Doug Hayne says growing the perfect rose is all about consistent spraying, fertilising and watering - something he was unable to do while battling cancer earlier this year.
But luckily for Mr Hayne and his prized roses, he is now well on the way to recovery and - with his wife Glynis - was able to dedicate enough time and effort to producing this year’s grand champion rose at the Illawarra Spring Rose Festival held in Jamberoo at the weekend.
‘‘I’m pretty pleased about this win because we’ve had a difficult time with our roses this year up until now, because earlier in the year I’d had cancer of the leg and hadn’t been able to work my roses as well as I would have liked,’’ Mr Hayne said.
‘‘We weren’t performing at the standard we would usually like, but it looks like we’ve bounced back now.’’
Their winning flower was a floribunda rose called Brass Band - named for its abundant yellowish brass-toned blooms - which was judged to be ‘‘the best of the best’’ from all championship categories at the show.
The Haynes have been growing roses for almost 25 years and have cultivated more than 400 plants across their quarter-acre block in Emu Plains.
The NSW Rose Society couple - Mr Hayne is club secretary and his wife is president - are no strangers to rose-growing success.
They were the most successful exhibitors at the Royal Easter Show last year and have won around 10 grand championships in the past 20 years, which Mr Hayne puts down love and dedication.
‘‘You get out roses what you put into them - it’s consistent work rather than hard,’’ he said.
‘‘You have to do a lot of spraying, fertilising and use a lot of water. That’s what produces beautiful roses - there is no other way I’m afraid.’’