Monday, September 2, 2019

President's Message - September 2019

By the time, you receive this newsletter, we should have returned from our summer in the Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains. There are some lovely home gardens in the area with some roses. Many homes feature at least one bed of daylilies, iris, or other perennials. Large clumps of naturalized orange day lilies, wild flowers, and roses draping over fences line the roadways. Apparently, there is enough natural forage that deer are not too bothersome. We recently took a short trip up the Blue Ridge including Lynchburg where we visited the Old City Cemetery, started in 1806, which has a collection of 60 old roses along an ancient brick wall ranging from Rosa mundi, before 1581, to Soleil, before 1900.

Several other old varieties are planted in the Cato Collection and a rose has been planted on every grave which references the rose in some way. They are in their peak of bloom from mid to late May. It is a very interesting place with several museums and many other traditional southern trees, shrubs, herbs, and flowers. We also visited Thomas Jefferson’s retreat at Poplar Forest, the second home he designed and built which is being carefully restored. We found it as interesting as Monticello and much less crowded.

Missy Burton has been working hard on an interesting series of programs for 2019-2020. “Growing Roses in Florida” is the theme for the Sunday, Sept. 8 meeting. The meeting begins at 2 p.m. Join old and new friends at First Christian Church, 3411 NW 83rd Street, Gainesville. (Across from Santa Fe Community College). Please invite people interested in gardening and interested in roses to attend. Let’s give everyone a warm welcome. New members receive a rose bush from Rose Petals Nursery.

In October Sandy Pardee of Flower Petals in Keystone Heights will tell us about mechanics in rose arranging. There are lots of different products out there to help us arrange roses for home, events, or the show table. In November be prepared to bring a few roses for our practice rose show. Congratulations to Richard Howard for his national prize-winning photos which appeared in the June-July American Rose magazine. He won Best Large Rose Certificate for “Pristine,” and Abstract or Impressionist winner, “Proud Land” which featured an unusual composition of a rose blossom in a water drop, I was very surprised to find a short report in the magazine of our GRS Rose Show youth and adult photography contest, taken from an email. Check it out!

I also had a run in with some big Virginia pests: poison ivy and poison oak. Until we get them under control, we won’t be doing a lot of gardening. That gives us time to make some plans for next year. As to poison ivy and poison oak, even with great care, it is easy to pick up the irritating oil on clothing, tools, and pets. If you are trying to avoid glyphosate weed killers such as Roundup, try one based on salts (Natria) available at big box stores. It works well on weeds such as poison ivy and kills the roots according to the package information.

Check out the Deep South District website for Ralph’s Reviews of roses to grow in the DSD. There is a lot more information about many aspects of growing roses in the South on the website. Don’t forget the DSD/Tenarky joint meeting at Franklin, Tennessee, October 4-6. Also, even if you only have one or two of the roses listed, please evaluate them in this year's Roses in Review. The process has been greatly simplified and improved. Deadline is September 26th. Go to and click on the pink box in the upper right hand corner labeled "Roses in Review 2019" to begin!

Yours in Roses,
Jean Giesel, President

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