Two years ago we began this journey expecting to organize some deadheading, weeding, mulching, and
fertilizing, and instead WOW! what a remarkable two years it has been in the Rose Garden!
We ended up needing to pull out all the roses, replace the top six inches of soil, and design a whole new garden!
After the initial shock of identifying the impact of Rose Rosette disease, in cooperation with the museum leadership
and staff, our club has really stepped up to the task. With 8 to 15 members spending over an hour every other
Thursday, we have made enormous progress and have in place: a custom arbor, 6 trellises, 8 boxwood,
22 hydrangeas, 2 Japanese Maples, plus many perennial and other companion/beneficial cultivars. Add to
that the museum staff’s work of refurbishing the fountain, painting the wall and installing 6 trellises, and we have
the “bones” in place for a real “show stopper” garden!
We have successfully established the foundation for 40-50 roses (depending on size) which will be planted
next Spring and Fall, having waited the two seasons required to eliminate rose rosette mites. As our goal is
to have a chemical-free garden, our main sources for rose selection are recommendations from the Cornell's
organic rose test gardens on Long Island (via our contact Cathy Guzzardo who works with them) and the book,
Roses Without Chemicals by Peter E. Kukielski. This book includes photos and descriptions of 150 disease-
free varieties and includes ratings on disease resistance, fragrance, and bloom. It has been a fabulous resource.
We have a lot to be proud of as a club and can look forward to more fun and work to come in the Spring.
As always, we appreciate the dedication, support, and friendships we have established throughout this project.