catch up and Messenger

Wednesday, Apr. 26, 2006 – 5:22 p.m.

2006-04-26 5:22


Ok, so it’s been a LONG time since I posted much. Almost a year…. As I stated before, the roses are still growing (in fact, they started blooming a week or two ago) and I do have yet more roses.So, to do a quick summary of the past year:


    • A non-rose item: I have been doing WeightWatchers since January 2005 and have lost more than 75 pounds!! I still have about 25 lb to go but I feel much better than before. As part of this endeavor, I started bicycle riding both for the exercise and because gas has gotten more expensive (it is back up to $3.00/gallon this week). Anyway, as a reward to myself for getting below 200 lbs, I bought a nice mountain bike (Utopia by Gary Fisher) and have been riding a lot. Ok, the bike is heavier than a real road bike but I like the fact that I can ride on trails and don’t have to worry as much about potholes. The front fork suspension also makes for a smoother, more comfortable ride.


  • Last summer I went to the ARS Consulting Rosarian workshop for the Carolina District, took the test, and I am now a Consulting Rosarian.



  • I tried rooting some cuttings over the winter with some success (3 out of 10 took). Fortunately, two out of the three successful rootings were from the cutting I took of the cherokee rose at Muir’s family’s house in Ocean Springs, MS. I have long wanted a cutting from this bush, for sentimental reasons, but it became more significant because that region took a direct hit by Hurricane Katrina in last August. In December, I had the opportunity to go down to O.S. to help rebuild some houses with a group from NCSU and able go by and get some cuttings from the rose that was over the carport there.



  • I did a display about period roses at Kingdom Arts & Sciences Festival in March. Of course it would have been better to have some blooming roses but that doesn’t generally happen at the beginning of March. I had originally planned to enter the Persona Pentathlon competition but I was unable to document at least one of the entry items and another item was among the cuttings that failed to root. Oh well, there is always next year.



  • I dug up my John F. Kennedy and took it to the RRS pruning workshop in February. I had pondered long and hard about which, if any, bushes to give away at the workshop. I ended up taking JFK and the two unidentified bushes I rescued from Reilly years ago. The JFK and one of the unknown bushes were adopted but I brought ‘Reilly’ back.



  • My parents are replacing their garage (it looked like it needed to be replaced when we moved into the place 35 years ago) so in February, I went down and “rescued” two good size R. banksiae (Lady Banks rose) bushes (which I put next to my “barn”/storage shed), Blaze, Queen Elizabeth, and Dainty Bess. The last three are in pots. They are not the best specimens but I just couldn’t leave them to be dug up.



  • Several weeks ago, I went to a talk at the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants (part of Monticello) about pruning and propogating Old Garden Roses (OGRs). It was quite informative and, though I didn’t walk away with any cuttings from their roses, I did buy two new bushes from the Garden Shop at Monticello: Champneys’ Pink Cluster (the first Noisette) and Reine des Violettes (Hybrid Perpetual).



  • The roses did get pruned back in late February/early March…. I don’t remember the exact date (and to record such info is one of the purposed for this journal….[sigh]). Likewise, they have been sprayed at least with fungicide. I know one application was the 28th of March (because I also went and sprayed Muir’s roses that day and I think I did it again about two weeks ago (15th or 16th of April).



  • One of the things I got for Christmas was a remote electronic rain gauge with 10 day memory; now I can tell how much rain I got and hopefully not over-water the roses.





Alright… guess that catches stuff up….So this past weekend was the monthly meeting of the Raleigh Rose Society (RRS) and the speaker gave a talk about easy-care roses. One of the points was selecting disease resistant and low maintenance varieties like Knockout. I will put up the full list when I get it entered.

The speaker also talked about Messenger, a product of Eden Bioscience. This product uses harpin proteins to “stimulate natural reactions in plants that enhance disease resistance, growth, and flowering”. It is non-toxic to animals. I had heard of the stuff last year but not used it. A number of the folk in the rose society who had used it were quite enthusiastic about it. Since she handed out a couple of sample packets, I decided to try it so this morning I prepared two packets of the stuff (2 gallons of spray mix) and sprayed all the roses (well, I didn’t spray the Fairy bushes because they doing quite well on their own) as well as the lantana. We will see if it makes a difference.


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