I have this rose book!

The second book in the Easy-Growing Series is underway. It’s called Rose to the Occasion: Growing Roses Through the Seasons. (I’m still tweaking the subtitle.) I have a LOT of information on that because I used to have full charge of a rose garden with 300 roses in it, no full-time help (I did have summer part-time help, then prison inmates for the rest of the year if I wanted), so I pretty much ran the show on my own.

Of all my horticulturing work, I miss the rose garden the most. I leaned toward old rose varieties, but I also had new roses that proved they could take whatever nature threw at them and still look good. ‘Blanc Double de Coubert’, ‘Tiffany’, ‘Angel Face’, ‘Mr. Lincoln’, Rosa Mundi, ‘Roseraie de l’Hay’, ‘Graham Thomas’, ‘New Dawn’, ‘Livin’ Easy’, ‘Easy Livin” (I always got those two mixed up), ‘Playboy’, ‘Betty Boop’, ‘Fourth of July’, ‘Scentimental’ (I really liked Tom Carruth’s roses), ‘Therese Bugnet’, ‘Penelope’, ‘Carefree Beauty’ … a host of others that I really wish I could remember. I used to have a map of all my rose varieties but I don’t know where it is any more.

Anyway, my gardening columns that I wrote for the local paper had a LOT of stuff about roses in them, and I learned a lot about rose rosette disease in a very short time when my roses were afflicted by it, back in the late 90’s.

Well, the intent of this post was to tell you about my upcoming rose book, but as always happens when I talk about roses, I went off on a tangent. But I’ve got over 20,000 words on the subject now, just from cobbling together old gardening columns, and now I’m going through and organizing everything and adding in plenty of information for both the beginning gardener and the gnarled rosarian (specifically, I’m thinking of one of my friends who’s been working with roses since before I was born — he’s shorter than me and tells me it’s because he sprayed so much Paris Green on the roses back in the day. (Incidentally, in my Courageous Women of the Civil War book, Paris Green was what Marie (Tepe) Leonard took to commit suicide. It was a terrible, terrible way to die.)

Good thing we have the EPA, guys. Seriously.

I plan to have my rose book done by the end of the month, which means it should be out in December — just in time for Christmas!

In the meantime, I’m still selling that vegetable gardening book of mine. It’ll be nice to add part two to the series … and then it’s on to part three, Annuals and Perennials!

Rose book best cover