The Tri-City Rose Society will hold its 67th annual Rose Show on May 30 in Richland. It is amazing that this local group of rose enthusiasts has been holding this show and sharing their love of roses for so many years. The event allows rose growers to show off their beauties and provide gardeners the opportunity to ask experts about growing this popular bloom.
One of the Tri-Cities Rose Society’s members who will be answering questions and showing off her roses is Norma Boswell. She is a dedicated member of the rose society, serving as editor or co-editor of the monthly Rose Herald newsletter for 33 years, plus holding the offices of secretary, vice president and president. In addition, she is an American Rose Society consulting rosarian. This means she is strongly committed to sharing her knowledge of roses and their care with others.
Many gardeners know that roses can be difficult to grow without using chemicals for insect and disease control, but Boswell has taken on the challenge, and she practices organic rose care. She does not rely on broad-spectrum insecticides for getting rid of aphids. Instead, she has become acquainted with beneficial insects and says, “It’s good to know what the larval stages look like so I can allow them to dine on my aphids.”
Like other rose society members, Boswell has an abundance of roses. She grows at least 60 roses with a focus on miniature roses. What are miniature roses? They are diminutive rose bushes that grow from 3 to 36 inches or more, depending on the cultivar. Small in stature, their blooms are also small, only 1 to 3 inches in diameter, and typically with little fragrance.
Minis have become increasingly popular in U.S. gardens, perhaps because their size makes them easier to fit into the smaller yards and landscapes, and their care is less burdensome. They can be planted among other shrubs or perennials for a little pop of color without worrying that they will take over their allotted space. Their reduced size and hardiness also make them good candidates for growing in patio containers.
Pruning can be as easy as shaping the plants with hedging shears, but this leads to dense shrubs that are more prone to disease and pest infestations. Rose experts such as Boswell recommend pruning them much like regular roses every spring, but not as severely. Remove any canes that are dead, diseased, weak or crossing, opening up the center and leaving healthy, vigorous canes. It is also advisable to cut miniature rose shrubs back in height by one-third at pruning time.
The 67th annual Rose Show of the Tri-City Rose Society will be from 1 to 4 p.m. May 30 at the Richland Community Center at 500 Amon Park Drive.