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Roses are easy...
to plant, prune & primp

I'm a reformed rose killer.... yup... but

I love Roses and learned that they really are easy.

"I'd rather have roses on my table than diamonds on my neck"

                                         Emma Goldman

Romance is one thing but I always thought roses were finicky and difficult. But I have good news - "roses really are easy"- Once I understood a few basics - like:

- How Roses grow, their parts - and why we need to know this.

- How to choose the right rose for our sun, shade, zone and soil.

- How to plant roses (and how NOT to plant them).

- and  the most daunting of all: How to prune roses to keep them gorgeous and ....alive

I’ve learned a lot about what works for roses and what doesn’t

both in my own garden and from rose experts who have done all the research. My dismal failures and disappointing losses kept me searching for what works and I keep on learning.

I'd love to tell you my own story, but first, I'll share what I learned so you can choose, plant, prune and most of all, enjoy your roses. 

Always be skeptical about what you read or hear and do your own research using reliable sources. Ask questions and then ask more.  

Here are some links: choose what you need first and then, when you have a moment or two, pour something lovely: my rose story is at the bottom. 


ANATOMY of a ROSE(the parts of a rose)

HOW ROSES GROW (why you need to know)

PLANTING ROSES (bare-root, own-root, grafted or potted)

PRUNING ROSES (why, when and how)

DON'T PRUNE ROSES till you read this

PRUNING TOOLS (not all the same)

THORNS, SPINES & PRICKLES (serious "ouch")

A ROSE HEDGE (yes - a hedge)


ROSE ROSETTE DISEASE (RRD) (you need to know this)

...  when you have a little more time...

ROSE TREES (fussy but worthwhile)

THE FAIRY ROSE: (a favourite) 

MOVING ROSES: (or transplanting)

OVERWINTERING ROSES: (for cold winters)

GARDEN DESIGNS...(of course) 

My Rose Story

pink roses

I was hooked on roses the moment I poked my little nose inside those fluffy petals. I'm all grown up now and I'm still hooked. I still want every rose I see even though I have a whole garden of them.

But along that journey, I made some huge mistakes...

I am a reformed rose-killer.

grecian head with roses

At first, all I had was a single rosebush. I had no idea what I was doing, because I didn't consider myself a gardener.

Then, some years ago, a bleak, stormy day in February,a big old tree dropped a huge branch on my fence; the trunk split down the middle and the poor thing had to come down. When the 'tree-man' said it was few hundred bucks to take out the stump...I nonchalantly said," don't bother - I'll plant a flower garden around it". It was in the centre of the back yard with lots of sun, so I plunked a pot of something bright and fluffy on the old stump with a few nice rocks around it.... and  planted my first Rose.

Its leaves were green, it came in a pot, already covered with buds. The tag said it was a "DREAM ROSE- a Rose that everyone can grow". 

Except for me, apparently - because it died. It did bloom that year, but in a pouty fit, this 'dream rose' refused to come back the next Spring. Talk about Fussy!  Perhaps it didn't like where or how I planted it? or maybe the harsh winter (Zone 5b)

It was a humbling, hard lesson.

I obviously knew nothing about roses but I had to learn  quickly or waste more money. Here, early in that Spring,was my very first Rose Garden.

first rose garden

...and the next year...ooh, la la...

second year rose garden

I entered a local competition, and placed third, so of course I wanted to enter again. I planted more roses and asked a lot of questions. 

After an inspiring lecture by a nursery owner, I ticked the boxes of my favourite roses in his catalogue and drove 50 miles to pick them up.  I pictured rows of potted roses, ready to burst into bloom.  But, it was a bare little 'office'. I handed over my list and waited.

Half an hour later, the receptionist came out of the back room, and in exchange for my $100 (many years ago), silently placing a very large, black plastic garbage bag in my hand.  I was confused but pretended I knew what I was doing.

But, when I went to plant them, I found 10 brown, bud-less, leaf-less sticks with a few roots!!! I had never seen a bare-root rose .

(see planting roses). 

So I dug some holes and planted each one with a large dose of hope and in the next competition....

 I placed first.  Well, goodie for me

But, 8 of those first 10 roses died over the following winter because I had no clue how to plant or what to do in the fall.  

You might want to look here: (overwintering-roses)

At any rate, here's what the judges saw.

rose garden-first prize

So, if I learned how to grow roses around a stump, you can grow them just about anywhere because I'll share with you what I learned and along with some sunshine, water, good soil and a large dose of faith, you too will see growing roses is easy.  

pink and white rose







DON'T PRUNE ROSES till you read this



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