The Glory Has Departed


Norma Boeckler, Artist in Residence

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Monday, November 14, 2016

Voice Cracking, "I Like All of Them."
Today's Roses for North Arkansas Chiropractic

 Tropicana is another long-lasting rose
for arrangements.

Today we brought roses to our chiro. The receptionist is the chiro's mother-in-law, and we often speak about gardening. She really likes purple roses, so I make an effort to get one into the vases. When I pointed out her favorite color, she said, her voice cracking, "I like them all."

Most people say the same thing. I was having trouble getting good rose photos while they were still attached. I learned quickly enough that the Canon will expertly balance light and focus in close-ups in the vase. Similar casual shots on the plant are blurred from the breezes, including my attempts to make them hold still by grasping the stem.

Someone described KnockOuts as "inexpensive roses," but I paid full-price for mine. They are fast-blooming roses, fairly small, no fragrant, but enormously productive when treated right (water and prune). Most people do not prune them, which means they look like gigantic weeds most of the time.



True, KnockOuts are great for color when the roses are left on the plant, but regular pruning is the key for constant color.

Today I will gather the best KnockOuts and put them in their own vase. They have long stems and beautifully formed blooms. I have a large number of pink doubles and red doubles.

I enjoy pruning and I learned, as others have, that the number of snips increases as I do the work. I used to prune mesquite in Phoenix. A few intended prunes ended up a mountain of branches. The same is true of roses, because many death-stars (no petals left, five sepals forming a star) are lurking in the plant.



Today I am writing first and photographing the results second.

Here are some tips for rose-buying next year.



Pope John Paul II
This is a stunning white, fragrant rose on the bush, but not good for the vase. For contrast and astonishing bloomage, one can hardly beat this rose. I would pick this over KnockOuts for a hedge featuring color. The blooms are larger than KOs and will elicit oohs and ahs.

Pope John Paul II received an honorary doctorate from Notre Dame, so don't mind if I just call him Deuce.



Easy Does It
This orange rose is not pure orange but has a variety of colors in each bloom. The production is equal or better than KnockOuts. The blooms are not as long-lasting as many hybrid teas (Falling in Love, Veterans' Honor) but they are still great in the vase. These are double-duty with very strong stems, something often lacking in good roses. They are large, colorful bushes and could be used as a hedge or just in a group for fun (our future plan).

Mr. Lincoln
Insecure about roses? Nervous about your first trials? Avoid all the others and plant Mr. Lincoln. No rose I have grown is so likely to soar out of the soil and produce large, powerfully perfumed flowers that are classic from bud to fading bloom. Their turn toward blue in the vase is also fascinating.

This is one rose where a single stem can be cut with one large bloom on it. Place it in a bud vase, cut to the right length. That rose alone will fill a room with fragrance faster than any other.

Falling in Love has proven to be thorny, fragrant,
and long lasting. No other rose has so many tough thorns.