Temecula Valley Rose Society Newsletter for December, 2021
Co‑President's Message, by Rebecca Weersing & Judy Sundermann
We are ending the year in a very fitting way. We will gather at Rose Haven for our December meeting. Coffee, hot chocolate, and hot spiced apple cider along with a smorgasbord of breakfast treats and cookies will be served.
We have met in person only a few times since February 2020 and we truly miss everyone being together. The swearing in of the new board and officers will take place and, for fun, a raffle. Are you feeling lucky? We are feeling lucky to have had so many members participate in our outdoor activities during the pandemic.
Accomplishments during the past nearly two years include our May Public Garden Days, the Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with the Chamber of Commerce for the Boos Labyrinth Courtyard, the revitalization of the Tree of Life, the Dirt-to-Soil compost project, the pond and the beginning of the Peace and Friendship Garden. All of this could not have happened without our dedicated members.
The Library has reopened the Community Room for meetings such as ours. We anticipate having in-person meetings at the Library beginning in January. We will continue to offer GoToMeetings that will bring us speakers from all over the country. Rose Haven will continue to be a venue for less formal gatherings as well as offering gardening opportunities for those who enjoy keeping things growing.
Judy and Rebecca thank each and every one of you for your support during this past year. Hoping for fun frolicing in the garden and at our various meetings in 2022. Happy Holidays!!!
How Does Your Garden Grow, by Rebecca Weersing
One of the first meetings of the Temecula Valley Rose Society that I attended in 1990 our founder Karen Ortega extolled the virtues of Alfalfa Tea. As images of roses on a tea table with dainty cookies on my plate, you can imagine my shock when the next words out of Karen's mouth were "First you will need a 30 gallon trash can...." And thus began my education on the importance of feeding rose bushes from the ground up.
Fast forward to 2021: Thanks to Jill Selders guidance, we have embarked on a Soil Farming project that will take our garden beds from dirt to soil. An important part of the process is for individuals to contribute to this composting effort. Although I have always been sporadic in my collection of materials to compost I wanted to show my support for Soil Farming.
Jill wrote a great article for our August newsletter with a charming video explaining the composting process. I committed to doing a bucket of my kitchen scraps to contribute to this project. It took me three and a half months before I had a full bucket to bring to the garden. When I passed the bucket to Jill I said it was my first and probably last bucket because I had no confidence that I had successfully produced a usable product.
Jill was very supportive of my efforts and her words of praise have encouraged me to start my second bucket!
Please go back and reread Jill's August article and rewatch her video. Together we can all help grow our garden from dirt to soil. You can read it here.
December 2021 Program
Date: Thursday, December 16, 2021 Time: 10:00 a.m. Place: Rose Haven Heritage Garden, 30592 Jedediah Smith Rd, Topic: Installation of 2022 Board and Awards
The 2022 Board of Directors slate was elected by email in November. The slate of Officers will be presented at the December 9 Board Meeting and voted on by the 2021/2022 Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors and the Officers will be installed at our December 16, 2021 Member Meeting to be held at Rose Haven, 10 a.m.
We will have an opportunity to socialize, enjoy the garden, celebrate the past year and plan for the new year.
The temperature should be in the high 60's/low 70's with no rain forecast. We will share light refreshments – warm beverages and holiday cookies.
December Rose Haven Flora, by Bonnie Bell
We are delighted to see there is an abundance of roses at the garden for everyone to enjoy during the Holiday Season. There are many red roses in bloom in December including Let Freedom Ring along the driveway, Altissimo near the picnic area, Spanish Red on the hillside, but the one that really stands out right now is Ingrid Bergman in the World Hall of Fame area.
Ingrid Bergman is a radiant red with full brilliant blossoms against deep green foliage. She is a Hybrid Tea, developed in 1984 in Denmark and inducted into the ARS World Hall of Fame in 2000. Bloom size is full double with 35-40 petals as shown in the photo. It is very disease resistant, color and form clarify with a little heat, and her ARS rating is 7.9.
Rose Care FUNdamentals, by Frank Brines
Consulting Rosarian ARS
Depending on which side of the canyon you live, weather has been relatively good for our fall roses. Most areas still haven't had temperatures anywhere near frost. Roses could still be seen actively growing and blooming in many Temecula Valley gardens during the Thanksgiving holiday. The lower nighttime temperatures will soon cool the soil and reset the roses' biological clock to slow down and go into some kind of dormancy.
Roses need a four- to six-week dormancy period during the winter months. During dormancy, the plants go through natural hormonal changes that prepare them for the next growing season, including forming buds at the base of the plant to produce new canes. Dormancy is triggered by a variety of factors. Cold temperatures (including frost) slow the plant's metabolism while cold rains chill the soil, further slowing growth rate.
You can help promote dormancy by not deadheading or pruning this month. Allow the rose "hips" to mature so they can send hormonal signals to the plant that it's time to rest and marshal its energy for a vigorous growth spurt in the spring. Just the same, be sure to monitor your plants when daytime temperatures are warm: They still need to be kept hydrated! Also, do NOT fertilize until after your major pruning in January or February. And then only after a couple inches of new growth. Speaking of fertilizer, the San Diego Rose Society is currently taking annual fertilizer orders for January delivery to have on hand when new spring growth is 2"-3" long; go to their website for more information: https://www.sandiegorosesociety.com/fertilizer-sale.
On the topic of pruning: Some gardeners in the Temecula Valley are anxious to prune their roses in December. That's understandable because we haven't had a hard frost yet even though the average date for first frost in our area is November 17. Pruning now not only prevents dormancy, but also produces tender new shoots that will most likely be killed by the next hard frost. So, bottom line: Please wait four to six weeks after the first frost to do your major "spring" pruning. In the event that there is no frost or freeze it is typical to prune by mid-February.
I mentioned last month that the Asian "chili thrip" is spreading rapidly in the Southwest and is becoming a global threat. This pest is extremely successful and particularly resistant to conventional control methods. The chili thrip is even smaller than the western thrips we're familiar with. It works in similar ways, only more devastating and more difficult to control. It doesn't seem to have any preferences except new growth of almost any plant and blossom. Its damage resembles the effects of Roundup over spray or rose virus: severely stunted and very narrow leaves, stems, and buds. Gardeners I've spoken with use several different products to gain some control, but a regular program is necessary with applications weekly at least.
Cool, moist air promotes mildew and rust, so be watchful for these fungi. Be prepared also for spraying with a dormant spray immediately after the Spring pruning in February. Read the label and be sure to buy enough to thoroughly cover plant and garden bed. I find that a two-gallon pump sprayer with 2 gallons of mix will cover about 15 rose plants after pruning.
There is still time to order that new rose you have been dreaming about. Garden stores may still be adding to their list of orders or go to your favorite online nursery and make your order. There are many fine new roses that you simply must have. Many are more disease resistant than in the past. Most nurseries or wholesalers no longer print catalogs, so for a list of current roses available from each you will have to go online. Walter Andersen Nursery will soon have recently potted roses available. You can view the varieties that will be in stock by going to their website. I'm sure other nurseries will have similar information on their websites.
A few new varieties I find of interest are: At Last (floribunda, good apricot color, fragrance, disease-resistant); Bordeaux (floribunda/WineRed, large blooms, heat tolerant, disease resistant); Easy Spirit (floribunda/White, Hybrid T form, fragrance, hybridizer Tom Carruth, disease resistant, lasting form); Frida Kahlo (floribunda/Scarlet Redstriped gold, small clusters, mild fragrance, disease resistant, compact, hybridizers Christian Bedard & Tom Carruth); Gaye Hammond S (Bright Yellow with touches of orange, slight fragrance, disease resistant, bloom making machine); Parade Day (Grandiflora/Fuchsia Pink Striped White, strong fragrance, hybridizer Christian Bedard, holds color); Flowerland (Shrubby, Pink, low (1.5') growing habit, 60-65 petals, fragrant; it would be great for small spaces or en mass); Golden Iceberg (mild spicy fragrance).