NRS Member Marty Reich gave a rose talk to the Spring Hill Garden Club in Spring Hill, Tennessee. The following is the coverage by the by the local paper, The Advertiser News:
By Susan Lobo
The Advertiser News, August 28 – September 3, 2019
“Few flowers have gained such universal celebrity and love as roses. The rose has been hailed Queen of Flowers. It has been a garden staple for centuries. Has given us some of the most famous lines of romantic poetry ever written.” – Julia Stowe, blossomartstn. com.
Straight from Romeo, “… a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” Shakespeare wrote.
The secret to growing roses? Location, location, location! says our garden guest, Marty Reich, Membership Chairman and newsletter editor of the Nashville Rose Society.
Finding the perfect location to plant your roses is in the east so that the sun dries the dew. Roses need six to eight hours of sunshine a day, as they can’t grow in the shade. Second in importance is watering.
“Roses like two to three gallons of water a week. More when very hot. You want to water. I’m going to say that about fourteen million times,” Reich said.
Soil, too, is important. She replaces the clay in her garden with a special mix of 1/3 organic peat, 1/3 sand, 1/3 native soil. Dig a deep hole, then make a little mound at the bottom, spread the roots over it, and fill with your special soil mix.
“Roses like to eat. Organics are great. I recommend Mills Mix which is a combination of blood meal, bone meal and alfalfa. I can’t say enough good things about Mills Mix and it’s reasonably priced”, she said.
Reich recommends mulching with pinestraw which keeps moisture even, deters weeds well, and eventually breaks down nicely. If you have pine trees the price is definitely right. Free.
She invites a visit to the Nashville Society’s website for the Ten Steps to Growing Good Roses:
2. Buy only #1 Rose Bushes
3. Plant Properly
4. Spring Pruning for Established Roses
9. Fall Care
“Gemini” is Marty’s favorite rose. For rosy scent she suggests “Fragrant Plum” and “Wild Blue Yonder”. She has eighty-three roses of her very own. The Nashville Rose Society cares for twin rose gardens at Cheekwood Estate and Gardens.
Membership in the Nashville Rose Society is $20 a year, which includes a complimentary rose and four months membership in the American Rose Society.
Check the website for more information nashvillerosesociety.org.
Beyond landscaping and flowering beauty, the rose possesses medicinal benefits.
“Providing us with the most beautiful herbal remedies,” Stowe shared. “Throughout the history of herbal medicine roses have held a prized place in the herbalist’s matria medica, and have been used to prevent infections, relieve headaches, lower fevers, support the immune system, heal injuries, reduce inflammation, and beautify the skin. Of course, the heavenly scent of rose has long been sought for its ability to lift spirits and heal the heart.”
Roses offer culinary gifts as well, from sweet to tart:
Rose Lavender Vinegar
½ part dried lavender buds
Raw apple cider vinegar
Gather fresh rose petals just after the dew has dried but before mid-day to capture the maximum healing benefits. Fill a jar with fresh rose petals, add the lavender, cover with apple cider vinegar. Store in a cool, dark place. Shake daily for 4 to 6 weeks. Once steeped, strain the rose petals and use to make delicious salad dressings. (This works as a gently astringent face toner, too!)
One last bit of advice, in all you do, take time to smell the roses!