I must confess that I am trying to raise a bunch of gardeners. My ten year old daughter has been given the responsibility of caring for the Mary Garden this year. In lieu of this, she is researching about the different Marian flowers, in particular the rose. We ordered a bundle of books from the local library to learn more bout growing roses. It is truly an art. We have three rose bushes in our garden. Two of them were planted in 2011. They happen to be very hardy and can stand our -30C deep freeze winter weather. Unfortunately, the rose that we bought Mia last spring died. We were so busy with our little newborn that we neglected the rose and ended up buying her a new rose this spring. It too is a hardy variety and should survive some neglect.
For 'home' school, I asked Mia to do a little research report on something to do with growing roses. She chose to write about how to grow roses successfully, since we had both success and failure with our roses. She did such a great job that I wanted to share it with you. So in case you are curious about growing roses, here is a little help from my sweetie.
How to Successfully Grow Roses
by Maria Christina
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the author of the Little Prince once said, “It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.” If you want to be a successful rose grower, you are going to have to waste some time. You should spend time to ponder about the right rose variety to grow in your garden. It also is important to know your rose and squander some time researching about it. Thirdly, a successful rose grower should pray, hope and not worry. If you are hard working person who likes to get their hands dirty and doesn’t mind getting pricked, then listen up and I will teach you how to successfully grow beautiful roses.
The key to growing bountiful roses is to choose the right rose variety for you and your gardening zone. Different places in the world and even within your own country have different gardening zones, so it is important to know your zone. There are zone maps available on the internet or in good quality gardening books. The plant’s zone is usually marked on a tag attached to your plant or on the flower pot that you get your plant in. If you plant a rose that isn’t meant for your gardening zone you could be disappointed when it dies. So remember to know your zone.
The next most important factor in growing roses successfully is choosing the right variety. How do you know what rose variety is the best for you? If you ask this question, then I might be able to help you. Picking the right rose variety depends upon your personality. Some roses need more care and love than others. Climbing roses for example are quick growing and grow 7-8 feet tall and sometimes even taller. Climbing roses need rich soil that retains moisture, but still drains freely. They are thirsty plants. Climbers are vulnerable to insects and require staking. If you prefer not to be out and in the garden and wasting too much time and want a low maintenance rose, then the climber might not be the rose for you. There are plenty of varieties of bush type roses that are hardy and disease resistant. You can find out which rose is the best for you by getting books out of the library or simply asking the neighbor with the ‘green thumb’ about roses that he is growing. If you do your research, you too can be a successful rose grower.
Finally, a successful rose grower is one that learns from their mistakes. I killed a tea rose by forgetting to cover it up for the winter. This rose was not for our zone, but with a little more care, it might have survived the cold winter. Don’t worry if you make mistakes. It happens. Just don’t give up. Pray about it, waste some more time researching and pondering and you will eventually be a successful rose grower. Look at me, I am just 10 and I can grow roses in a tiny zone 3b garden. If I can do it, so can you.