Happy New Year! On this first day of 2017 I am excited about a new year of growth. Last year, I was honored to represent the American Rose Society at the Garden Writers Association (GWA) Conference in Atlanta. The National Garden Bureau had a big announcement to make and they requested someone from the world of roses be present and I was excited to attend this event on behalf of our national organization.
Each year the National Garden Bureau selects an annual, perennial, a bulb and an edible for its "Year of" program. These plants are selected for adaptability, being easy to grow and a number of other factors. As you may have guessed, 2017 will be the Year of the Rose!
So, what does that mean to gardeners? Well, in my mind its sort of a challenge and begs a few questions: Could You? Would You? Grow A Rose? What's keeping you from adding roses? How Can I Help You?
If you don't currently grow roses, plant one. Give them a try. Today's varieties are more resilient and disease resistant than ever. I'm always glad to help you select the perfect rose for you particular garden. Just leave a comment below.
If you are already growing roses, plant a few more. Better yet, help someone you know plant some. After all, everyone knows someone who needs a rose, right? If you grow roses and your really good at it, teach a class at a local nursery. Talk about your roses. Share your blooms. It will enrich the recipient almost as much as it does you.
I can't wait to try some of the new varieties coming out this year, but I am also on the hunt for a few Old Garden varieties to add to my collection. We are as the old folks say "slap out of room" in this garden. If I add a new rose, I must now remove one. That makes me a bit sad. So, we are on the hunt for property. Stay tuned on that note.
So many people make resolutions each year. I didn't make any this year. I did resolve on a few things that I'm going to try to avoid:
I believe 2017 will be a pivotal year for many. Make plans now to make it the best it can be.
Chris VanCleave, America's Favorite Rose Gardener. Mr. VanCleave is a tireless advocate of our national flower; the Rose. He is an American Rose Society Certified Rosarian and a member of the Garden Writers Association. He tends a garden of over 170 roses in Helena, Alabama.