrival of the rose season.

This year’s show theme is Vines and Roses, and the festival will combine floral art, cut roses, open gardens and tastings of the region’s finest muscadel, wine and brandy.

Of interest to local rose enthusiasts is the knowledge that for many decades, most of Cape Town’s roses were propagated in the Montagu area. Just 10 minutes down the road from Montagu is the village of Ashton, where roses are still propagated for wholesale to garden centres around the country.

“Ashton Nursery was established in 1947 by my grandfather, Lang Sarel “SF” Conradie”, says owner Rudie Conradie. Educated at St George’s in Mowbray and Elsenburg College of Agriculture (now known as the Cape Institute for Agricultural Training: Elsenburg) in Stellenbosch, Conradie took over Ashton Nursery in 1981.

Today, the nursery is mostly a wholesale concern, supplying roses and fruit trees to large growers and distributors. While now out of the public eye, Conradie’s love affair with roses has lasted decades and he remains one of the most experienced rose growers in the country.

“Montagu is ideal for roses because of the dry climate. The low humidity also means that we have very few fungal problems,” says Conradie. “We also have more clay soils here than in Cape Town. Roses have a shallow root system and clay soils tend to retain water and are therefore better for roses than sandy soils,” he says.

Top roses

A horticultural legend in the region, Conradie’s personal rose garden is filled with 500 roses.

“Roses need lots of water and mulching and, in our area, water comes from boreholes and the Breede River.

“My roses do lose colour during the heat of January and February, but the colours of the autumn blooms are spectacular,” he says.

Conradie grows more floribunda roses (such as Iceberg) than any other type of rose, but from a personal point of view, his favourite garden roses are hybrid teas.

If you are a beginner gardener or would like too grow roses, consider Conradie’s list of top roses for local gardens:

* Hybrid teas: Just Joey (apricot), Ingrid Bergman (red), Vera Johns (salmon orange), Rina Hugo (magenta pink), Golden Monica (deep yellow), Black Madonna (velvet red), Papa Meilland (dark red), Angela Lansbury (coral), Duet (pink), Tineke (white).

* Floribunda roses: Simplicity (pink), Burgundy Iceberg (deep burgundy), Little Red Hedge (carmine red) and South Africa (unfading golden yellow), a now classic floribunda which was launched in 1996.

Tips for roses

October is the month for roses. If you would like a fabulous rose garden this summer, or are planning on entering a bloom in the Montagu Rose Show, now is the time to give your roses extra special care.

Here are a few tips on how to grow the best roses:

* The amount of leaves on a rose bush determines its health, as well as how many subsequent flowering flushes it will bear during the summer. Many people who complain that roses flower well only once a year are picking too many blooms after the first flush.

* Even if your hybrid teas are a mass of blooms, only ever cut about 50 percent of the pickable stems. Any more reduces the leaf mass, putting strain on the roots, and reducing the health of the bush.

* If two stems are close together, cut the shorter stem. This will ensure you lose fewer leaves.

* In the Western Cape, roses need to be mulched, mulched and mulched.

* Water roses in the morning, as they need at least two hours to dry. To prevent fungal diseases setting in, roses must never have any dampness on their leaves at night.

* Water your roses twice a week, making sure they receive a minimum of 10 litres per bush in twice-weekly watering during dry weather. Fertilise regularly and water in well.

Show roses

Anyone with outstanding rose blooms in their garden can enter the Montagu Rose Show (entry fee R15 for one to six single roses). Roses need to be at the NGK Hall before 9am on Thursday, October 20. The show is open to the public on Thursday, October 20 (2pm-4pm), Friday October 21 (9am-4pm) and Saturday October 22 (9am-4pm). Venue: NGK Hall, Montagu. Contact Marion at 079 968 8700 or Nelda at 083 303 9400.

The Rugby World Cup final takes place at 10am on Sunday, October 23. Watch the rugby on big screens set up at Montagu hotels and farmstalls on the day or wander through a new arts and crafts meander that takes you between galleries, both private and public.

Revel in the famous Joubert House indigenous herb garden, enjoy the beautiful gardens on Main Road, see crafters making oak furniture out of recycled wine barrels or listen to live music in a local restaurants.

A map of open gardens will be available from the Montagu Tourism Office and online at or Call: 023 614 2728. Facebook: Montagu Rose Festival. - Weekend Argus

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