A new rose bed in progress! 

The big news is that I have been thinking about putting in a new rose bed for three years and finally took steps to make it happen! There are so many large roses I want to grow, but had no ground to plant so it was grass reduction time! As you can see by the grass in the photo, western Washington has a dry summer. The weather people are saying we have had no rain here for 36 days and counting. I water veggies and roses, not the grass. That is a common attitude of gardeners in my county. The rain will return in September and hang around for nine months, grass returns and needs mowing.

My action plan is to dig out the mature asparagus, now in the fern stage, then get four yards of good garden soil to mix with the existing very sandy, native soil. In early September, I expect to plant a few large roses currently in containers but most of the planting will be in March 2018.


Variety selection is the key to sustainable growing

If you choose a variety with known disease resistance, rather than being random or just selecting from what’s available for sale, you will have success. Local rose societies such as Seattle or Tacoma compile lists of recommended disease resistant roses. These lists will be available at my talk. Start with free, local information.  Remember that the first year is critical with keeping your plant watered during our June-August drought. Please take few extra reading minutes and read the article I wrote for the January/February West Sound Home and Garden.

Portland Rose Show

The City of Roses knows how to put on a rose show. This is the second year I have been invited to judge the show and it never disappoints. The emphasis is on American Rose Society large flowers (hybrid teas, floribundas, shrub roses) displayed in single vases and the local society and the rose growing public participates. The head table trophy winners in the Novice section displayed different exhibitors in each award category. To me that says they are doing something right in Portland to fill up the Lloyd Center Mall indoor ice rink with beautiful roses. Congratulations to all exhibitors. You had much competition on Thursday.








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.

Portland Rose Festival – June 6, 2013 Rose sprays and bouquets


This gallery contains 13 photos.

Now that my own rose garden is slowing down for the fall and winter, I will be sharing more photos I took after judging the rose show. In addition to a large judged show, the festival displays many sprays of … Continue reading

Portland Rose Festival Revisited


This gallery contains 15 photos.

Fall is coming in with a massive rain storm in Western Washington, so I think today is a good day to review some rose beauties from past June. These photos were taken June 6, 2013 at the Portland Rose Festival … Continue reading

“Another day” arrived (Rain, rain, go away…)

The annual summer drought has broken. My garden received no rain in July (June 27-August 10). I know friends in So. CA and other places have a lot longer drought, but living in this typically wet part of the US, the drought surprises me, in a pleasant way.


Colors of fall

Cooling ever so slightly,
Showers return to the forecast.
Roses begin the last hurrah!

This spray of roses is ‘Foolish Pleasure’

This trio is ‘Firefighter’ on a standard tree rose. The fragrance is awesome.

This bloom is my beloved ‘Honey Perfume’ also on a standard tree rose.