Everything’s coming up roses — a 66-year tradition blooms this weekend and 5 tips for tending your buds

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It was almost like a holy tradition — every October, gardeners from across the state made the pilgrimage to Tyler, Texas, the Rose Capitol of the World. Our state’s warm autumns propelled the flowers to blossom in all their fragrant glory, making it the perfect time to show customers highlights of the incoming rose selection.

North Haven Garden’s founder Ralph Pinkus first made the journey east in 1951, scooping up the most beautiful blooms to bring back to Dallas and pot in old tin cans. Neighbors flocked to the nursery to plan their spring gardens, where they had the chance to see and smell all of the options before purchasing the plants, which would arrive each March.

Ira Duncan was North Haven Gardens' original rosarian, pictured here in 1956 after selecting hundreds of blooms in Tyler, Texas, which were potted in old tin cans. (Courtesy of North Haven Gardens)
Ira Duncan, NHG’s original rosarian, stands with a collection of roses grown in nursery cans in what is now NHG’s front parking lot in 1960. (Courtesy of North Haven Gardens)

It became known as Rose Weekend and it’s a tradition that’s still growing. These days, blooms are flown in from some of the nation’s premier rose growers to fill North Haven Garden’s aisles with every color and style you can imagine. The event takes place the first weekend in March, just in time for gardeners to get bushes into the ground for a spring bloom. From the boldly golden Teasing Georgia rose to the delicate pink of the Wedgewood rose, more than 200 floral styles will be on display and available for purchase.

3 things to do before Rose Weekend:

  1. Get healthy — Check the condition of your current roses so you know what problems, if any, to address with the rose experts at North Haven.
  2. Know your roses — Not every rose is meant for every garden — get an idea what would work with the conditions in your yard by checking out North Haven Garden’s complete 2017 rose list.
  3. Arrive early — The first 50 people on Saturday will receive their choice of one free Ready Rose Mix or a quart of root stimulator with the purchase of a rose. Doors open at 8 a.m. on Saturday.

Highlights of Rose Weekend, March 3-5:

  • Edith's Darling roses. (Photo courtesy of David Austin Roses)
    Edith’s Darling™, a new addition to the popular series of roses inspired by Downton Abbey® characters, has full, old-fashioned flowers with a strong fresh cut apple and fruity perfume. (Photos courtesy Weeks® Roses Downton™ and Downton Abbey® ©2017 Carnival Film & Television Limited. All Rights Reserved.)

    Win freebies: Garden giveaways will take place on Sunday, but you need not be present to win. Just throw your name in the ring when you come to get your roses.

  • Claude Graves, president of the Collin County Rose Society, will talk “Roses: the Superstars of the Garden” on Saturday from 9:30-10:30 a.m. Register here.
  • Connie Reeve, former president of the Collin County Rose Society will lecture on “A Year in the Life of a Rose” on Saturday from 11 a.m.-noon. Register here.
  • More into painting than planting? Watch artists paint roses on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. If you feel inspired, sign up for the “Watercolor Workshop with Wine: Painting Your Garden” on April 9 from 2-4 p.m.; or find the muse in “Van Gogh’s Irises” on March 26.
  • Find both garden and artistic inspiration at the North Haven Gallery with “Natural Abstraction,” on display through March 10. The work exhibited represents a wide range of mediums and artists, but all in influenced by nature.
  • Grab a bite in the café. Overseen by Chef Rose DiLeo, a contestant on “Hell’s Kitchen,” the menu includes both light bites like fresh salads alongside decadent desserts.

5 tips for tending roses:

If you’re new to the blushing buds, fear not — the experts at North Haven Garden make sure you’ve got the tools and skills to thrive in the rose garden.

Belinda's Dream rose. (Image courtesy of David Austin Roses)
Belinda’s Dream, the first rose to be designated Earth-Kind® by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is a favorite for its disease resistance and wonderful fragrance.
  1. Get the right supplies — from Ready Rose Mix to root stimulators, you want to make sure your new buds have proper nutrition. Find everything you’ll need on North Haven Garden’s rose project list.
  2. Attentive planting — Get your rose babies on the right foot by first soaking them thoroughly in root stimulator. Dig a hole deep enough so that the plant can maintain its current soil level, with no muffin top sitting above the ground. See video of North Haven Garden’s best tips here.
  3. Water thoroughly — Don’t be stingy, your roses love a splash.
  4. Pruning plan — Make a note in your calendar to cut back your bushes each Valentine’s Day and again in August, ensuring you’ll get blooms in the spring and fall.
  5. Monitor closely — Healthy plants take a watchful eye. From pests to fungus, you’ll want to nip any problem areas in the bud, and the North Haven Garden experts can help. Of particular concern this year is Rose Rosette disease, a highly contagious virus that only infects roses, causing gnarled and thorny clusters where blooms should be. There is no treatment; infected plants should be immediately removed to prevent further spread of the disease.
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