Friday, December 26, 2014


By Rosalinda Morgan


The annual Rose Parade and Rose Bowl football game is an all-American tradition on New Year’s Day.  Long before the radio was invented much less the TV in 1890, members of the Pasadena’s Valley Hunt Club wanted to celebrate the mild winter weather in California where roses were still in bloom in January.  They were eager to tell the world about their paradise.  They were from the East and Midwest who moved to California and discovered the nice mild winter weather in Pasadena.  Dr. Charles Frederick Holder declared at a club meeting that “In New York, people are buried in snow.  Here our flowers are blooming and our oranges are about to bear.  Let’s hold a festival to tell the world about our paradise.”

The first floral festival on New Year’s Day was attended by more than 2000 people and was patterned after the Battle of the Flowers held in Nice, France.  The festival included a modest procession of flower-covered carriages with afternoon games of foot races, tug-of-war contests, bicycle races, ostrich races, polo matches and other contest on the town lot.  There was even a race between a camel and an elephant.  The elephant won.  Eventually, the contest was replaced by the best of college football.  The town lot was then renamed Tournament Park in 1900.  The first football game was played in 1902 between Stanford University and the University of Michigan with Michigan winning 49-0.  Due to such defeat, the Association dropped football in favor of chariot races.

Then in 1916, football came back to stay.  In 1920, a new stadium was built which the local newspaper called the Rose Bowl.  On January 1, 1923, the Tournament held the first Rose Bowl game.  Today, the festival starts with a parade that includes matching bands, high-stepping equestrian units and spectacular animated floats covered with million flowers from all over the world.  Volunteers called petal pushers work hand in hand with professional designers to make this event a huge success.  This was followed by the Rose Bowl where the championship collegiate football teams of the Pac-12 and the Big Ten conference meet for the showdown of the Granddaddy of them all.

In the early years, few teams arrived in flower decorated carriages which gave Dr. Holder the idea to change the name of the festival to “Tournament of Roses”.  By 1895, the festival had gotten so big that it was difficult for the Valley Hunt Club to handle so the Tournament of Roses Association was formed.  Today the Tournament of Roses Association headquarters is housed at an Italian Renaissance-style house, thanks to the generosity of the famous chewing-gum manufacturer, William Wrigley Jr. whose favorite pastime was watching the parade.  The 18,500 square foot mansion designed by architect G. Lawrence Stimson with a 4-1/2 acres rose garden is located two blocks south of the starting point of the parade and was bequeathed to the city of Pasadena upon Mr. Wrigley’s death in 1958 with the stipulation that it be used as the Tournament’s permanent headquarters.

From the humble beginning, the 126th Rose Parade presented by Honda with the theme, “Inspiring Stories,” will start at 8:00 a.m. (PT) on Thursday, January 1, 2015. The Tournament of Roses has selected Els Hazenberg, Steven Wood Schmader and Eddie Zaratsian to be float judges for the 126th Rose Parade. The Rose Parade expects to be watched by millions on television in more than 100 countries plus a million of spectators along the parade routes.

The Rose Parade will be followed by the 101st Rose Bowl Game presented by Northwestern Mutual at 1:30 pm PT (4:30 pm ET) between the No. 2 CFP-ranked Oregon Ducks, champions of the Pac-12 Conference, and the No. 3 CFP-ranked Florida State Seminoles, champions of the ACC Conference. The 101st Rose Bowl Game will mark the first-ever meeting between the Ducks and the Seminoles. The winner of the Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl Game will earn a spot in the first-ever College Football Playoff National Championship, which will take place on January 12, 2015 in North Texas. The game will be televised nationally on ESPN with Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Heather Cox calling the action.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


“To remember, lest we forget.”

Today, Sept. 11, let us remember the fallen and celebrate life, liberty and freedom through roses.



Firefighter, a beautiful dark red hybrid tea hybridized by Orard in 1999, is the first of the eleven roses to be named for the Remember Me Rose Gardens to honor the 343 firefighters who lost their lives on September 11, 2001 while trying to save lives in the World Trade Center.  Firefighter also honors those men and women who risk their lives daily to protect ours. 
Firefighter is a tall hybrid tea about 5-6 ft tall with a perfect flower form, about 4-6 inches and disease resistant.  Petal count is about 40-45 and has a very strong fragrance.  Firefighter won the City of Portland Gold Medal Award for 2007. 

To honor and pay tribute to all the victims of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Sue Casey of Portland, Oregon formed an organization called Remember Me Rose Gardens to create three rose gardens on or near the sites of the terrorist attacks in New York, at the Pentagon and at a field in Stonycreek Township, Somerset County in Pennsylvania. 


Tuesday, August 12, 2014


As I talk to more people about growing roses, I was amazed at most of the answers I got, “Roses are hard to grow. You have to spray constantly.” Spraying scares some people. With all the talk on sustainability, this is one thing that we as members of a rose society should pay attention to. Most people just want to grow roses without spraying those chemicals and that is the main reason “Knock Out” roses are so popular. We have to educate them that there are alternative to spraying and there are other easy roses besides Knock Out roses.


I know big exhibitors have to keep their roses in perfect condition and the only way is to keep on their spray program. I admire them for taking on that task but a majority of gardeners do not want to do that. When we talk to novices and start spouting about all those toxic chemicals, they will surely find the nearest exit to get out of where you are. It’s not a good way to introduce new members to grow roses. We have to find an alternative way to entice them to grow roses the easy way and there are other ways.


Years ago, I sprayed my roses every week. Then about 15 years ago, I decided to stop spraying because I could not stand the smell of those chemicals to the point of closing all my windows after I sprayed the garden. Top exhibitors would disagree with this notion but I was not going for the Queen. I was more interested in rose arrangements at that time and showing my garden at our annual garden tour. I need color in the garden and fragrant roses. I discovered Bayers 3-in-1 would do the same job so I used that. Then Bayers stopped selling them in New York. The first year, I did not spray, the garden looked terrible. Some of the roses got defoliated completely by August. But I ignored it as I looked for other alternatives.


For starters, I discovered Gardens Alive, a purveyor of earth-friendly products. I started spreading beneficial nematodes on the edge of the lawn in the spring and fall. They kill the grubs which grow up into Japanese beetles. I got rid of the beetles. 


For aphids, there are some environment friendly methods you can use. Ladybugs and lacewing larvae will eat aphids. I used ladybugs. One rose supplier I asked told me to just give them a good drench of water. A heavy thunderstorm will probably do a better job than any dose of chemical spray. Since aphids cannot fly, once you knock them off the plant, they will not be able to return.


Red spider mite is a relative of the true spider and only occurs in the late spring/early summers in very dry conditions. Once you get an infestation, it is very hard to control but the most important thing to remember is that a very fine spray must be used on the sprayer and the plant must be completely wet. An application of dormant oil in late winter will kill eggs wintering on the ground. The telltale sign of an infestation is the leaves appear to lack color and eventually fall off. The mites, which are very, very small, appear on the underside of the leaves and are reddish brown. I had a Graham Thomas in a pot in front of my house and for two years got spider mites. Since I don’t spray, I kept on cutting the infected stem. I decided to give it one more chance and move the pot to the back yard where it got partial sun and pruned it drastically in February. Lo and behold it fares better at the new location and looks happy.


To take care of diseases like blackspot, I used Pyola from Gardens Alive. I also bought Serenade from Possum. Messenger and Mighty Plant are excellent products too. I tried Roses Alive this year and the roses look very healthy without spraying toxic chemicals. I don’t own a sprayer to prove my point.


Most important of all is to keep your garden clean, tidy and weed free. Get rid of diseased leaves. I go out there every day and if I see leaves with blackspot, I pull them out. If you have pine straw mulch, it is hard to pick up the diseased leaves stuck between the straws so I opted for black cedar mulch.


Check your garden every day to see what is going on. Unless it is raining, I’m out there in the garden everyday doing something or just walking around and enjoying the beauty that surrounds me. That’s the reward of gardening!

Sunday, April 20, 2014



Blush Noisette


Roses, Roses, Roses Everywhere!

Roses are at their peak bloom in May in the Lowcountry and the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society is celebrating May as their Rose Month. In the South and on the West Coast, the Rose reigns supreme in the garden in May, but from Mid-Atlantic regions and all the way up to Maine, it is in June.

The Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society will have a display of roses and rose items for the whole month of May at two libraries, one on either side of Charleston across the two rivers, one at Mt. Pleasant Public Library and another one at Johns Island Public Library. We have our monthly meeting on May 4 at Berkeley Electric Coop Office, 3351 Maybank Highway, Johns Island at 3 PM with a program on how to exhibit your roses. Everyone is welcome to attend and the admission is free. Our Annual Rose Show is on May 10 at Citadel Mall and open to the public. Everyone can enter their roses to exhibit and the show is free. We will have an educational table there where American Rose Society Consulting Rosarians will be doing pro bono service answering various questions on rose culture. Consulting Rosarians are nationally accredited rose authorities. They take classes from the American Rose Society sponsored schools and take continuing education every three years to maintain their status. They offer free advice to the public. We will also have a booth at the Charleston Farmer’s Market on May 17 at Marion Square in downtown Charleston manned by members of the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society. We are closing the event with a picnic and an auction on Saturday, June 1 at a waterfront private garden in Mt. Pleasant open only to CLRS members and their friends, a benefit of CLRS membership. For info on how to join CLRS, visit Roses will be in abundance in all these places.

The Rose has been around for millions of years and has grown naturally throughout North America. The petals and rose hips are edible and have been used in medicines since ancient times. The rose has been revered for millions of years as a symbol of love and beauty and has been an inspiration to poets and artists. Rose leaf impressions have been discovered in chalk formed in the Miocence age of 70 million years ago. The first rose illustrations were found in the ruins of the 4000-year-old Minoan capital, Knossos, in Crete. Empress Josephine (1763-1814), wife of Napoleon was so enamored by them, she commissioned Pierre Redoute to paint them from her garden at Malmaison in France and immortalized in his book ‘Les Roses’ (1817-1824).

The poetess Sappho at 650 B.C. declared it the Queen of Flowers in her “Ode to the Rose.”

"Would you appoint some other flower to reign

In matchless beauty on the plain,

The Rose (mankind will all agree)

The Rose the Queen of Flowers should be.”


Some gardeners have the wrong notion that roses are difficult to grow. It is not so. Yes, you can grow beautiful roses. The Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society will teach you how to grow beautiful roses. There are so many roses on the market that growing roses is not that difficult as choosing the varieties to plant. Just like people, roses need the basic things to live: water, food and sunshine. If you supply these basic needs of the rose, you will have no trouble growing them and they will reward you with the most beautiful flower there is. Roses need plenty of sunshine, at least five hours, food and water to live and good drainage. Some roses will grow in dappled shade but roses do not like wet feet. The roots will rot and the rose will eventually die.

The rose was designated the United States National Floral Emblem and several states have it too as their state flower. President Ronald Reagan signed the proclamation declaring The Rose as our National Floral Emblem on November 20, 1986. Charleston is home to the only class of old garden roses, the Noisette Rose, that was bred, evaluated and introduced to the world by the United States.

Let’s celebrate May as the Rose Month in the Lowcountry! We are blessed with this beautiful flower in our midst so let’s all grow roses. The Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society and the American Rose Society join together to teach you how to grow beautiful roses, at least One Rose for Every Home!


For more info on growing roses, visit the following sites:


Thursday, March 6, 2014


Here is a Rose Glossary to help you understand some rose terms and enjoy your rose gardening hobby to the fullest.

ARS – American Rose Society

Anther – the part of the flower which produces pollen.  It is the upper section of the stem.

Axil – The angle between the upper surface of the leaf stalk and the stem that carries it.

Balling – the clinging together of petals in wet weather so that the bloom fails to open and turns brown.

Bare-root – a rose dug up at the nursery and sold with no soil around the roots.

Basal shoot – a new shoot that emerges from the neck or crown (bud union).

Blind shoot – a mature stem which fails to produce a flower.

Bloom – stem having one-bloom-per-stem with no side buds.

Bract – a modified or reduced leaf that occurs beneath and next to a peduncle.

Bud eye – A dormant bud on the axil of a leaf.

Bud stage – Rose should be less than 50% open.  Sepals must be down.

Bud Union – the swollen part of the stem where the scion of a grafted rose meets the rootstock.

Calyx - the green protective cover of a rose flower which opens into 5 sepals.

Cane - one of the main stems of a rose plant.

Collection Class – multiple stems or blooms in specified classes.

Corolla - the petals of a rose flower considered as a single unit.

Cultivar - a named rose variety exhibiting distinct and consistent features, indicated by single quotation marks.

Deadheading – removing spent flowers.

Disbudding – removing buds from side or center of spray to improve overall appearance of specimen.

Disease Resistant Roses – Roses that have been bred to resist many diseases.  Disease resistant are just that resistant but not immune to disease.

Foliar feed – a fertilizer capable of being sprayed on and absorbed by the leaves.

Hard Pruning – Rose canes are severely cut back to less than 6”. Not all types of roses respond well to this treatment.

Hilling – A method used to protect roses from winter damage. Material, such as compost, is mounded 10-12 inches around the base of the bush after the ground is frozen.

Hip - the fruit of a rose, large and decorative in some varieties.

Inflorescence – the arrangement of flowers on the stem.

Lateral branch – a side branch which arises from a main stem.

Leaflet - the individual segment of a compound rose leaf.

Node - the point on a stem from which leaves and buds emerge.

Old rose - strictly speaking, a rose introduced before 1867, but more loosely used to describe any rose grown or introduced before 1900.

Once-blooming - a rose that flowers only once in early summer and does not repeat.

Open bloom – roses should be completely open and center stamen visible.

Own root roses – roses that are not grafted, a rose propagated as a cutting rather than by grafting.

Peduncle - a stalk that supports a single flower or flower cluster.

Pegging – bending the rose cane to the ground to encourage lateral branches.

Petal - the showy, usually colored part of a flower.

Petiole - the stalk by which a leaf attaches to a stem; also leafstalk.

Pistil - the female reproductive organ of a flower, consisting of an ovary, style, and stigma.

Pith – the spongy material at the center of the stem.

Pollen – the yellow dust produced by the anthers.  It is the male element which fertilizes the ovule.

Prickle – the technical term for a rose thorn.

Recurrent flowering – same as repeat flowering.

Remontant – roses that repeat flowers during the season, same as repeat flowering.

Rootstock - the root portion of a plant onto which the scion is grafted; also understock.

Rose Rustler – a person who propagates Old Garden roses from cemeteries and old homes sites.  Etiquette requires that permission be obtained if possible before cuttings are taken.

Scion - a shoot grafted onto a rootstock; the "top" of a grafted rose.

Sepal - one of the five individual, leaflike divisions of the calyx.

Specimen Class: Single stem of any rose variety in specified classes.

Sport - a spontaneous genetic mutation, often resulting in a plant that bears flowers of a different color or with more or fewer petals than the original plant.

Spray – stem that has two or more blooms with or without side buds.

Stamen - the male reproductive organ of a flower, consisting of a filament and anther.

Standard rose – a term used for tree rose.

Stigma – the part of the female organ of the flower which catches the pollen.

Stipule - a small, leaflike appendage that occurs at the base of the petiole.

Sucker - a stem, usually unwanted, that originates from a rootstock.

Sustainable Roses – are those roses that are winter hardy, possess above average insect & disease resistance, and require little or no pesticides in order to remain healthy.

Stage – an exhibition rose that is at its most perfect phase of possible beauty.

Stem-on-stem – Refers to a bloom on a stem that branches off another stem. This Y formation cannot be exhibited.
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Friday, January 24, 2014


The Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society will hold their next meeting on Sunday, February 2 at 3 PM at Berkeley Electric Cooperative Office, 3351 Maybank Highway, Johns Island, SC 29455.

The program will be on Pruning given by Bob Lundberg.  Bob is an American Rose Society Master Rosarian, the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society Consulting Rosarian Chair and the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society Program chair. The program will start with a discussion of the tools required to accomplish the pruning task, followed by some comments on why we prune and the different approaches to pruning as we go through the growing season.  There will be a discussion on the approach to pruning different classes of roses.   At the conclusion of the discussion period, there will be a demonstration of spring pruning on Hybrid Tea and miniature rose plants.

Membership in the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society is open to anyone with interest in roses. Dues are $15 for single membership and $20 for family membership annually, January - December and includes information-packed newsletter, The Charleston Rose and participation in all society activities.

For more info, email Rosalinda Morgan at To join, send dues to Matthew Morgan, Membership Chair, 3056 Sugarberry Ln., Johns Island, SC 29455.

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