Author Archive

55th Annual Spring Rose Show

ROSE SHOW & Plant Sale April 30th, 2022

Open Show (Open entry to Everyone)
– Entry 7am to 9:30am
– Judging 10 to 1
– Show opens to public 1 -4 pm

TOOL CARE – Fun event

Those that brought pruning equipment in various states of grunge and rust had a great time cleaning, oiling and sharpening their tools. Some amazing transformations!

December CR Report

by Cher Frechette

Well, winter weather finally arrived just around Thanksgiving with 3-4 days of freezing night temperatures in the mid to high twenties. Up until then, the roses probably thought it was spring with the rains and warm temperatures in October, so there were lots of blooms right into late November. Actually though, the recent cold weather and frosts were really a good thing as they edged the roses towards dormancy. As much as you might want the roses to keep producing blooms right up until winter pruning, they really do need to go dormant and rest for a while so that they are energized for a nice, big spring bloom. And, forcing dormancy in our Mediterranean climate is just not that easy. So, hooray for the frost!


Right now we should basically be involved in two processes – trying to encourage dormancy and general cleanup. We should not be encouraging any new growth on the rose bushes. Typically we have stopped our monthly fertilizing in September so as not to encourage new tender growth, which will be killed by frost. Also, we should not deadhead low as we do in the summer months. By “low”, I mean the practice of cutting off old blooms down to the first leave with 5 leaflets or lower, which encourages a new shoot and new bloom. If you still want to deadhead now, just snap or cut off old blooms right under the bloom. This will usually not encourage new growth. An alternative is to tidy up old, unsightly blooms by removing the petals and leaving the hips. This latter process will also help to encourage dormancy. Cleaning up fallen leaves, petals, and blooms on the ground around the roses is also a good thing to do at this point as any fungal diseases on the leaves will overwinter and will start up on new leaves produced in the spring. Old blooms which may have fallen on the ground may harbor bad insect larva, like those of the rose circulio. Discard the diseased leaves and fallen blooms, don’t compost them.


If your rose bushes are just not going dormant, you can always pull off all of the leaves. The plant won’t be able to photosynthesize the sun and will become dormant. Of course, this may be too much work for all but the rose obsessed, like me. Nevertheless, you should at least pull off any leaves that are showing signs of bad fungal infestation. It is never good to have diseased leaves hanging around during the winter.


One last thing. You may hear some people say that they prune their rose bushes down in the late fall to tidy them up for the winter. This is not correct. When you prune roses, you are telling them that you want them to start growing. Not what we want right now. There is one exception – if some of your taller roses have extraneous, long canes higher than the rest of the canes, you can prune them high to be around the same height as the other canes. This is because canes that flare up high above the plant can get whipped about by the winter winds and rainstorms. This can damage canes and the pulling can sometimes actually dislodge the roots of the bush.


Finally, once you have gotten your rose garden ready for winter, it’s a wonderful time to sit back and peruse those rose catalogs and Internet sites for exciting new roses! Assess which roses in your garden have not performed well for you or have been really prone to disease, and think about shovel pruning them. You can spend the winter dreamily thinking about beautiful replacement roses. Relax and take some time off from your garden. The work of pruning will be upon you sooner than you think!

2018 RERS Rose Show May 5, 2018

Bring your rose blooms with stems and leaves, Arrangements and Rose Photographs to our 52nd Annual Rose Show – email for more info.


When it’s not raining go out and clean up the leaves that have fallen, prune out canes that are dead and diseased, small (less than a pencil diameter), and cross through the middle of rose bushes. January (and February) is the best time to prune and shape modern rose bushes and the climbers (hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras, shrubs), miniature and miniflora roses; don’t prune old garden roses until after they bloom in the Spring (they bloom on the year old wood).


I have some blooms and lots of foliage even with rain and several days of frost. Strip the leaves,

and clean up all the debris; Use a horticultural or dormant oil  mixed with a copper solution. The oil smothers insect larvae, while the copper acts as a fungicide that can reduce rust, blackspot and powdery mildew in your garden. These solutions can also be used around the garden on other plants susceptible to fungal diseases (lilacs, phlox, peach and apricot trees, etc). Plan to spray twice at 7 – 14 day intervals. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions and safety tips for appropriate attire when using any sprays, organic or not.


Spend your free time cleaning and sharpening all your pruning tools after each dormant pruning day and you’ll be ready for the next day!  Very important if they are wet, get them cleaned and oiled, or you will have a rusty mess.


Now is the time plant those new bareroot roses you’ve bought, to repot containers (some of mine really need it) using fresh potting mix and compost or start a new raised bed. If you have shovel pruned the dead or unwanted roses; dig out a 3 foot deep and wide area, refill with new compost and potting soil before planting a new rose.

Free Pruning Demonstrations

Pruning Demonstration on the Redwood Empire Rose Society Rose Garden at the Luther Burbank Art and Garden Center on January 12th. Everyone is welcome to come and learn how to prune and care for roses in the winter for the best blooms come spring. 9 am to 1 pm rain or shine.

October CR Report

by Karen Ernsberger

We’ve been experiencing high temperatures but the forecast is for some rain on the 18th?? While in southern California I’ve seen more rain then we’ve had since December! Remember to water well and never let the soil dry out even if it’s going to rain or it is cold out. I have roses that I’m hoping will survive as just sticks, they haven’t had a leaf since July, but the stems are still green and flexible.

It is a good idea to stop fertilizing roses in the Fall. If you fertilize, you can get a flush of new growth — just when the plant should be winding down and preparing for winter pruning. Left alone, (stop deadheading), some roses will bring a different kind of beauty in fall: brilliantly colored hips. The formation of hips signals the rose to slow growth.

Do you need to move a rose bush, or transplant a rose from one spot to another for some other reason? Perhaps you are rescuing a rose that would be harmed by a building or landscaping project, or gophers! If so, here are some techniques. Note that the normal time of year to transplant roses in this region is December to February, before growth starts, but we can’t always choose. This can be done for any roses you want to remove from your garden and gift to someone else.

1. If possible, prepare the planting hole or have a pot ready in advance. Dig a hole two to three times as wide as the root ball, but only as deep. This will give the plant lots of easy-to-navigate space to extend its roots horizontally. However, digging a hole too deep can cause the plant to settle too much. Fill hole half-full with water and let it soak in. You want to make sure the surrounding soil is moist, too. For pot planting fill the pot about 2/3rds full with soil and water, this will help compact the soil and ensure there aren’t any big air pockets that will be below the rose bush.

2. Dig up as large a rootball as you can manage, or when transferring to a larger pot place the plant in a container or wrap it in a tarp. It’s important that the delicate feeder roots don’t dry out. Trim foliage to make a compact plant. Trim any extra long roots. Water the plant thoroughly. You want the rootball to be completely moist. If you won’t be planting it right away, store it in a cool, shady spot. I use 15 gallon buckets filled with water to water thoroughly. If the rose has no roots left from gopher damage, I have successfully left them in a bucket of water for a few months and roots have grown back!

3. Set the plant in the new hole (or pot)so it sits at the same height or just slightly higher than it was in its original location. Refill the hole halfway, incorporating up to 25 percent compost into the backfill soil. Water thoroughly. Fill in the rest of the hole with soil, then form a donut-shaped berm at the outer edges of the hole, to hold water.

4. Water to fill the berm two more times to thoroughly saturate the refilled soil. Water each day over the next several days.

5. Provide shade from noon until dusk for one week or until leaves stay perked up all day long.

6. Water the plant 1 to 3 times weekly, if nature doesn’t provide, and observe the plant daily for signs of wilting or insect or disease problems. Add an organic mulch, such as compost, to help hold in moisture, keeping the mulch a few inches from the rose canes.

Enjoy your roses!

September CR Report

by Jack Coulter

David Austin’s Magnificent English Roses

What kind of roses do you have in your garden? Most likely you have Hybrid Teas, Floribundas, Grandiflora, shrubs, and maybe a tree rose or two that can be whatever was grafted on the tree stem. What about old garden roses or even better yet English roses.

What’s so special about English roses?
David Austin began breeding roses in 1950’s England with a unique goal: to create more beautiful roses that combined the best characteristics of old and new roses. Until the advent of David Austin’s English roses, gardeners who wanted to grow roses were faced with a choice between two very different styles. The alternatives were old-fashioned shrubs with softly cupped flowers and heady fragrance, but only one period of bloom in early summer, or hybrid tea and floribunda roses, which had attractive flowers that flowered through the season, but had little or no scent.

He succeeded beyond his wildest expectations, producing what are now called David Austin or English roses. They are fragrant repeat bloomers with rich, often pastel colors, diverse flower types, attractive, disease-resistant foliage and a pleasing growth habit. Best of all, they need far less maintenance and spraying of fungicides than tea roses.

I have six David Austin’s English roses in my garden. My favorite is Teasing Georgia who constantly produces a yellow blend rose; she is in the center of the picture (see below). On the left, as you look at the picture, is orange-red Benjamin Britten, and to the right is a pink Mary Rose, mixed with her son, a white Winchester Cathedral. Sometimes I get roses that are half pink half white or white with some pink petals and pink spots.

All the above David Austin roses are classified as a shrub rose. They have a tremendous growth habit and may be grown as magnificent, shapely shrubs or trained as short climbers. As you can see from the picture they can get quite large, witthout being gaudy. They range from crimson and other shades of red to pinks, lavender, purple, yellow, peach, apricot, copper and white. Flower shape varies with different plants: may they be single, semi-double, deep or shallow cupped, rosette

Scent: Depending on the plant or grouping of plants, perfume can be fruity, old rose, tea rose, musk or myrrh.
Bloom time: Heaviest in early summer; repeats in late summer.
Growth habit, foliage: The shrub growth habit gives grace to the plant, which means that David Austin roses work well in mixed borders, and as perennial companions. Foliage is medium to dark green and among the most disease-free of all garden roses.
Maintenance: David Austin roses prefer at least 6 hours of sun (8 hours is better). Plant them in fertile soil, and provide regular watering and applications of rose fertilizer. Mulch should be renewed yearly.
Pruning: Heavy pruning is not usually necessary for the first year or two except to cut out dead wood. After that, a yearly once-over to correct shape and remove dead canes in early spring before growth starts is sufficient.
Hardiness: There are David Austin rose plants to suit gardens in every USDA hardiness zone from 4-10. With over 200 plants to choose from, there are many David Austin roses appropriate in many locations.

If you don’t have any David Austin roses, I highly recommend adding some to your garden.

June/July CR Report

by Karen Ernsberger

Wow after all the cool weather, daily fog and a bit of moisture today June 8th, we hit 100 degrees F! I’m hoping I got everything wet enough to survive.

Now is the time to prune old garden roses after they complete their annual blooming cycle. For all roses watch for suckers from below grafted bud unions and remove the sucker canes at the roots. Keep track of plant performance, if a plant is in distress, it may need more attention. Visit local rose gardens to get ideas on other varieties and their performance. Deadheading all your other bushes is very important now to keep the plants blooming. For newer(less than 1 year old or not well established) plants, go down to the first 5-leaflet leaf that points towards the outside of the plant to aid in heat tolerance. For established plants prune to pencil thick area on stem at a 5-leaflet leaf to the outside. If you plan to show your roses at the fair, the date is August 7th. To get a good flush of bloom at that time, you need to dead head between June 8th and June 21st for most roses.

If you don’t spray, as I don’t, you may have seen multiple diseases on some of your roses. During this spring I’ve been experiencing some rust, blackspot and powdery mildew. Even resistant varieties are being hit. The lower water ration is stressful and may factor into the bushes being more susceptible. I live with the damage and clean up leaves, dead head to encourage new growth. Maintain watering, weeding, deadheading, fertilizing and general clean up program. And hope the new growth will be stronger. I do mulch during this time of year to add some nutrients back to the soil and keep the moisture in the root zone. Of course having a green area has encouraged bugs/catepillars and thirsty/hungry animal (even well fenced) including birds to come out in full force and attack the roses.

If you do spray, water well before spraying and spray after the hottest part of the day. I don’t recommend spraying in the morning, if the temp will be in the 90’s, because of chemical burning. However spraying in the afternoon, if it gets windy, the spray may not go where it is suppose to go! Rake up any fallen leaves to help reduce re-infection of plants. Remember to water and feed lightly during the summer months, to keep your plants happy.