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

I love Roses so, if roses are easy,

I'm in.

"I'd rather have roses on my table

than diamonds on my neck"

                                         Emma Goldman

They're the most Romantic of all flowers

and roses in my garden gives me joy.

I know many of you think

they're finicky and difficult. I have good news -

 "roses really are easy".

Roses are easy if you understand some stuff first:

How Roses grow and why you need to know.

How to pick the right rose - it's not just about sun

How to plant your rose to give

it a long, healthy life

How to prune roses. 

..along with a little primping

to keep them gorgeous.

The Scent of Roses

The most divinely scented roses are grown in Bulgaria;

descendants of the ‘Rosa damascena” and most popular

among famous perfumers.

Bulgarian roses are gently picked by hand; peaking in June.

Heavy daily rainfall in Spring prolongs the blooms and keeps

the oil from evaporating… so on rainy days, you may not notice

the scent of your own roses until the sun shines again.

Those glorious old Bulgarian roses are not for the

faint of heart or most of our pocketbooks.  But we have

"Modern Roses" - enhanced by science and nurtured

by hybridizers with billions of research dollars.

What does this mean for us?... for the cost of a few lattes,

we can have beautiful, healthy, successful roses

in our gardens.


So much BLISS and so many BLUNDERS !

Good name for my newsletter. Have you signed up?

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

in my own garden; some from experience and some from

rose experts who have done the research.

My blunders are more like dismal failures and

disappointing losses but I keep on learning

and that's enough to keep me believing roses are easy.

I'd love to tell you my own story, but first,

I really want you to think carefully about roses…boring?

I hope not.

I'll help you make the best decisions about choosing,

planting, pruning and most of all, enjoying your roses.

Always be skeptical about what you read or hear

and explore any and all assumptions

- 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 and read my story

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)

... oh, 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 want every rose I see and although

I have a whole garden of them,

I always think I need more

But along the way,

I made some huge mistakes...

I consider myself 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.

One 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

and put a few nice rocks around it..

.. and then, planted my first Rose Bush.

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'


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,

my very first Rose Garden.

first rose garden

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

second year rose garden

In a local competition, I 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 rosebushes,

ready to burst into bloom.  

But, it was a bare little 'office'. I handed in 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 placed a very large,

black plastic garbage bag

in my hand.  

I was confused and pretended I knew

what I was doing.

But, when I went to plant them

I found 

10 brown, bud-less, leaf-less sticks

with roots!!!

I had never seen a bare-root rose 

(see planting roses). 

I dug 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:


Here's what the judges saw.

rose garden-first prize

If I can grow roses around a stump, 

you can grow them just about anywhere

because I'll share what I learned with you

and along with some sunshine,

water, good soil 

and of course a large dose of faith,

you too

will find roses are easy.  

pink and white rose







DON'T PRUNE ROSES till you read this



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