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.

Reynolds CC to host sculptor Paul DiPasquale

Reynolds Community College will host Richmond sculptor Paul DiPasquale Sept. 28 as he shares his presentation “Art Talk, Why Art Matters” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Conference Center Gallery of the Workforce Development and Conference Center on the Parham Road Campus, located at 1651 E. Parham Road in Richmond. This event is free and open to the public. > Read more.

Free children’s clothing for those in need

The Children's Clothing Closet at Highland Springs United Methodist Church will be open Saturday, Aug. 27 and Tuesday, Aug. 30 to provide free new or nearly new children's clothing for families in need, prior to the start of the school year. The Clothing Closet will be open from 10 a.m. to noon both days. The church is located at 22 North Holly Avenue. > Read more.

Weekend Top 10

Beautiful fall weather is back this weekend! Don’t leave your favorite pooch at home – take the whole family to Canine Companions’ DogFest Walk ‘n Roll at West Broad Village or FETCH a Cure’s annual Mutt Strutt at Deep Run Park. Pets are also welcome at this weekend’s Central Virginia Celtic Festival and Highland Games. Halloween events taking place Sunday include the University of Richmond’s 18th annual Trick or Treat Street and Goblins and Gourds at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. For all our top picks this weekend, click here! > Read more.


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Deep Run Recreation Center will host “Sunday Afternoon with the Classics – Cars You Never Knew Existed!” from 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. From prototypes to production, few things inspire the imagination more than innovative car design. Join Bruce Woodson and the Richmond Region AACA for a presentation and celebration of intriguing cars that deserve attention for their unique aesthetic and ability to captivate. Admission is free. All ages. For details, call 652-3407 or visit Full text

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