Sunday, April 7, 2013

Report on Stop and Smell the Roses-Roses 101

It was still chilly on April 6 and everyone seated around the plastic drop cloth on the Nancy Redington’s basement floor was looking down. Spread out were a variety of tools used in caring for roses. Redington, Master Gardener and rose expert, talked about hand saws, gloves, weeders, and the all-important bypass pruners as part of the Master Gardeners of Penn State Extension, Franklin County Roses 101 workshop.

Wielding those all-important pruners

President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution into law on October 7, 1986 naming the rose as the “national floral emblem” of the United States. Redington said one of her dream goals is to “plant a rose bush next to the American flag at libraries” and other public buildings in our area.
Red rose in full bloom Photo by Peggy Greb, courtesy
USDA Agricultural Research Service Image Gallery
According to Eric Cech in an Ezine Article, it's estimated that 150 million plants are purchased annually by gardeners worldwide every year and roses dominate the world's cut flower market.

“The first thing I planted …was a rose,” said Rebecca Keller, Chambersburg, who moved to the area recently.

Sylvia Kremp, Chambersburg, asked “What is the difference between the varieties of roses?” Redington and son Jim talked about the types such as old garden, English roses, miniature, hybrid teas, mini-flora, shrub, and grandiflora roses.

Jim Redington shows the size of a mini-floral rose
Once selected and purchased, however, gardeners need to know how to plant and care for their roses. Good pruning practices are an important part of rose maintenance.

“I have a Joseph’s Coat rose,” said Judy Scriptunas, Chambersburg, noting that she is interested in knowing more about how to care for it.

Nancy demonstrates correct pruning method
Redington demonstrated correct pruning methods citing her mantra - “prune the dead, diseased, dying and dinky.” Everyone got to practice on rose canes cut from her garden.

Nancy Redington prunes a tree rose while son Jim watches
Everyone bundled up, grabbed pruners and gloves and headed out into Redington’s yard. She demonstrated how to prune a tree rose, calling out why she chose each cut – “dead,” “dinky,” “dead,” “dying.” 
Nancy and Starbuck prune a miniature rose
She moved out into the yard and severely pruned a miniature rose bush. Most of those crowded around were amazed at how much she pruned out. “Come back in June and you’ll see plenty of roses," she said. "Trust me.” 

Dawn Stinson and LuAnn Munson prune a hybrid tea rose
As the hands-on workshop neared the end, participants were invited to choose a rose bush in her yard and begin practicing with those all-important pruners.

Learn more about roses

Penn State Extension: Roses- The Queen of the Flowers
Penn State Extension: Rose Disease
American Rose Society
Rogers Roses: Roger Phillips Rose ID Site (58,000 pictures)
Lilly's Rose Garden: Fun Facts About Roses

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