What 6 years of Rose growing has thought me
In the summer's heat, I pause to ponder my experiences with rose growing. My dream was to grow 100 roses intermingled with perennials. I will reach that goal in the Fall this year and will only replace any losses to maintain that number. Here are my learnt lessons.
1. It is a privelege and blessing to be able to afford a rose habit. Cherish those blessings.
2. Plan any purchases wisely in the winter. Buying 30 roses in one go on a bleak winter's day might seem like a great idea at the time. However, planting them in sweltering heat is no fun.
3. Listen to the experts! Dig and plan your planting area before the roses arrive. Know exactly where you will put those roses you purchase.
4. As with anything else, you usually get what you pay for. A $5.00 rose at a supermarket is often just that a $5 root system that will not stand up to the Texas heat and will yield mediocre blooms and foliage.
5. Find reputable, independent Rose nurseries and support them as much as possible so they will be around for future rose enthusiasts to enjoy. The ARE (Antique Rose Emporium) here in Texas has been a great source for most of my roses. They support their guarantee and will replace any reasonable rose losses. I recently bought Ascot (Thanks Nana Doll) and Bride's Dream from Palantine roses and was amazed at the huge bareroots they sent that just took off here despite being planted in March.
6. And last but not least: Enjoy your roses!!. If 20 roses will overwhelm you then plant 15. Only plant what you can enjoy and maintain. Better 20 beautiful roses than 60 battered and drab looking, unloved ones.