America's Great Rosarian with tips on its Favorite Flower
Roses are America’s favorite flowers, but they are also among the hardest plants to grow. Now, that is a gross generalization. To be truthful, only about 98% of roses are hard to grow. Between diseases and insects, time, chemicals, fertilizer, and the like, the price we pay to have glorious flowers is pretty high. This week’s guest, Stephen Scanniello, President of the Heritage Rose Society and co-author of A Rose By Any Name, has lots of advice to share.
For example, Stephen tells us to “Take a gallon of water and put two aspirin in it,” What does the aspirin do? “Nothing. It’s the water.”
This year my roses look better than they ever have before. I’ve pumped organic amendments into the soil for a decade, and fed the roses regularly, as well. But it is the water that has made all the difference. It rained 24 days in June. For the first time, even in my sandy soil, the plants do not look like spindly invalids, but real shrubs covered with flowers. The plants do not even have diseases.
Stephen was the rosarian for 19 years at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden where he oversaw the renovation of the venerable Cranford Rose Garden. Last week, Stephen’s co-author Doug Brenner, the former editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Living, got our discussion started as we chatted about some amazing stories about roses, and this week Stephen will impart wisdom (organic solutions to diseases, for instance), as well as more terrific tales about America’s favorite flower.
ABOVE: The Cranford Rose Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden
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