Time for Roses

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I happened to be at Brooklyn Botanic Garden for peak rose bloom!  It was quite a sight and smelled wonderful.  People thoroughly enjoyed them. roses5 I have never really understood the love of roses.  I like them, but I had always heard the fuss needed to care for them.  When we moved into our house, there was no landscaping, just four roses:  two bush type, one tea rose, and one climbing.  roses2These poor bushes got beaten down during our first winter with the demo of the first floor.  Apparently, roses are pretty resilient.  They have bounced back, and I have incorporated them into the landscape quite nicely.

Roses have a tendency to get black spot.  You can help combat this by companion planting with the onion family.

  • allium
  • chive
  • garlic

These plants help enhance the rose’s perfume as well.  If the onion family doesn’t keep the black spot at bay, try an early morning spray of neem oil once a week.

Another companion plant I see repeatedly with rose is catmint.  It’s an airy plant that bees love.  Supposedly, catmint deters bunnies.  Aromatic herbs like parsley and thyme help repel Japanese beetle.

roses3roses1Roses need to be pruned.  After blooming, you can cut them back to the next 5 leaf set, this should encourage another bloom.  Avoid a hard pruning until after winter.  Remember, roses are a little vicious, wear gloves.

I have learned to love the rose.  They are fighters, and beautiful ones at that.  The Farmer’s Almanac has some great info for further reading, if roses have piqued your interest.

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