During the month of June, our blogs will focus on growing roses. Master Gardeners Judy Deutsch and Donna Sapp will share their love of roses and their tips for success. Follow their blogs and learn about climbing roses, fragrant roses, and new disease-resistant roses, as well as how to select and care for roses.
Shortly after I moved to North Carolina, I decided to plant a few roses in memory of my mother. I remembered my mother’s small rose garden, set off to the side of our house in the sun, and how bouquets, picked from this garden, would fill our house with fragrance. I was a novice gardener and knew nothing about growing roses.
My first rose garden
I had only heard of one company that sold roses, so I looked them up online. Surprise! They had a fragrant rose collection of four different roses; and, for a few extra dollars, they would add some lavender. Of course, I bought the collection plus the lavender. Soon a large box came with four bare root roses. I could hardly figure out what end to put in the ground but followed directions and hoped for the best.
In about ten weeks, I had roses and was I ever amazed! I don’t know what I expected, but certainly not to have roses so soon after I inexpertly planted them. I actually wrote the company a fan letter telling them how pleased and excited I was.
Of course, I began to add more and more roses to my garden. As I expanded my knowledge and became known for growing roses, many people would share similar memories with me. We think of roses as delicate and fussy plants, but my experience taught me that given the proper site (full sun), well-prepared soil, a little fertilizer, and water, even a novice gardener can successfully grow roses.
Few other perennials bring as many blooms to our gardens. Roses come in all colors except blue, and modern roses will bloom repeatedly throughout the growing season. Here in Western North Carolina, we can expect roses to bloom from late spring (end of April or early May) until frost. You might even have roses for your Thanksgiving table! So have courage—add a rose or two in your flowerbeds and enjoy them.
Article written by Judy Deutsch, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer.
For more information about the different types of roses, visit http://ipm.ncsu.edu/urban/cropsci/c09w_orn/roses.html .