Henrico County VA
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In the garden

A nose for roses
Gorgeous roses have bloomed all around us during the last month, and seeing them tempts gardeners and landowners to add these magnificent plants to their landscapes.

Many, many varieties are available, and choosing the right rose to get what you want can be confusing.

Just some of the options include hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras, and miniatures. Then there are old garden and modern roses, and shrub, tree and climbing roses. And, of course, there are also the ramblers and the polyanthas.

It always helps to talk to an experienced specialist, in this case a rosarian.

Henrico master gardener Don Penzler is a consulting rosarian for the American Rose Society and an active member of the Richmond Rose Society.

“The first question I ask is how much care you are willing to give a rose,” said Penzler. “Are you willing to feed it once a month, give it enough water and treat it for diseases or insects?”

Your answers to these questions and a look at the space where you’re planning to plant can help you decide what type of rose is right for you.

Roses can be grown in the garden or in a container, provided it is large enough. They need a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day. Without sufficient sun, roses produce fewer blooms and are more susceptible to diseases.

They also need fertile soil that allows for good drainage.

Roses need 1-2 inches of water weekly, more in hot weather, less in cool. “I recommend using a rain gauge,” said Penzler. “A rain gauge is a good idea for any gardener. You can tell how much water you’re getting from rainfall, and how much you need to provide.”

Penzler recommends watering the ground around the rose inside the dripline rather than watering leaves. Overhead watering can contribute to diseases like blackspot.

Blackspot is the most common plant disease that affects roses. Black spots appear on leaves and within days the leaves begin to yellow and later drop from the plant. Spraying roses can help fight the disease as well as control common insect pests such as Thrips and Spider Mites.

“Many people today don’t have the time to spray their roses or they don’t want to use the chemicals,” said Penzler, “so the American Rose Society has become focused on disease-resistant roses.”

Penzler said that Old Garden roses, Knockout roses and many of the David Austin varieties are good choices for disease resistance.

Roses need to be fertilized and deadheaded during the blooming season to insure healthy plants that continue to bloom. They also need to be pruned at the start of the season, and protected during winter months.

Penzler recommends taking a look at the Richmond Rose Society’s website for additional information about planting and caring for roses and a list of roses that are recommended for the Richmond area.

Members of the Richmond Rose Society will also be available on May 19 and 20 at Strange’s Nursery in Short Pump to help people figure out what rose best suits their needs, and the Society will hold its annual rose show at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden over the Memorial Day weekend.


Community

Varina Ruritans honor students

The Varina Ruritan Club hosted the winners of its 2014 Environmental Essay contest at its monthly meeting March 11 in Varina.

The contest, in its eighth year, was for the first time open to students in grades 3-5 at Varina Elementary School. (It previously was open to Sandston Elementary School students.)

The meeting included the winners, parents of the winners, Varina Elementary principal Mark Tyler and several teachers who were in charge of the contest at the school. > Read more.

Baseball game to benefit Glen Allen Buddy Ball


For the fifth consecutive year, St. Christopher’s and Benedictine will play a varsity baseball game at Glen Allen's RF&P Park as part of a fundraising effort for the River City Buddy Ball program.

The game will take place Saturday, April 12, at 7 p.m., and the teams hope to raise $3,000 through donations, raffles and other efforts. Admission to the game is free, but fans who attend are asked to donate funds for the Glen Allen Youth Athletic Association's Buddy Ball program, which enables disabled children and teens to play baseball. > Read more.

Highland Springs field to be dedicated in honor of longtime coach Spears

The Henrico Division of Recreation and Parks will dedicate the Highland Springs Little League Majors Field in memory and honor of Rev. Robert “Bob” L. Spears, Jr., on April 12 with a ceremony at the field at 8 a.m.

Spears served the league as a coach and volunteer for 30 years and was praised as a pioneer for equality. His “Finish strong” motto embodied ethical perseverance on the field and in life. > Read more.

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Entertainment

A fun, fuzzy ride

‘Muppets Most Wanted’ worthy of its franchise

Do Muppets sleep? It’s hard to say.

They don’t really eat (or breathe, as far as anyone can tell). And only occasionally do they have visible, functioning legs.

As far as anyone knows, sleeping might be off the table. And that makes it very hard to accuse the Muppets of sleepwalking through their latest feature, Muppets Most Wanted – even if that’s exactly what’s going on.

Jim Henson’s beloved creations were back in a big way after 2011’s The Muppets, with fame and fortune and even an Oscar, a first for the group (“Rainbow Connection” was nominated, yet somehow failed to collect at the ’79 ceremony). > Read more.

Weekend Top 10


There’s no excuse for kids and families to not get out of the house this weekend! The Armour House and Gardens has an “Egg-celent Egg-venture” planned and Reynolds Community College will host the Reynolds Family Palooza. If you’re looking to give back to your community, Dorey Park will host Walk Like MADD and coordinators2inc will present the annual Kids Walk for Kids. And a special event for children with special needs will be on Sunday – the Caring Bunny will be at Virginia Center Commons. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.

A new meaning for fried chicken

Is it heresy to say – in this bastion-of-tradition capital of the Old South – that it's time for Southern fried chicken to take a step back and make way for a new fried chicken king?

Count me among the new believers bowing to Bonchon Chicken's delectable double-fried bliss. Hand-brushed with signature garlic soy or hot sauce, flash-fried once and then again, the decadent drums and wings take "crisp" to a new level. If you're eating with a crowd and everyone bites in at once, be warned: you might need ear plugs to handle the din. > Read more.

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