|Standard roses are $50 each.|
My bargain roses from Gurney's cost $5 each.
The Jackson and Perkins rose arrived. My favorite laugh item was a $5 plastic ring to put around the base of the rose, to hold mulch and fertilizer.
Apart from the cost, the laughs came from "fertilizer" - a bad idea for roses, and a little circle of mulch to be held by that expensive ring of plastic.
The non-secret to healthy roses is large, thick bed of mulch that will slowly decompose and feed the soil creatures beneath, holding water and holding in moisture, preventing wind erosion, discouraging foot traffic.
The big rose gardens are organic, because chemical fertilizers are just like pesticides - making the situation worse.
But this takes time. Roses are not a lot of work, but their root systems do not grow overnight. The roots are where the intricate chemical exchanges take place. When the roots are well established, hundreds of miles of root hairs serve as a Vanity Fair, exchanging carbon for the nutrients the plant needs. Fungi need the carbon to grow, and all plants have carbon to swap. The subordinate fungi will even bring moisture to the roots, with hyphae or little tunnels that stretch in every direction. So do not stomp down the hyphae by tramping through the rose bed every day.
Some ways to improve rose production:
- Set up soaker hoses to water them at the base, but give the entire plant a good shower with the hose from time to time.
- Plant vegetation that harbors beneficial insects. I put my face close to the Bee Balms being sold at Walmart. They were alive with flower flies, those tiny pest reducers that look a bit like tiny bees.
- Cut off spent and fading roses, because pruning makes them grow more and produce more - John 15: 1-8. Remove dead wood at the same time.
- Store rainwater to help lagging plants that need a boost.
|Mr. Lincoln is productive, fragrant, and beautiful in all forms.|
|This is the tall bud of Mr. Lincoln.|