This week we're in Chattanooga, Tennessee visiting the Chattanooga ChooChoo. Their Rose gardens are beautiful, some Roses have received thedesignation All American Rose Selection. We'll look at old varieties,varieties that haven't yet been introduced, we'll look at pruning, deadheading and disease control.
The Chattanooga Choo Choo is a restored train station. It was originallyconstructed in 1909, the last train departed from this station in 1970.The song of the same name immortalized the train that now sits in theirformal gardens.
Lori Martinez is the resident horticulturist and started at the ChooChoo in 1992. At that point the hotel and grounds had floundered. TheRose bushes were nothing but stickers. Lori cut them back and thefollowing spring they came up and were fabulous. Management and Lorithen decided that the Rose gardens would be the featured flower at thehotel. This seemed a logical move since the Rose is internationallyrecognized, everybody knows the Rose and many know the song ChattanoogaChoo Choo. There is a lot of history to the Chattanooga Choo Choo and alot of history with Roses. The train station was in its' prime duringthe 1930's, 1940's and 50's, it was an exciting time for rail travel.Because of this rich history many of the Roses in this garden are fromthis era.
There are over 800 varieties in this All American Rose Selection (AARS)Garden. Lori feels fortunate and privileged to have that designation,the only garden with that designation in the state of Tennessee. Asmentioned, many of the Roses date back to the 1930's. "CharlotteArmstrong" dates back to 1941 and is the parent of a popular Rose the"Queen Elizabeth." Another is called "World's Fair" and dates back to1940, it isn't easy to find these Roses anymore, they're not widelygrown. "Rubaiyat" was introduced in 1946 and received its' AARSdesignation in 1947. It is beautiful with deep pink blooms that are veryfragrant and born on dark leathery foliage. That is something Rosegrowers should think about, the foliage. There are different types offoliage. There are types with leathery foliage, shiny, glossy or even amatte finish. Many think the foliage is the key to a beautiful Rose.
There are thousands of different Rose varieties. Lori selects varietiesthat perform well in her garden and selects varieties that arerecognized by their visitors. For example they have a "Dolly Parton"variety. Lori believes it is called that because it matches the color ofDollys' lipstick. "Patsy Cline" is a beautiful bi-color Rose, lavenderand dark rose, and very fragrant. "Chicago Peace" has a large open bloomand a very light scent. It does well in this climate, was hybridized bya Chicago breeder, thus the name.As mentioned, the designation, All American Rose Selection Garden isvery special to Lori. Every year the American Rose Society selectsbetween 3 and 5 Roses, depending on how many are introduced, to be theirAll America picks for the following year. These are the best of thebest. These Roses are for 2005. They are being previewed here and won'tbe available in nurseries until 2005. They don't even have names at thispoint. It is very secret process, Lori is not even mailed name plaquesuntil the names are revealed. This garden allows people to come see theRose, see how it performs in their area, then look for it the followingseason. An All American selection may or may not do well in every partof the country. Even though these are the best of the best, countrywidethey may just do "pretty good," they may perform better in one areaversus another. It's important to check how they grow in different partsof the country. For example, they might do well in humid conditionsversus dry conditions. Lori shows us another past winner from the AllAmerican Rose Selection. "Love and Peace" is bi-color, the two colorsare combined on one Rose. It is a compact Rose, doesn't get particularlytall but is a prolific bloomer.
Lori can't keep the names of all of the different Roses straight. Sheutilizes books and local Rosarians from the local Rose Society to helpin this regard. Check with your local Rose Society for valuableinformation about Roses - growing and care. These folks are growingRoses in your area and region and can provide expert advice specific toyour region.
Many think Roses are a lot of work, too much trouble. Lori doesn't thinkthat is the case. Instead, she thinks there is work involved but as longas a gardener likes going into the garden and will develop a routine tomaintain their Roses - fertilize them, water them and some spraying -anyone can have a fabulous Rose garden. One just needs to know what todo and when to do it, it is fairly simple.
Roses don't fit into one specific plant category. They flower like anannual, they have large blooms and require a lot of energy, but at thesame time it is a woody shrub.
Top dressing is important for Roses. Add one or two inches of goodorganic matter in and around the plants, taking care not to disturb theroots. Lori likes a material that is well composted, something with alot of different sized particles, a product with a little nutrientcharge included. Something with Phosphorous, Nitrogen, even some BoneMeal as well as some Iron is good, since these ingredients tend to greenthe leaves. Top dressing will keep Roses looking good year after year.
In selecting a site for Roses remember that they require 6-8 hours ofsunlight every day. They should be away from competing plants liketrees. Their roots shouldn't compete with the roots of trees or shrubs.The bed should be completely tilled providing good, loose soil. If rootsas big as a finger are found they should be cut. The soil should havegood drainage, they don't like moist soil, a raised bed is good and anorganic content is needed. In Lori's area she uses a mix of finelyground Pine bark, organic manures and meals, some people even add alittle sand. When digging the hole make it as deep, but not deeper thanthe hole the Rose is already planted in. The base of the Rose shouldn'tbe choked. The hole should be large allowing the plant to spread its'roots. Lori uses gloves when planting since they have thorns. Tap thebottom and sides of the container in which it is planted and pull itout. This particular plant is grafted. Its' root stalk is different fromthe top, the part above ground. When planting make sure to plant theRose deep but not over the graft, this will keep moisture out of thegraft area. Roses need good air circulation so keep plants about 4 feetapart. In this case the bed is surrounded by hedges and Lori likes tohave plenty of room to work on the plants so the Roses are even furtherapart. In planting this Rose she uses loose soil and lightly presses itaround the roots being careful not to damage the root structure. Thisdone she waters the plant and adds mulch. Mulch is important in her partof the country, it provides a good barrier. In the south with hot, dryconditions, mulch helps keep moisture in and hot air away from theroots. In the winter she covers the graft with a mound of finely groundpine bark. This protects it from winter damage, depending on the regionthe entire plant might be covered.
Black Spot is always a concern. Lori monitors it on a daily basis andsprays periodically with a preventative spray. This eliminates themajority of problems in this area. She starts this process in the springwhen the foliage begins to emerge. Powdery Mildew is a problem indifferent parts of the country. Lori uses preventative measures here aswell. Japanese Beetles can skeletonize a plant, completely removing theblooms. Normally they will move through an area and they have done thatin this location. When Lori sees these pests she picks them off andsqueezes them.
Pruning is done throughout the year. During the growing season deadheading, taking off old blooms will encourage new growth and new blooms.Also trim tall, wild looking branches. When removing a spent limb, findthe first set of 5 leaves, find the leaf bud that is outward facing,then cut 1/4 inch above the leaf bud and cut at a 45 degree angle facingout. During the fall, before winter hits she cuts the Rose bush to aboutwaist high, that prevents winter winds from damaging the bush. In earlyspring she gives them their major haircut, at that point she takes allRose bushes down to about 12-18 inches tall.
If insects are a problem in your garden, consider using indicatorplants. This particular plant is a Contorted Philbert, it is a magnetfor Japanese Beetles (they also love Roses). They go to this plantfirst, so by putting it in your garden it provides a way to track whenJapanese Beetles arrive. Granted it won't look good but this plant issacrificed for the Roses.
There are many different categories of Roses, all with a lot ofdistinctive characteristics. We show a few varieties. Hybrid Tea is oneof the most popular types of Rose. It has a single stem and is verytall. The Grandiflora is similar but has a smaller bloom. Both work wellas cut flowers. Floribunda, one variety Queen Elizabeth, is also awonderful cut flower. It will have a bloom but with many buds, has otherflowers that will follow. As one fades, others open. Floribunda meansthere is another flower continually coming although not a number offlowers at the same time. Climbers, in this case Dortman, have a veryopen, flat bloom. They have huge clusters and make a nice display. AShrub Rose, Ballerina, has teeny flowers with multicolors in one clusterof blooms. They weigh heavily on the branches. Miniature Roses, RainbowsEnd, also have a range of colors.
Lori believes that in selecting a Rose for your area, you should firstvisit a local nursery. See what they have available, ask locals, eventhe local Rose Society, find out what works in your area. Then choose aselection, because you'll be constantly surprised.
This has been a great place to learn about Roses. With over 800varieties and an AARS selection site this has been a learningexperience. Thank you Lori for showing us your wonderful Rose garden.You've done a wonderful job.
Link :: Chattanooga Choo-Choo