Portland Rose Festival worth celebrating | NevadaAppeal.com

Portland Rose Festival worth celebrating

JoAnne Skelly
Cooperative Extension

Last week, I was in Portland and visited its internationally known Portland Rose Garden. It was during the annual Rose Festival Celebration, and the roses were worth celebrating. It was a real treat to see the magnificent, colorful display over acres of park. As I have mentioned before, I look for roses with a strong fragrance, so I stuck my nose in almost every one!

Here were my favorites: Funkuhr, a softly scented pink-and-orange hybrid tea; New Zealand, a very fragrant light pink hybrid tea; Marmalade Skies, a slightly fragrant coral floribunda and 2001 winner of the All American Rose Society; Passionate Kisses, a salmon-colored landscape rose; Gold Heart, an unscented, gorgeous, buttercup-colored grandiflora; Barbra Streisand, a pink hybrid tea with a wonderful scent; George Burns, a fragrant yellow floribunda sporting magenta zebra stripes; and Sheila’s Perfume, a fantastically fragrant floribunda with orange, yellow, coral and pink colors.

Hybrid tea roses are the most popular, and bloom from spring until frost. They usually need care and winter protection. Hybrid teas flower on single stalks and work well as cut flowers.

Floribunda roses grow clusters of flowers and bloom from late spring through late fall. They are hardier than hybrid teas and good for mass plantings or low hedges. Landscape roses are continuous blooming floribunda shrubs.

Grandiflora roses have long stems and grow taller than many of the others. They make a nice background plant, according to the Portland Rose Garden Web site, http://www.rosegardenstore.org.

I spoke with the Master Gardener volunteers who work in the garden daily, pruning off or “deadheading” the flowers. They said the garden only uses fungicides every couple of weeks to keep away diseases, such as black spot. I didn’t see any aphids, even though there are no insecticides used in the garden to kill them. The Master Gardener said they just allowed beneficial insects to take care of the aphids.

The spectacular health of all the roses gives great credibility to the practice of integrated pest management, which depends on planting healthy plants in the first place, fertilizing and watering properly, and using chemicals as a last resort.

The roses are fed with a 12-5-7 analysis fertilizer, and periodically with a 24-5-35 fertilizer.

If you get a chance, fly to Portland soon and visit the garden in its full glory. It’s well worth the trip. While you are there, be sure to see the Japanese Garden across the street and up the hill. But, that’s next week’s article.

For more information, e-mail skellyj@unce.unr.edu or call me at 887-2252. You can “Ask a Master Gardener” by e-mailing mastergardeners@unce.unr.edu or call your local University of Nevada Cooperative Extension office. Check out many useful horticulture publications at http://www.unce.unr.edu.

• JoAnne Skelly is the Carson City/Storey County Extension educator for University of Nevada Cooperative Extension.