Lending a helping hand

This time of year, our rose club gets a few requests from people or places that need guidance and help pruning roses. Yesterday a few of us went to Country Meadows Assisted Living in Silverdale, WA to conduct a pruning demo and to help get their roses rejuvenated. The residents were very appreciative.

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The first challenge was to explain that the Vinca vine and Pig squeak (plant that blooms during winter here) needed to be cleared away from the roses. Fortunately the director agreed to have the grounds keeper do that. Small wonder the roses were not growing and blooming very well with all the competition from these plants. That is the main reason some rose growers do not like growing roses with companion plants. The companion plants steal all the fertilizer and strangle the roses.

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Support your local rose vendor!

Gig Harbor, Washington

Gig Harbor, Washington

“Gentlemen, start your engines”… We are off on another season of high hopes with dreams of minimal disease and insect problems. This usually begins with the first of several visits to the local rose nursery. Local is actually about 45 minutes away, but many travel much farther to select from the over three thousand roses available in Gig Harbor, Washington. Rain or shine Michael and his dad a Frank Gatto have the best selection in this area of Weeks roses and others from Palantine in Canada, potted up ready for sale.

Ole, Sven and Lena

Ole, Sven and Lena jokes

It’s time to rerun some of my favorite blooms from the 2013 season, since none are blooming in my cool winter garden that is light starved. When I lived in Minnesota people would tell really clever joke stories about Ole, Sven and Lena. During the early 2000′s the University of Minnesota had a rose hybridizing program and named three small shrub/polyantha roses Ole, Sven and Lena. The roses are nostalgic for me and always bring back memories of my life far away.

'Ole'

‘Ole’

'Sven' is very fragrant

‘Sven’ is very fragrant

'Lena'

‘Lena’