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!

Bloom Thyme Friday: Hydrangeas stealing the show!

Before we get to the blooms, let’s talk about my current little obsession … bottle brushes. I will never know why it has taken me this long to buy a set of bottle brushes but it did. Since I have a thing about glass, and glass comes to me from a variety of places, I am always removing labels and cleaning bottles and jars. These new brushes have simply changed my life — for the better. #happydance #iloveglass You can find more about my obsession with glass here.

BLOOM THYME…

There’s plenty blooming in the garden although not too many roses as I trimmed them back to discourage the Japanese Beetles. It has worked, they are fewer in number at this time. Perhaps there is another reason for fewer of them in the garden since Mr. G found and hung the Japanese Beetle Traps — one of his obsessions. Once the beetles were here, the traps few off the shelves. Note to: Tell Santa about Mr. G’s obsession with Japanese Beetle traps. #stockingstuffer  I know there are conflicting reports and thoughts on the beetle traps BUT, I live with and love Mr. G and we go with his thoughts on this one — he has done plenty of research. And puts them way out to the edge of our property!

Now for the hydrangeas! (Maybe another obsession, but we are NOT going there.)

One hydrangea is threatening to block my way into the potting shed. I don’t mind at all, it is a beautiful welcome!

Little Limes framing our entrance.
A very healthy Bobo. I have 6 of these. #favorite
Hedge of Annabelles
Limelight starting to bloom

OTHER BLOOMERS…

Sally Holmes and her neighbors.
I never tire of the lovely blooms on Ping Lim’s Music Box from the Easy Elegance Collection.
Comte de Chambord and neighbors – over the top pink! LOVE!
Oh I love this rose — Flamingo Rosita!!

Not sure what this Zinnia is reaching for but I love this color.
The Fawn is staying under the radar and the Japanese Beetles aren’t finding her.
Common Phlox   An over achiever — beautiful but I have to keep my eyes on this one.
Dare I say it … when I see these, I think fall. 😦

COMING SOON … A GARDEN SYMPOSIUM

 

The Indianapolis Rose Society is hosting the ARS Illinois Indiana District Conference and Rose Show Sat, Sept 8, 10 am – 4 pm — at the 4H Fairgrounds in Lebanon! (FYI: I will be installed as the new District Director in October!)

Cost for the public to attend the educational sessions is $10. We have some of the best of the best speakers coming from around the country and these sessions have been approved for Master Gardener Educational Credit. Click here to see the list of speakers! We would love to see you there! I guarantee you will have fun, learn a ton and see some of the prettiest roses on the planet!! There is even a lunch option too! ALL THE DETAILS HERE! 

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! Send me any questions you might have!

Growing Roses. Growing Friends.

It is no surprise to you that gardening is one of my passions. Digging in the dirt is practically a magical experience for me. And, watching my garden spring back to life is almost cause for dancing in the streets. 💃

This week it has officially started for me and I don’t even want to sleep. Now if the weatherman would just get the memo and bring us more sun! Don’t you agree weekends should always be sunny!

While I love most plants and shrubs, roses are at the top of the list. History teaches us I am not lone. Roses have been at the top of many plant list and have become the world’s most beloved flower. The rose is steeped in history (I have roses that date back to the 1500s in my garden and they have some stories to tell!) and the rose is our National Floral Emblem. Personally, I think everyone would be happier to have roses to pick from their own gardens or patio containers! We are always encouraged to “stop and smell the roses.”

Today I want to tell you about two organizations that have contributed to my joy of growing roses and most definitely to my knowledge!

THE AMERICAN ROSE SOCIETY

Through the American Rose Society (ARS), I have rose friends from all over the country that enrich my rose hobby. This society exists to promote the culture and appreciation of the rose, through education and research to members, to local rose societies and their members and to the public. 

MEMBERSHIP…

Most ARS members are home gardeners who enjoy growing roses and want to expand their knowledge of rose culture. Starting now gives you all winter for learning and getting ready for spring!  If you are not ready to take on a full membership, give it a try with the cost effective TRIAL MEMBERSHIP and see what you think.

FOUR-MONTH TRIAL MEMBERS RECEIVE:

Free advice from Consulting Rosarians.

Free or reduced garden admissions, a $25 value after just 3 uses.

Free online access to five quarterly bulletins, a $45 value.

2 issues of American Rose magazine, $16 value.

Discounts of up to 30% at merchant partners.

A four-month trial membership is valued at $86 for only $10!

For FULL MEMBERS, one of my fav ARS member benefits currently is the monthly newsletter. I am the editor! To see a sample of the newsletter, read on here.

SIGN UP TODAY! For the trial membership or a  yearly membership, complete the online form or call 800-637-6534.


OUR LOCAL SOCIETY … INDIANAPOLIS ROSE SOCIETY

I serve as 1st Vice President and Chairman for website and social media. Check out our website at IndianapolisRoseSociety.com and join us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram.

In this organization I have met wonderful people of all ages. We are all at different stages of the gardening experience and have different passions. Some are into just growing while others with the competitive spirit, enter the most amazing blooms and arrangements in competitions! Some members have 1 rose and some have 500 roses. One of the greatest perks is getting to visit member’s gardens. This group has some amazing gardens!

But it is so much more

We spend time enjoying all things “rose” together. We learn, we laugh, we celebrate successes and we deal with failures & issues together. It’s not just roses that keep us together, over the years–we have become family and you are welcome anytime!

This year we have members coming from Marion, Kokomo, Bloomington and most of the surrounding burgs! 

Our 2017 year started off with a bang in March, as Dr. Mark Windham gave a program on getting our gardens off to a good start and gave us the latest on his research with Rose Rosette. 

 You can keep up with what’s going on by subscribing to our blog at INDIANAPOLISROSESOCIETY.COM. Most of our meetings are the second Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm at the Sullivan Munce Center in charming Zionsville. HERE’S WHAT’S COMING UP FOR 2017.


NEXT MEETING:

TIME / PLACE:
Tuesday, April 11,  6:30 pm
Sullivan Munce Center / 225 W Hawthorne St / Zionsville

The program will be on Fertilizers and Soil Amendments, presented by our panel of experts, John Hefner, Mark Nolen and Humberto DeLuca.

What kind? How often? Organic? Inorganic? Too much? Too Little?
Bring all your questions! This panel will have the answers!


NOTE: The rose in the graphic above is the award winning Easy Does It.

This is a picture my daughter took from her garden! I don’t know if this rose will be available locally, but it is available online from Edmunds Roses here.


EASY DOES IT…

  • Recommended Growing Zones: 5 – 10
  • 3-4″ Height
  • Bushy Growth Habit
  • Fruity Fragrance
  • Disease Resistant

Wishing you a wonderful spring!

A Rose A Day: Graham Thomas

Graham Thomas is one of the roses that put me in the winner’s circle at the Indianapolis Rose Show last week!   (See pics of the Rose Show here.)

This rose is a rich, radiant yellow David Austin English Rose with a strong tea fragrance. If you want to grow this rose, know that he is very hardy and is sometimes grown as a climber so give him some room or be prepared to keep him trimmed.

For more details on this lovely shrub rose … read on.

The Naming of This Rose

This rose was named for Graham Stuart Thomas an English horticulturalist, garden designer, rosarian extraordinaire and one of the most influential gardeners of the 20th century. He actually chose this rose to be named for him.

Another fun fact about Graham Stuart Thomas — he was was mentored by none other than Gertrude Jekyll. He was starting his career as she was finishing hers so it was a match made in heaven.

Wonderful reference book...

His book, The Graham Stuart Thomas Rose Book, is a comprehensive reference on roses –especially historical roses.

Back to the Winner’s Circle…

Graham ThomasAfter…

Graham Thomas_002

I was in the company of greatness….

Our society has some wonderfully talented rose growers, arrangers and exhibitionist!
Amazing!

Look at all this beauty! Our rose society is filled with wonderfully talented rosarians!