Mentors and Memories

Today I want to tell you about two mentors who had so much to do with teaching me and inspiring me in the world of roses although I never met them.

This week as the temps plummeted into the minus category and Spring seemed so far off, I found myself in my Potting Shed/Garden Office going through old things — mostly articles I saved.

I don’t keep everything, in fact, sometimes I am accused of casting out too many things, but I am absolutely thrilled that the things I am going tell you about today, I still have. I know so much is being said and done as people are inspired by Marie Kondo to “tidy up.” I want to encourage you to save some things. In full disclosure — when it comes to the garden, let’s just say things get a bit “crowded” and I might have toooo many things. Is there such a thing as too many plants?

Back to my story….

In the late 80s and early 90s, I was a creative garden-loving, rose-loving young mother of the sweetest two kids on the planet and I loved them dearly. But, occasionally I had to get out and do my thing. And, since I had the most supportive husband on the planet, Mr. G took care of things and kiddies so I could spend an entire day learning more about gardening and in particular, roses. I spent many of those days in a book store drinking coffee and doing research. (Remember when there were Barnes and Nobles everywhere!?!?) Some of those times away I went to a pretty hotel and spent all day and night researching, making lists and drawing up plans.

All of this of course without the benefit of the internet. How did I do it!

I was armed with books, magazines, garden catalogs and a newsletter that I subscribed to … Bev Dobson’s Rose Letter. Bev taught me much about the different types of roses and rose care, she reviewed books about roses, rose hybridization and from Bev I first learned of rose viruses and an indexing program that Jackson & Perkins had started. OF HUGE NOTE, now that I am looking back, I see that she told me in 1992 that the prestigious Jane Righter Rose Medal was awarded to Stephen C. Scanniello and his team of volunteers for their work at the Cranford Memorial Rose Garden. I never ever thought then that I would one day call Stephen a friend. I can tell you with certainty that Stephen deserved that award and deserves an award every year for all of his contributions to the world of roses.

Those newsletters were a treasure trove of information and included names that now pop into my world on a regular basis.

Thank you Bev for making me a better and more informed rose gardener.

 

Mentoring from Far, Far Away….

One of my “research projects” was David Austin Roses. Believe it or not, information was so hard to come by. I first saw these roses in a Wayside Garden Catalog and it was love at first sight. At that time I was growing both modern roses and old garden roses and thought that perfection would lie in putting them together… and thought that will never happen. I knew nothing of hybridization. Then I read interviews in a couple of magazines that showcased Mr. Austin’s work of doing just that and I was smitten from that day forward. Of course, he was a quiet Englishman, who loved roses, was weaving together the old and the new roses and wore a tweed jacket. Who wouldn’t be!?!  😉 … A not so secret crush as Mr. G would point out from time to time.

One of those magazines was VICTORIA who published an article that I kept in my “special box’ … A Shropshire Nurseryman Refashions THE ROSES OF YESTERYEAR by Thomas Christopher  (who wrote In Search of Lost Roses). The article deals with the fact that at that time growing roses in the US was still an adventure with our diverse growing climates. Mr. Christopher ended his article with a quote from Mr.Austin in regard to his roses defying the conventions of roses at that time on whether or not English roses were too diverse to be classed as a single group. Roses shouldn’t conform — roses should be an adventure.” And to that Mr. Christopher said, His roses certainly are.

I’m grateful his roses were accepted as one big beautiful class – The English Rose.

I loved reading about Mr. Austin, the process of bringing these roses to light and having his roses in my garden. I still enjoy his story. A quiet man with an incredible vision. His story and his work entertained me and encouraged me while bringing so much pleasure to my garden experience. I had always dreamed I would meet him one day. I have met Michael Marriott, (technical manager and senior rosarian of David Austin Roses), and have the pleasure of calling him friend, that is rose dream worthy too.

This year I will be even more excited to welcome back after the winter thaw the amazing climbing rose ‘The Generous Gardener’  along with my other Austins. If I could recommend only one David Austin to you, it would be ‘The Generous Gardener.’ She is amazing … so amazing I ordered another one to come in April!

Thank you David Austin for mentoring me from a land far away. I would not be the gardener I am today without you.

 

I just love this picture in Victoria Magazine from around the year 2000 of David Austin with his son.

Shhhhh. Just between us good friends, (Don’t tell Marie K) but I have Victoria magazines that date back to 1988. Stacks of them. Maybe you shouldn’t tell my children either.

NOTE TO SELF and an encouragement to you… anytime we get the opportunity to mentor … to teach … to share with someone else our passion, TAKE IT!

The front left rose is THE GENEROUS GARDENER… her neighbors are Quietness and Music Box.

Thank you so much for joining me on this trip down memory lane. I’d love to hear your stories too if you’d like to share them!

ROSE BUZZ: 2016 Gift Ideas for Gardeners!

 

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We as gardeners love what we do! But, the right tools can make all the difference and Christmas is the perfect time to share ideas with Santa to get just what we want and need for the coming growing season! Plus, getting garden goodies in the middle of winter is just FUN!

Below are some garden gifts that I highly recommend you buy for yourself, your garden friends OR whisper in Santa’s ear so they show up around your Christmas tree or in your stocking! NOTE: Make sure you have a BIG STOCKING!

A YEAR IN MY ROSE GARDEN

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Teresa Mosher has written a book that all rose gardeners will want on their Christmas list.

Teresa is President of the New England Rose Society, and one of the leading Garden and Rose Consultants in New England.  This book is a wonderfully practical book that rose growers at every level will benefit from having! With this book comes the best gardening journal I have seen. Teresa has been so thorough with information that even a novice gardener could pick up this book and be good to go! From basic rose care information, a list of tools and supplies, rose terminology and ideas for garden design — it’s all there!

ORDER BOOK HERE.

To hear Teresa talk about her book and her gardening experiences, listen to a recent Rose Chat Podcast here

 


COW POTS

  • All Natural Made with 100% Renewable Composted Cow Manure
  • CowPots stay intact for up to 12 weeks before planting in the ground
  • Roots easily penetrate the walls of CowPots.
  • Perfectly odor free

Available on Amazon here.

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AMERICAN ROSE SOCIETY TRIAL MEMBERSHIP

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WHAT A VALUE!! All rose lovers will enjoy this gift! With a trial membership comes discounts at public gardens, copies of the ARS award winning magazine, American Rose, plus a ton of other benefits … all for only $10Details at Rose.org.

 


 HANDCRAFTED TOOLS

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My good friend, Chris VanCleave, the Redneck Rosarian, has partnered with DeWit Tools to bring us a beautiful, handcrafted line of tools. These lovely tools come with a life-time guarantee and are destined to be heirloom pieces you will want to hand down to the next generation. Take a look at these beauties on Amazon.


 THE GARDENER’S HOLLOW LEG

The Hollow Leg was given as door prizes at the Indianapolis Rose Society this year and everyone wanted to be a winner! So, even though the Hollow Leg appeared on last year’s list, I wanted to feature it again.

Bob Blomberg’s  Gardener’s Hollow Leg® makes yard and garden clean up tasks easier! This handy “hands-free” debris holder is a must have for all pruning, weeding and harvesting tasks.

A 15% discount!

FROM BOB: Tell  your readers to use GHLUSER at check out for the discount!

To learn more or to buy online, read on.

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Even Mr. H has the Hollow Leg Jr!!

Heading to the green compost bin.
Heading to the green compost bin.

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Find the ripe tomatoes.
Find the ripe tomatoes.

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The wonderful items on last year’s list are still available and you can read about them HERE.

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Christmas is really the most wonderful time of the year!

ENJOY EVERY MINUTE!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Roses on Trial

This weekend I am heading to the Biltmore Estate as a juror for the 2nd Annual Biltmore International Rose Trials. YAY!!!

WHY HAVE A ROSE TRIAL

”The trials are a valuable way for the home gardener to learn what roses do well and what may be potential candidates for their own gardens,” said Paul Zimmerman, coordinator of the trials. “Trials of this type are usually open to all rose breeders around the world – from professional to beginner.”

I so appreciate all the hard work that is done to bring backyard gardeners the very best in beauty, health and fragrance!

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Roses ARE plants too!

PAUL ZIMMERMAN: Whether it is writing his amazing book, Everyday Roses, his articles for the Fine Gardening blog or leading the way in rose trials, Paul keeps us informed and entertained!

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Summer 2013

LUCAS JACK:  As rosarian for the magnificent Biltmore Estate, Lucas brings a wealth of information and inspiration to the world of roses and to the next generation of gardeners.

ROSE CHAT PODCASTS…

Both Lucas and Paul have joined us on Rose Chat several times to chat about the Biltmore garden, rose trials and gardening in general. Below are links to those podcasts. Listen and learn whenever it is convenient for you! 🙂

Lucas…
2014 Episode…
2013 Episode…

Paul…
2014 Episode…
2013 Episode…

ADDITIONAL INFO…

For additional information on this year’s trial … read on.

Want to see more pictures of the beautiful garden, read on.

Follow along on Twitter and Facebook for updates this weekend!

GARDEN REPORT

Last night at our rose society meeting we each gave a report on what’s  going on in our gardens. There were reports of outstanding iris, peonies and roses — that seem to be stronger because of the Polar Vortex. (Who knew????) Right now the big winners in my garden are the Rugosas and clematis. Love em! Every garden is so individual … what’s making a statement in your garden this week?

Bloom Thyme Friday
HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY

Potting Shed Review: R is for Rose

I am currently reading Carolyn Parker’s book R is for Rose and am taking my time to savor every story and every picture. This book is not only eye candy for rose lovers, but it also showcases so many of Carolyn’s talents:

As a garden designer: She shares with us her amazing garden.

As a floral arranger: She uses a unique variety of containers to showcase her beautiful roses.

As a photographer: She has an amazing gift as a photographer.

And most of all, her skills as a storyteller: With each letter of the alphabet she draws us in with one heartwarming story after another!

GRAHAM THOMAS & CAROLYN

My favorite story in Carolyn’s book is in chapter “G” … for Graham Thomas English Rose. This rose is named for the legendary gardener and rose expert, Graham Thomas. She actually had the opportunity of a life time to meet him and to share the story she had written about him in person! You just have to read this story!

BLOG TALK RADIO

I had the privilege of interviewing Carolyn recently about her book on Blog Talk Radio. She was enchanting! You can listen to that interview here.

FINDING THE BOOK

You can find her book on Amazon … click here.

Garden friends, this is a book you just might want to mention to Santa … to be sure he gets it on your Christmas list.

I think you will also enjoy Carolyn’s blog … rosenotes.com.