In the garden

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.
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FirstComp Insurance Company, Markel Corp. named top insurance carriers


Two Glen Allen-based insurance carriers have been named among the top such companies in the nation.

Markel Corp. and FirstComp Insurance Company (now owned by Markel) are among 38 carriers recognized on the Insurance Business America list of the top insurance carriers in the country. > Read more.

Walmart honors Citizen’s ‘Top Teachers’ during grand opening


The much-anticipated new Walmart Supercenter in Eastern Henrico opened to busy crowds last week, and company officials welcomed a special group of shoppers, too. > Read more.

‘It’s such a blessing’


On Independence Day, a Brazilian-born Henrico resident took the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance on the steps of the Virginia Historical Society and felt peace finally settle around her.

Jeanette Hamlett’s journey to U.S. citizenship is a story of faith and love, which she told with her husband, John Hamlett, by her side. > Read more.

Preschoolers give pillows to families in need


A group of preschoolers from Chesterbrook Academy Preschool donated 56 pillows to local families in need at the Housing Families First shelter. The shelter is always in need of pillows and linens as, since families take the donated ones with them to their new homes.

Housing Families First provides shelter and support for homeless families and assist them in finding a permanent housing solution. The shelter serves people year-round, said Terri Iguina, operations and volunteer manager at Housing Families First. > Read more.

Dairy Queen’s Blizzard sales July 27 to benefit Children’s Hospital of Richmond


Dairy Queen’s 13th Annual Miracle Treat Day – Thursday, July 27 – will raise fund to benefit sick and injured children being treated at Children's Miracle Network hospitals throughout the United States. Locally, $1 or more from every Blizzard Treat sold at participating locations will be donated to the Children's Hospital of Richmond at VCU. Last year, the event raised more than $14,400 for the hospital. > Read more.

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July 2017
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VCU's Office of Continuing and Professional Education will offer free events during 3rd Wednesdays at Regency Square. Today’s topic is “Opioids in Virginia.” Experts will talk about current Virginia statistics and what is happening in local communities. They will also review some of the changes happening to address the opioid epidemic, including increasing continuing education for a variety of providers, community resources and training, and treatment resources. Sessions for the 3rd Wednesday series will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. in the Garden Room adjacent to the food court. For details and to register, visit http://www.ocpe.vcu.edu/community. Full text

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