Fragrant Cloud

Fragrant Cloud

Fragrant Cloud

Fragrant Cloud is just what its name is: a cloud of delicious rose fragrance. I just cut these three nice blooms and put them in an Ikea vase that cost less than a dollar.

They’re on my desk. I get to enjoy the wonderful fragrance and the eye popping color as I work.

NEW Best Roses for Arizona List

We have a new Best Roses for Arizona List that has been thoughtfully prepared by Marylou Coffman and Carole Holkenbrink. We are so happy to have this!

You can either click the link here or just above the photo of Playgirl on our Best Roses Page. Enjoy!!!!!

Here’s a bouquet I just ran outside and cut. This is a great time to be thankful for roses in Arizona!

2015 PSWD Convention here in Mesa

Falling in Love

Falling in Love

The 2015 PSWD Convention will be right here in Mesa on November 19th – 22nd. Registration opens May 1st, 2015. This is a great opportunity to see a fantastic rose show and attend some great programs. Click for details here.

Wanted: Yellow Mini

Nancy Jean

I am looking for a mini rose – yellow. I was told that Bees Knees and Abby’s Angel are the best for Phoenix.

Please check out our September Rose Lore Newsletter.  It gives a full list of miniatures Mesa-East Valley Rose Society society can order – including Bees Knees and other yellow minis. Order now for late October pick up.

Our rose show is Nov 15th. Hope you can come.

Steve Sheard

Master Rosarian

English Roses in Arizona

Abraham Darby

Abraham Darby

I am considering adding some roses to the front of my home, and came across some beautiful roses on Pinterest. I wanted to ask someone if they would grow and thrive here in Arizona.

The species is called Heritage, and they are an English rose. Better Homes and Gardens say they grow well in zones 5-9, is Queen Creek in any of those zones?

Heritage Roses covers the groups of older roses of which there are many varieties. Visit our Mesa East Valley Rose Society website page Best Roses for a listing of old garden roses.

The Master Gardeners have a Heritage Rose Garden at the County Extention office on Broadway and 43rd St.

If you are looking for the Old English Rose Form – you should look at David Austin Roses, he only breeds and introduces roses with the old form and fragrance, and they all grow in the valley.

As a note: The west side of the valley grow over 60% of all roses sold in the United States! Yes, they farm them here.

We will have a rose show at Mesa Community College November 15th – you should come down and look at what is being shown. We also give talks on planting and growing roses in the valley.

Steve Sheard
ARS Master Rosarian

KJZZ article on Rose Test Garden at MCC

LeRoy Brady MCC Rose Garden

LeRoy Brady MCC Rose Garden

Last Friday KJAZZ broadcasted about The Rose Test Garden at MCC. Go to their site to see more pictures and listen to the broadcast HERE.

Here’s the broadcast, if you prefer to read:

There are a dozen rose test gardens throughout the United States. One of them is located right here in the Valley. What is a rose test garden? We went to find out.

The northern entrance of Mesa Community College is adorned with rose bushes — thousands of them. They vary in color, variety and size.  Did You Know the Mesa Community College Rose Garden is the only rose testing site in the desert Southwest?

“Every year we get about 80 rose bushes and then we test them every two years. So, those that are in here this year in 2016 will come out and we’ll put a whole new group in,” said LeRoy Brady. He’s with the Mesa-East Valley Rose Society and is the landscape architect of the garden. He also evaluates the test roses.

“There will be everything from hybrid tea, to floribunda, to grandiflora, to shrub roses and climbers,” he said.

Brady said in 1996 Mesa Community College approached the Mesa-East Valley Rose Society with the idea of a rose garden to spruce up the place. By the following year the first rose bed was planted along Southern Avenue. In 1999 MCC garden was granted a test site designation.

Today the garden is among 12 American Rose Society testing sites. The garden is considered unique because the Sonoran desert has two blooming cycles, unlike any other place in the U.S. The first cycle is between April and June. The second is October through December.

“Roses are absolutely beautiful here. When you think that Arizona grows about 65 percent of the roses that are sold across the nation, why shouldn’t roses be here,” Brady said.

Brady is one of hundreds of volunteers who have planted and cared for the roses since the garden was first created. Public funding helps maintain it. There are more than 350 varieties, and about 10,000 rose bushes. On the west end of the campus, rose bushes are planted to form shapes that symbolize the meaning of roses, including one area shaped like a heart  and another with a peace symbol design.  On the east end of the college campus is a veterans garden which has 2,000 rose bushes.

“And all the roses in the Veterans Garden have patriotic names or military names and it’s designed around significant things in the military including the flags of the all five services,” Brady said.

This has become a sightseeing destination for many visitors.  Brady and his fellow rosarians provide tours of the garden, and in the winter they also offer classes on how to plant and care for flowers.

Why We Garden

I’ve never met Chris VanCleave (aka The Redneck Rosarian) but I feel like I know him from following his blog The Redneck Rosarian by email.

So! Today he posted Garden Walks: The Journey of a Lifetime. It’s a must read. Please read it.

First thing in the morning, I am up out of bed and walking around my garden. This time of year I’m watching for spider mites, deadheading and checking to make sure everything gets water. Picking the last of the yellow pear tomatoes. You probably do it too.

My 89 year old mother has dementia. She raised up an astounding Garden of Eden in her Montana yard for 60 years. She’s here now in Arizona in assisted living. She still does garden walks each morning with her pots on her small balcony. The journey of a lifetime.

Another reason I enjoy The Redneck Rosarian blog is because Chris is in Birmingham and takes a lot of pictures. I get to see summer roses! My summer roses? Here you go:

Cajun Moon in June in Arizona

And the same rose, Cajun Moon, in November:

The Summer Heat is Nearly Here

Last Spring Roses

As the weather heats up we have fewer and fewer roses and they are smaller and smaller.

Early every morning I cut all the roses I can and fill our smallest vases. I don’t cut long stems because the plants will need all the greenery they can muster to make it through our summer heat.

The roses I cut now in June don’t last as long as the roses I cut in March. See Steve Sheard’s excellent article “Keeping Your Cut Roses Alive Longer” in our May 2014 Rose Lore Newsletter.

We are really enjoying having the blooms indoors. As my husband says, “It’s way too hot outside for roses, so we have to bring them in. It’s the only humane to do.”

This is a great time to check your watering system to make sure all your roses are getting enough water. Enjoy our excellent article Summer Rose Care.

Brown Leaves on My Roses

HELP! I came back after being gone a week, and my mature rose tree now has brown leaves where new buds/flowers should be growing. It looks as if it has lost it’s volume. A neighbor took care of my flowers while I was gone, but this is on a drip system. Two months ago I planted a new patio rose tree between this ailing tree and another tree that is two years old.

All are on a drip system watering every two days. I’ve been spraying the two-year old tree with a soap and water mixture for aphids. I thank you in advance for your advice and wisdom on this issue.

Brown Leaves2

Bown Leaves1A
The pictures show signs of possible under watering and too much “salts” in the soil. I understand you have your roses on a drip system.

Here is a test for under watering:
On the day that it is going to water, just before the drip turns on, dig into the soil beside the plant and go down 9 inches. If the soil is:
Very wet – you are over watering
Wet, but you can not sweeze water out – OK
Just wet – possible under watering
Dry – definite under watering

Too much “salts” –
When did you last totally soak the rose bed, like it rained non stop for 5 days! Probably never! Our water is very high in “salts”. Then we add fertilizer and these are “salts”!

When you water with only just enough water, the majority of the water (60%) evaporates, leaving the salts behind. The salts left behind build up and eventually “poison” the plant. When we do get rain I tell people to turn ON their watering to help wash the salts below the root zone.

The cure: Flood the bed – YES really, really WET, for 6 hours (like it rained and rained and rained). Test the soil after two days and see how wet it is. Test again until you get it just wet.

Steve Sheard, Consulting Rosarian MEVRS

Lots of Blooms

Rose bouquet

20140511-Rose bouquet crystal

We’re having a nice flush of blooms right now. Each morning I cut some bouquets to give and some to photograph. (You can click on the photos to see them bigger.)

My favorite places to photograph roses are on the blue chair on the back patio and on a table in our house with white paper behind it. No direct sunlight, because then there are harsh shadows and blown highlights.

The roses in the bouquets are Black Magic, Veterans’ Honor, Elle, Marilyn Monroe, Moondance and Moonstone.