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by: Arleen M. Kaptur
For centuries roses have carried a certain mystique. They are a symbol for love, Valentine’s Day, and are used in weddings, and for anniversaries. Their scent is a delicate fragrance that lets a passer-by stop and take notice. Colors vary and several varieties even have two or three shades in one bloom. Roses can be a creamy, delicate white all the way to a velvety, ruby red. Some varieties even have blue, orange, and “pearl”. Mixing varieties and colors adds added delight and beauty to any garden, patio, or outdoor spot.
Putting roses along a pathway or by a door gives visitors an aromatic, beautiful way to enter your home. They will inevitably stop and smell the roses.

Planting and growing roses is discussed in garden books, magazines, and on television shows. What is the best way to have plants that are hardy, and bloom with bouquet value flowers?

Roses grow best in a location that is protected from north and east winds. They do need sun but partial shade does not deter their growth. The soil should be well-drained because one cause of loss of plant is a “swamp” subsoil. The soil itself should be a good blend - not too much sand nor too heavy of a base. Using compost will improve soil quality and should be worked into the soil to distribute it evenly.

The way you first plant your rose bushes is also of paramount importance. The commonest mistake is planting them too high. The crown of your plant should be covered with about 1-1/2 inches of soil. While planting too shallow is a problem so is planting too deep. A happy medium will insure proper plant growth. Fall planting is preferred to spring planting. After the first killing frost, mount soil around the plant for protection.

Rose plants should be pruned before planting and every year. Pruning is best done in early Spring. Follow-up care with careful note of disease or insect infestation will allow you beautiful blooms and healthy plants year after year. If a problem occurs, treat it as quickly as possible. Also deadhead any dead flowers or faded blooms. This gives added strength and vitality to new growth.

A bouquet of roses in varying colors from your very own garden will take their breath away. Their scent will fill your home and their beauty will be noticed by everyone who
has the opportunity to see them. Try growing roses and you will be most pleasantly rewarded.


©Arleen M. Kaptur 2002 May

About the Author

Arleen M. Kaptur has written numerous articles, cookbooks, and the novel:


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