Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Witherspoon's Virtual Tour of Rose Gardens: Patty Roger's Garden

Welcome to Patty Roger's Garden

There is an excitement that surrounds waiting for a blossom to open.  Anticipation draws a gardener toward the bud over and over again in hope of catching an early glimpse into what that bud will blossom into.  This anticipation is one of Patty Rogers’ favorite things about growing roses.  As I spoke with Patty, I began to sense the joy she gets from her rose garden and how it fills a special place in her life.

Being a professional photographer, Patty is always searching for the perfect flower shot.  I can see her now, camera in hand, strolling through her garden on a quest.  Since About Face and Double Delight are two of her favorite roses, I am certain they are her first stops on her quest for the perfect shot.  When asked what about these roses she most enjoys, she replied with “Both the beauty and fragrance.  The appearance draws you in, while the fragrance holds you there.”

Patty is fairly new to growing roses, but she knows the joy of producing something so beautiful from your own backyard and enjoyment that comes from watching it grow.  As a young girl, she would work next to her Grandfather, who was an avid gardener, but while she was living in Chapel Hill, North Carolina she never had enough sunlight to grow roses.  She would stroll through the Sarah P. Duke Gardens to visit the roses.  The appearance of the roses would draw her in to visit, and the warmth of the fragrance would hold her captivated.  The time came when she moved from Chapel Hill to her new home on Real Quiet Lane.  Finally!  There was enough sun to plant her very own rose garden!  Now she is able to visit her roses every morning, which is by far her favorite thing about growing roses.  Even to the point that she feels a little selfish because she is jealous over her roses! 

As our conversation drew to a close, I asked her if she had any advice for people who are just now beginning their journey with roses.  The advice she gave was to visit other rose gardens before you plant your own in order to gain a better understanding of what you really like in a rose garden.  It is easy to become overwhelmed with all of the rose varieties and want to plant one of every variety in your bed.  So, she suggested that one consider planting an entire bed of the same variety for mass impact.

Patty’s journey began as a young girl learning to garden by her Grandfather’s side and it continues as she begins her new journey with growing roses.  She feels that there is a certain peace surrounding roses that embodies the name of her lane and considers her rose garden to be the crown jewel of her home on Real Quiet Lane.

Would you like for your garden to be featured in our virtual tour of gardens?  
Email Kelley Triplett at ktriplett@witherspoonrose.com

Witherspoon ships premier roses to all 48 contiguous states February- April.  
Visit witherspoonrose.com for product details

Witherspoon also provides professional rose care services.  We offer preventative and corrective spraying for pests and diseases, fertilizing, pruning, mulching, and planting.

Give us a call at 1-800-643-0315 to request a FREE onsite estimate.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Long Winter's Nap

The annual task of preparing your roses for winter is upon us.  

As colder weather settles in the rose bushes naturally continue to shut down.  Some of you will find that the roses are still pushing new buds, and if the frost does not burn them, you’ll still have some roses to cut and enjoy.  Certainly folks in warmer areas will see this taking place.  It definitely makes you want to enjoy the last of the color that the roses have to offer.  You’ll take every last bit you can get from them, right?!
That being said we still want to aid the dormancy process by cutting the roses back and providing a protective covering over the graft.  In this natural state of things the bushes go in to a resting period as a result of shorter days and a decrease in temperatures.  Our North Carolina climate affords us the opportunity to enjoy roses longer in the growing season and beyond, often until December.  By then the cold has done enough damage that it’s simply time to cut them back. 

This process can be done now for areas with colder climates than North Carolina.  In fact our customers in the mountains tend to do theirs sooner rather than later as compared to the Piedmont regions or regions on the coast. 

The great thing about the December cutback is that no special pruning skills are required.  You can simply cut any canes that are higher than the height of your waist as your standing next to the rose bush.  How simple is that?  By doing this we are only looking to remove any tall growth that might be weighed down and subsequently damaged by heavy snow or ice.   The real pruning comes much later and we’ll get to that early next year.

This waist high cutback can be done to any of your hybrid teas, grandifloras or floribundas.  We are often asked what to do if the roses to be cut back are already waist high or shorter, in which case they can be left alone.  We do, however, give climbing roses that bloom on new wood a heavier treatment.  

Cut back roses waist high

We start by cutting the height down to the level of the structure on which it is growing.  Then, we remove all but 5 or 6 of the strongest vertical canes.  Finally, remove the laterals (side canes) from those 5 or 6.  It will look quite skeletonized, but that is the desired effect. 

All your roses should look like the bush on the left after cutback

The next thing we do to the roses as part of the overall winterization is to cover the graft with mulch, known around here as mounding up.  We prefer mulch as opposed to pine straw since mulch is a heavier insulator; pine straw is too loose and does not pack well.  Mounding protects the rose bush from winter wind and cold.  Having adequate protection will keep the rose bush, and more specifically the graft, from drying out.  You can simply pull up the existing mulch that is already on the bed with a rake.  No need to buy more mulch unless there’s not enough to mound up! 

Mounding mulch up over the graft.

If you’re concerned about any fungal spores that may be lingering on the mulch from black spot you may want to consider removing all of the mulch and starting with fresh.  Applying a dormant spray in January will help with lingering fungal spores, but if you’re black spot troubles were pretty severe, then replacing the mulch is suggested.
The bush on the left is completely winterized
The act of winterization is such a simple process.  Cutting back the bushes could not be easier and mounding them takes mere minutes to do.