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Everyday Roses: How to Grow Knock Out® and Other Easy-Care Garden Roses

More and more homeowners are adding easy-care roses to their gardens after discovering their versatility, range of color, and season-long foliage and bloom cycle. In this book, rose expert Paul Zimmerman debunks common rose myths and outdated care instructions, and instead imparts practical rose care advice in a fun and accessible voice. Readers will find helpful suggestions for choosing roses based on landscape need, tips on what to look for when buying roses, new techniques for the best way to plant roses, and sensible time-saving methods to maintain their roses throughout the year. Aimed at gardeners who want the beauty of roses without the fuss, this book offers an approach that is more accessible and environmentally friendly than competing volumes–and no other book in the current market focuses exclusively on modern roses and getting the most out of them.

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2 comments to Everyday Roses: How to Grow Knock Out® and Other Easy-Care Garden Roses

  • Carol Meyer

    Informative, funny, and well written book about growing roses as garden plants. 0

  • James Delahanty

    Re-writing the book on roses In the Manichean world of dedicated rosarians, on one side you have those who believe that they are servants to the rose and dedicated to ensuring that it is shown in its most nearly perfect stage of existence; on the other, you have those who consider the rose to be a useful adjunct in the garden so long as it does not require a great deal of fuss and fidget on the part of the gardener. In that great division, Paul Zimmerman clearly opts for the latter position and humorously and definitively sets about the demolition through skepticism of the other side.The sections on pruning and pesticides alone would set a traditional exhibitor’s molars at def con 5 teeth grind, resulting in calcium dust. Zimmerman discards the older notions about at an angle above the bud line, searching for a five-leaflet set, and never even mentions the concept of disbudding. The reason that he does so is because none of these activities contributes to prolific bloom; the Leninist notion of `fewer (blooms) but better’ gets short shrift in a volume dedicated to garden roses as opposed to `divas’ with high maintenance and fussy requirements. This approach is also indicated in the Chapter on `Suggested Roses’ which focuses on the high disease resistance and cluster blooms to be found in the `Knock Out’ series of Conard-Pyle, or the Drift series from Meilland, the East Elegance roses of Bailey and the Oso Easy and Oso Happy series of roses from Spring Meadow Nursery. In fact, the only picture of a Hybrid Tea rose that I can recall is one of `Memorial Day,’ hardly in the tradition of award winning Hybrid Teas at rose shows.The emphasis here is on methods of gardening with roses so as to minimize any necessity for preventative spraying for fungicides or pests. The cure for most pests is to let the balance of nature restore itself through NOT spraying so as to give the beneficial insects and predators a chance to work for you rather than become collateral damage from ameliorative petrochemical applications. For fungicides the approach is to use sulfur and horticultural oil in quick applications so as to kill spores on foliage or those that might overwinter. The other main mechanism is to enrich the soil so as to enable the plant to use its own defenses in combatting disease. Thus there is a strong emphasis on mulches, compost, and soil enrichment through mycorrhizal fungi.But the underlying thesis is that people want roses that bloom in their gardens, enhance their gardening objectives or conceits, and take no more effort than any other flowering shrub. This means changing the conception of what constitutes a rose and is fundamental to the understanding of the recommendations of the book. Exhibitors concentrate on the flower to the exclusion of considerations of plant growth habit, or even rosebush beauty; garden roses, in contrast, tend to be compact, bushy, floriferous and can be planted in close proximity to one another because a little torn foliage is a minor consideration compared to the mass effect of bloom or the desire for complementary color designs.bloom or the desire for complementary color designs.Beginning gardeners will carry this book with them to any number of places including nurseries, rose society meetings, and pruning demonstrations and demand to know why advice contrary to these Zimmerman observations is being offered. The answers had better be pretty good, because in addition to linking purposes and activities with great lucidity, Zimmerman is pretty good with zingers. “The best tool to use when faced with a disease-prone rose is a shovel.” (Page 74). “If you only want disease-proof roses, then I suggest plastic ones!” (Page 75)The author also makes some observations that long time rosarians know at some level of cognition, but rarely articulate:* That plants seem to drop their susceptibility to some diseases as they mature, much like school children acquire immunity to childhood diseases over time.* That no one would dose themselves with antibiotics in order to prevent a cold or viral infection over the course of a year and that same prudence should apply to preventive chemicals.* That in order to attract beneficial insects, birds, bats, and lizards, the monoculture of roses must give way to plants that suit the needs of these fauna rather than just roses.* That dipping your pruners into a diluted bleach solution between cuts makes about as much sense as dipping your spoon into hot water between bites of cereal.The rose world, like much of modern life, is undergoing the `creative destruction’ associated with the disruption of previous habits and patterns of behavior in favor of newer ones capable of greater response from the potential audience of rose growers. Certainly if the rose future belongs to garden roses more suitable to the restricted space and disposable time available to the modern citizen,…

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