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The Garden Scoop

The Garden Scoop is a collection of reflections about the Master Gardeners in Champaign, Ford, Iroquois, and Vermilion.
william baffin rose2

Stop and Smell the Roses

"A Rose is a rose is a rose." Gertrude Stein wrote those words in Sacred Emily in 1913. This romantic poem is interpreted to mean "things are the way they are." While I respect the deep meaning behind this phrase, it also reminds me of the beautiful complexity of a rose, which is flower like no other. Some may contest that roses are the most commonly known flower because of its association with love, holidays, and celebrations. Whether you're an avid gardener or not, everyone can appreciate their stunning foliage mixed with fierce features including thorny stems and sharp leaves.

According to Our Rose Garden published by the University of Illinois Extension, to be successful growing roses in Central Illinois, you need:

- Plant varieties hardy to your area considering maintenance requirements

- Basic culture information

- Knowledge of potential diseases

- Awareness of insect pests

If you want to learn to grow roses in your garden, Champaign County Master Gardeners Diane Wardrop and Susie Smith will present Stop and Smell the Roses on Tuesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. at the Champaign County Extension office, 801 N. Country Fair Drive, Champaign. This free program will highlight basic principles on growing roses.

Presenters Diane and Susie will discuss how and when to prune roses for optimal blooms, site preparation for a healthy plant, as well as some of their favorite varieties. Both Diane and Susie work in the Rose Section of the Idea Garden, located on the University of Illinois Arboretum in Urbana.

For those tech-savvy gardeners out there, consider downloading the Our Rose Garden mobile app from the University of Illinois Extension (available via Google Play or the iTunes). Identify roses and look up common diseases while you're working your garden.

From my experience, gardeners are always up for a challenge and love experimenting with new plants. If you haven't tried growing roses (and I'm talking more than just your standard Knock Out® Rose) consider what you can gain with planting such bodacious bloomers.

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