MARCH of DEATH" --
in the Rose Garden ... by Ed Bradley
Most Rosarians have more roses than we need. We also get caught up in the hysteria of getting every new rose that hits the market, thinking it will surely be the one that gets the big trophy. But, the truth is – all roses don’t do well in all locales. I couldn’t possibly count all of the roses I’ve discarded in the past 25 years. (I have replaced 4 hybrid teas and 6 miniatures this summer.) I am reluctant to buy all of the hype about new roses; however, I sometimes still take the bait – hook, line and sinker – and thereby end up with non-productive roses in my garden.
is a non-productive rose? We
all have some criterion by which we evaluate roses in our gardens.
Maybe it is show quality; maybe it is fragrance; maybe it is
home-bouquet quality, or just good, long lasting color in the garden.
Sometimes, we keep roses for purely sentimental reasons.
And, that is OK, if you don’t expect much from them in terms of
performance. Whatever it is
– you expect your rose to meet your expectations.
(If you don’t have criterion, you should have!
Otherwise, you’ll be growing anything.)
When your roses do not live up to your standards, they deserve to
be “shovel-pruned” and passed to the landfill or compost pile.
what’s the problem? The
problem is that we are too reluctant to cast out non-productive roses.
Culling roses means some hard decisions.
We let them linger, thinking they will get better – after all,
the catalog or even a friend said this was a “must have” rose.
Roses are getting very expensive, so throwing one away, or
replacing it, can be a costly decision.
Being Rosarians, we really like to grow things, so to discard one
goes against our nature. Nonetheless,
it needs to be done.
roses can be a simple process, followed by a discipline to stick with your
decisions. I call it the March
of Death in the Rose Garden. Take
some strips of red ribbon, put on your heartless attitude, and walk
through your garden. Tie a red
ribbon on all of the roses which have not lived up to your expectations.
Do this after you’ve had a full growing season to evaluate their
performance. Now comes the
tough part – Stick to your decisions.
That is the reason for the red ribbon.
It is easy to mentally say, “I think I’ll dig that Chicago
Peace next Winter and plant a new Gemini there.”
Well – you know what – when September brings cool nights, and
October brings some cool rain and cooler days, that old C.P. is going to
give you some of the biggest and most spectacular blooms you have ever
seen. Then, you’re going to
say, “I can’t get rid of anything that beautiful!”
We’ve all been there, right??
So, tie your ribbon on her. After
you’ve harvested all of those gorgeous blooms, dig her up!
Order your Gemini, and prepare that spot for a new productive rose.
You’ll be glad you did.
Disclaimer: While the advice and information contained in this web page is believed to be true and correct, neither the authors nor committee members can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The San Antonio Rose Society makes no warranty, expressed or implied with respect to the material contained herein.
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