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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wednesday's Rose Tidbits


Many, many Rose questions lately so let’s get to the point. No pun intended. We’re talking Roses of course. Speaking of thorns, would you plant your money on a Rose if it was thornless or not? So I asked Fred from Roseland Nursery, + (a Rose lover’s delight shopping stop) his thoughts on this Rose matter. “People who buy Roses typically don’t choose them because they do or don’t have thorns.” I tend to agree with him. What makes a Rose special can vary and be personal of course. From a growing standpoint, you should always look for disease resistant Roses and its hardiness to your zone. But other factors might be its habits (climbing or spreading), fragrant or not, blossom type and if its color is light or bold. The list can go on. But that covers a few.  

Should thornless be critical, let it be searched and be found. One of the thornless Roses that Roseland has on their list, Zephirine Drouhin sounds like the perfect Rose for a trial in our test garden. Fred stated the two reasons people buy this particular Rose – it’s old and it grows well with less sunshine. Good to know and one worth trying. Zephirine Drouhin’s characteristics straight from Roseland’s website: Long blooming, thornless, and very profuse. Climber. Grows 15 to 20 feet, performs well in shade. Rich dark green foliage. Mildew resistant. Zones 5 – 9. Perfect in my book although I must find a spot for another climber Rose. There were two other thornless listed on the Roseland site. Brother Cadfael and James Galway, so take a look if Pink is your color in that thornless category.  

I also asked Fred about using banana peels when planting your Rose. Fred chuckled and said, “I never heard of putting banana peels. I guess it could probably work. But a good balanced fertilizer is what you really need. And if you compost your banana peels, well, won’t the banana peel nutrients eventually end up in your soil mix for all of your plants?”

One more Fred tidbit - the lighter color and more fragrant the Rose, it’s more likely to be devoured by Japanese Beetles. As Fred said, it’s probably why I like my ‘Hot Cocoa’ Rose so much. (Image above.)

So when in doubt, always best to ask the pros. That would be the Rosarians found in any of your regional Rose Societies. Should you be native to Massachusetts, on Saturday, May 11th Roseland Nursery will host three members of the New England Rose Society to answer questions and help you make the best rose selections for your garden. Sounds like a great Rose trip and a chance to chat with some local Rose experts. 

To end on a light note, I couldn’t pass up this Eleanor Roosevelt quote. “I once had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalogue: no good in a bed, but fine up against a wall.” 

Image of a Floribunda Rose (Rosa) 'Hot Cocoa' in bloom last summer by Ann Bilowz©  

A past archive if you are interested in ‘Hot Cocoa’

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© 2009 Ann St. Jean-Bilowz/Bilowz Associates Inc. (including all photographs, unless otherwise noted in Annie's Gardening Corner are the property of Bilowz Associates Inc. and shall not be reproduced in any manner nor are they to be assigned to any third party without the expressed written permission and consent of Bilowz Associates Inc.)