What We Learned in '99
presented by Pat Henry at the January 2000 Charleston District Meeting
compiled by Martha Nichols

(From The Winston-Salem Rose Society Clippings, March 2000)

Pat Henry of Roses Unlimited filled in as the banquet speaker when Dr. Malcolm Manners was unable to be present because of the weather conditions. She told us what we learned in 1999 was that we needed to have a garden that we could "shut down," and she suggested that we look to the single, semi-double, and old hybrid tea roses as alternatives to the higher maintenance, modern hybrid teas. We need to recommend to beginners that they start with the old china, tea, and polyantha roses so that they don't become discouraged. She noticed in her early walks through her extensive gardens during the height of the hot, dry summer that the hybrid teas that held up were 'Miss All American Beauty', 'Duet', 'Alex's Red', and 'Elina.' Because old garden roses take three to five years to develop, she urged us to hurry and plant them.

Pat is a great believer in growing roses in pots, which gives her the flexibility of moving them to a new location when they are not doing well. She double-pots her new roses, placing a one-gallon pot inside another, even without any dirt, and is convinced that they do much better with the protection of the additional pot.

Although she sprays her roses with fungicide, she sprays only the tops of bushes for insects, mainly for protection against thrips. She said the spider mites were so bad this past season because there was insufficient spring rain. She controlled them by thinning out her bushes.

Her goal, and hopefully our goal, is to share our love and knowledge of roses, particularly with the many hurting people in the world. She closed with the comment, "I've come a long way, baby, but I'm not finished yet."