by Ron Daniels, President – Nashville Rose Society, Master Rosarian, Master Gardner
As I look back on my experiences with growing roses for the last 28 years, I remember who introduced me to the love of roses and was kind enough to mentor me. This fine gentleman was John Curtis, or as NRS members referred to him, “The Rose Farmer”. He earned that name because of his commitment to organic methods of growing roses.
Mr. Curtis was a true consulting rosarian. He mentored me and others. He helped me build and plant my first rose garden. He also taught me how to grow and care for the roses. His mentorship was not limited to growing roses but he also exposed me to his philosophies about sharing his roses. This practice spilled over into my life. One of the first things he told me was “don’t grow more roses than you can enjoy. This can result it becoming a labor and it will not be enjoyable”. This was good advice because growing roses is hard work!
The second thing he taught me was to share my roses with others. He had a rose ministry at his church and the roses were definitely used to help others. I follow his example by also having a rose ministry at my church.
Saying John Curtis mentored me is an understatement! I learned reasons for growing and sharing roses. I’m not only a better rosarian today because of his mentorship, but I am also a better person. Today I share my knowledge, my rose garden, and my roses with others. I try to mentor one to three members every year and cary on John Curtis’ philosophies.
So find someone and mentor them. It could change your life!