Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Rose Trials by Linda Campbell

Red Leaf rose
            I have always loved to grow things.  Growing up my Dad was in charge of the outside garden, I grew house plants.   When my husband and I purchased a home in the mountains (7500’ elevation), I was excited to have a garden outside and I wanted to grow hybrid tea roses.
            I grew up in Kansas where you just dig a hole, plant and everything grew wonderfully.  I realized that my garden soil was not the loam of Kansas, but plants do grow here, so I figured plants would adapt. I purchased rose bushes and planted them. They did not do well and did not survive the winter.   I really was not smart about gardening, but I am capable of learning, so I went to the library and got a book about growing roses.   Note, it is probably a good idea to do that first.
            My sad tale of dead rose plants started my journey to learn all I could about soils, plants and growing conditions.   I've read many books and taken classes to increase my knowledge about plants and gardening.   But, it was when I started the Master Gardener classes that it all came together to make sense to me.    I have learned so much.  The really special thing to me, is the resources available through CSU that I can continue my education in gardening.   It doesn't matter what you do or do not know about gardening, if you have a desire to grow anything, you can get assistance from your County Extension Agent.   There are also resources available online at your County's CSU Extension 
website.   Note, if I had known about this, this would have been a good idea also.
          I do have several roses flourishing in my garden now.   I do not grow hybrid tea roses, I learned that they do not like the growing conditions in the mountains, but I have lovely old fashioned roses that do well here, including a Red Leaf rose and a yellow Harison Rose. Others that work in my garden are the Fairmont Cemetery old rose, Banshee; a Canadian group rose, David Austin; a floribunda rose, Linda Campbell.
Harison rose
          I continue to expand my knowledge about horticulture and gardening; it seems you never know it all.   Every year we have a little different weather conditions, our gardens react differently, so we are always evaluating and learning how to help our plants thrive.   It is this continued journey that keeps gardening always fresh and new.  
            If you like gardening and want to know more, please consider becoming a part of the CSU Master Gardeners.   Your local CSU county agent has information and applications available about upcoming programs.           

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