Duck Duck Book

48 – growing roses organically
08.1.2007, 6:54 pm
Filed under: technology

Growing roses organically : your guide to creating an easy-care garden full of fragrance and beauty / Barbara Wilde.
Emmaus, Pa. : Rodale, Inc., c2002.
[MCL call number: 635.933734 W671g 2002; three copies, no  holds; one copy reference only at Central Library]

Portland is the city of roses.  The climate here is perfect for growing many kinds of plants, but our mild winters, cool rainy springs, and not-too-hot summers produce beautiful roses.  There are at least two species native to the Willamette Valley (the nootka rose, Rosa nutkana; and the baldhip rose, Rosa gymnocarpa), and Portlanders have been growing, breeding, and celebrating the rose for at least as long as there has been a city here.  The rose is our symbol and probably our favorite plant — the city has an annual rose festival complete with princesses and parades, and there are probably a dozen public rose gardens.  So, roses are familiar.

But when I began to learn about gardening and had to confront the task of pruning the roses that came with my yard, I found out how confusing rose care can be to a novice.  My first problem was figuring out what kind of roses I had.  Were they hybrid teas, species roses, rugosas, polyanthas, or perhaps one of the ancient heirloom types?  Each of these grows and blooms differently, so ideally they each have a specific pruning pattern.  But do gardening books explain how to determine what variety of rose you have in your yard?  Generally they do not.  And furthermore, when I began to look for rose information in books I found a lot of advice I didn’t want to take — garden authors told me to use pesticides and fungicides energetically, to follow specific watering practices, and to fertilize my roses according to a rigid and complex schedule.  Yuck.

Then I found Wilde’s book on organic rose gardening.  Not only does she outline a sensible plan for planting and tending low-maintenance rose plants, Wilde introduces readers to the history of rose culture, and explains the differences between the different types of roses.  The how-to-garden part of the book is followed by a helpful catalog of roses Wilde recommends for organic gardens.  All in all, Growing Roses Organically is practical, instructional, and clear. 

 * * *

Growing Roses Organically was also published in a 2003 edition which seems nearly identical:

Growing beautiful roses : your guide to creating an easy-care garden full of fragrance and color / Barbara Wilde.
Emmaus, PA : Rodale, c2003.
[MCL call number: 635.933734 W671g 2003; seven copies, no holds; one copy reference only at Central Library]


1 Comment so far
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The hardest thing is black spot. Organic fungicide should help.

Comment by Tim (Organic) Lester

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