The Rhode Island Rose Society held its 13th annual rose show recently, and I dropped by with a couple of gardening friends. This year’s theme was “La Vie en Rose,” and as you can imagine, the show had a decidedly French accent, honoring contributions made by French rosarians. The “Theme Class” called for roses with French names.
There were some pretty spectacular blooms to ogle, some of which, like “Paul McCartney” also had amazing perfumes. I have a bias against roses without perfumes. They just don’t seem right to me somehow.
There were speakers and experts, one of whom recommended window cleaner with ammonia to get rid of Japanese beetles. That sounds like a very sensible solution to me, although I must confess that I don’t plant anything that attracts Japanese beetles. Too much of a hassle.
But, as we gardeners know, most roses are not sustainable plants, and require a great deal of food, water and chemical intervention. I listened as one speaker described in detail how her husband suited up before spraying their roses with what she referred to as the “toxic” stuff. Hey, if you have to protect yourself that thoroughly, maybe you should consider what that chemical is doing to the things it’s being sprayed ON!
‘The McCartney Rose’ has a wonderful fragrance!
You’re right that many roses are not sustainable, but there are more sustainable varieties being introduced each year that don’t need the “toxic” stuff. Gardeners just need to find out which ones are sustainable.
One of my favorite classes in the show is called Au Naturel — for roses that are grown with no pesticides! It’s one of the most popular classes in the show because many RIRS members don’t use chemical pesticides.
I wish I had known about that class. What a great idea! When I heard that speaker describing in detail how her husband suits up before spraying, I recoiled in horror.
I would welcome a guest post on growing roses without pesticides. I’m sure my readers would love that…hint…hint….. Please let me know if you would be interested, and thanks for your comment.
At the end of May we started our blog – The Rose Journal. So far we haven’t posted about growing roses without pesticides! Articles about sustainable roses, as well as a list of sustainable roses appear on our web site.
We think a post on growing roses without pesticides is a great idea –how does a guest post work? Also, we’d love to have cross-links between our blog and yours.
E-mail me and let me know if that’s something you’d like to do.