Fluttering Flowers
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Regular readers of this blog know that your Road Trips Gardener considers butterflies as fluttering flowers (of course, they’re privileged visitors to gardens as well).
There are all sorts of places to see butterflies. Some botanical …

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Roses at Bellingrath Gardens

Submitted by on December 25, 2010 – 2:31 pmOne Comment
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Planning to be anywhere near Mobile, Alabama on February 12, 2011, Road Trips Gardeners? If you’re into growing roses, think about stopping by the Bellingrath Gardens and Home, 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Road, Theodore, Alabama.

Members of the Mobile Rose Society visit the gardens every year on the second weekend of February for a Rose Pruning Party. Spectators are able to oversee the process, and take notes as society members prune more than 2,000 roses in over 75 varieties in the Bellingrath Rose Garden.

Of course, any visit to Bellingrath during the months of April through December is not complete without seeing the Rose Garden. Awarded the “Top Public Rose Garden in the United States” in 2004 by All-America Rose Selections, the garden also won that award in 1987. The Rose Garden is one of the signature aspects of the 65-acre estate.

Grown in color blocks, the roses featured at Bellingrath represent every color of rose imaginable. The garden is a test site for All-America Rose Selections roses, and they’re now growing the 2009 and 2010 varieties.

The Mobile Rose Society’s annual Rose Show is April 16 and 17, 2011, also at the Bellingrath Gardens.
Amateur rose gardeners are encouraged to enter their best blooms in the show. Entries will be received in Magnolia Café from 6 to 9 a.m. on April 16. Judging will take place from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. , when the show opens to the public. Members of the Mobile Rose Society will provide containers and tags as well as assist in identifying each bloom that is entered.

Growing quality roses in the Deep South is a labor of love and requires a commitment to serious gardening, notes Linda Guy, manager of the Bellingrath rose garden.

According to Linda there are some important tips to remember when growing roses.

* Prepare the bed well.
* Prune regularly. Linda and volunteers from the Mobile Rose Society prune Bellingrath’s roses each year in late February. They cut each rose back 12 to 18 inches, removing dead, diseased and unproductive canes.
* Be sure to find quality roses that like your climate. Bellingrath generally uses roses that have been grafted on fortuniana rootstock which increase the roses’ vigor and disease resistance.
* Know what type of soil you have and remember to fertilize. Typically, Linda applies fertilizer in mid-March, mid-June and late August.
* Roses love water, so remember to water them. Bellingrath’s rose garden irrigation system uses a micro-spray nozzle to deliver water directly to the root system.
* Consult with your local gardening specialists to fine out the best ways to prevent different pests life fungus and bugs in your area.

(Photos courtesy of Bellingrath Gardens)

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