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.

Rosarian at a crossroad

This gardening season I have been thinking about my rose growing hobby a lot. I like rose horticulture exhibiting, making arrangements and growing the miniature and miniflora roses and I am moderately successful, especially since the move from the short growing season in Minnesota to western Washington. To do really well, a person needs some type of florist frig or other not frost-free frig that will stay at 36* F to hold roses for a week or so before a show. It will keep a perfect bloom in that state for days until needed. All the really good rose exhibitors have a special frig. I do not have such a frig. The frig really only needs to be using electricity for a month or so in June then a month in Sept. to cover all the rose shows in the Pacific Northwest. So I have been wondering, do I want to get such a frig? Do I want to continue showing roses at this level? How many more years would I really want to be showing roses? Would it be worth the effort? What do I really get out of all this? Heaven knows I don’t need more trophies and stuff. I like the recognition and thrill of getting on the head table. I only need one up there for it to be a success. I like being with rose people and judging. Judging is where the real action is, IMHO. So I am conflicted. I like my humble shrub roses with their full fluffy variety of colors. They are not show roses for the most part. Dr. Buck and David Austin are well represented in my rose collection. I am also trying a few of the Kordes varieties this year because of their reputation for disease resistance. So where does this bring me? I will probably continue life without a frig, but I would take one if it magically appeared.

Top row L to R:Honey Perfume, April Moon, Joy a miniature show rose on its second flush, Lena, a cute shrub born in Minnesota.

Bottom: Serendipity and Aunt Honey by Griffin Buck.

Rose Garden at Point Defiance

We all have favorite places and this one is close to my heart. The wonderful people of the Tacoma Rose Society deadhead every Thursday and this year it is looking super!

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‘Blueberry Hill’ and ‘Elina’ are featured roses.

“My love is like a red, red rose.”

Robert Burns said it best.

A Red, Red Rose
by Robert Burns

My love is like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June :
My love is like the melody
That’s sweetly played in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonnie lass,
So deep in love am I :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
Till a’ the seas gang dry.

Till a’ the seas gang dry, my dear,
And the rocks melt wi’ the sun :
And I will love thee still, my dear,
While the sands o’ life shall run.

And fare thee weel, my only love,
And fare thee weel a while !
And I will come again, my love,
Thou’ it were ten thousand mile.

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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.
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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.

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

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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

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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

Puyallup State Fair- Second Rose Show

I’ve only been there twice but I am starting to love the Puyallup State Fair. The Evergreen Floral Building is new and the lighting is good. The workers are more than helpful. My garden was in it’s prime this week with no rain and lots of sun! I was pleased with my exhibits and enjoyed seeing others through judging. (I exhibited two HT’s, lots of Miniatures and Minifloras and judged Floribundas and classes of HT’s I was not in.)

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Ready to roll…

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‘Foolish Pleasure’ Miniflora

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‘Randy Scott’ Hybrid Tea.

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‘Green Ice’ three sprays of one miniature.