Join Doylestown Nature Club speaker Nicole Juday Rhoads for a presentation on “Knowing and Growing Old Roses” on Monday, Jan. 14th, 2019 at 1:00pm, in the Buckingham Township Building, 4613 Hughesian Way (off 413) Buckingham, PA. Guests are welcome with a $5 donation.
Knowing and Growing Old Roses by Nicole Juday Rhoads– The oldest depiction of the rose is a fresco from Knossos, Greece dating to 1500 BC. This was a single five pedaled pink disc flower. Humans have fallen under the spell of the rose. It has been manipulated through breeding and selection into a quite different form today. Understanding the rose is helpful in the approach to grow, care for, and enjoy this plant, which is undoubtedly one of the most beloved ornamentals throughout history. I have continued to study and experiment with roses and have arrived at a program that fills my home garden with healthy and beautiful roses that are long lived and require no use of chemicals. Some varieties will want for pruning, and being heavy feeders, all require monthly applications of dehydrated chicken manure from April to August.
The oldest garden roses are European, in the Alba, Damask, Gallica, and Centifloia classes, and probably originated in the Caucasus region before spreading west during the Crusades, naturally hybridizing with other varieties along the way. The damask rose “Celsiana” is always my favorite and was documented in Philadelphia as early as 1750. Repeat-blooming roses that succeed in the typical Southeastern Pennsylvania garden include “Stanwell Perpetual” and the climbing rose “Sombrieul.” The gorgeous “Gruss an Aachen” is considered the first Floribunda rose, having been introduced in 1909. It is thought that today there are over 15,000 different roses available commercially. Besides their beguiling charm, my favorite thing about old roses is their Darwinian ability to have survived and even thrived compared to many more recent introductions that have come and gone.
Nicole Juday Rhoads has a deep background in public horticulture. Currently she is the Director of Engagement at PHS. She has consulted on major projects for Greater Philadelphia Gardens running the Arboretum School at the Barnes Foundation and being the landscape curator at Wyck Historic Garden in Germantown. Wyck is the oldest rose garden in America. The various roses in the Wyck garden have been growing there between 80 to possibly 250 years. Her writing has appeared in a number of garden publications and she has been a regular contributor to PHS’s Grow magazine.