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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State Police urge motorists to #MoveOver during Memorial Day weekend

Memorial Day signifies the official start of summer, and Virginia State Police officials are urging motorists to "do what’s right when they see lights" and move over.

The “Move Over” law is a lifesaving law intended to protect public safety professionals and highway workers who help to maintain the safety of the Commonwealth’s roads. State Police are using the #MoveOver hashtag on social media to promote the law. > Read more.

Henrico to hold June 8 open house on Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill study

The Henrico County Planning Department will hold an open house Thursday, June 8 for residents and other members of the public to provide input for a study of the Route 5 Corridor/Marion Hill areas.

The open house will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Varina Area Library, 1875 New Market Road. The meeting’s informal structure will allow the public to attend at their convenience and to ask questions and discuss the study one on one with Planning staff. > Read more.

Henrico real estate staying strong despite low inventory

The Henrico real estate market has been relatively strong for the past month, despite a lower amount of inventory, according to data from Long and Foster Real Estate.

In the past month, 408 homes have been sold in Henrico, which is 2 percent less than were sold in the same timeframe in 2016.

Last year the median sale prices for Henrico homes was $219,975, whereas this month it's up to $232,500, a 6 percent increase. Which means half of the homes in Henrico are priced above $232,500 and half are priced below. > Read more.

Smither named director of Henrico’s Department of Finance

Henrico County Manager John A. Vithoulkas has appointed Edward N. “Ned” Smither Jr. to serve as director of the Department of Finance, effective July 1.

Smither has served Henrico since 2013 as director of the Accounting Division in Finance. He will succeed Eugene H. Walter, who has delayed his retirement until June 30 to ensure an orderly transition within the department.
> Read more.

State honors EMS officials this week

There were nearly 1.5 million emergency medical services calls and 4,063 incidents per day in Virginia just last year.

This week, May 21-27, declared as National EMS week by Gov. Terry McAuliffe, recognizes the more than 34,000 EMS personnel and 631 agencies in the state and commends their efforts and commitment to Commonwealth citizens.
> Read more.

Henrico Business Bulletin Board

May 2017
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Teens are invited to visit any Henrico County Public Library from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for a free comic book, while supplies last. For details, visit http://www.henricolibrary.org. Full text

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