NEW! Fall Rose Care Guide!

Brass Band

Please enjoy our new guide, Rose Care for the Fall Bloom Cycle, authored by Marylou Coffman and LeRoy Brady.

You’ll find our new October Rose Lore newsletter on our Newsletter page.

Rose Auction! More Roses Added!

Get comfy, grab a pen and paper and visit our 2017 Rose Auction Page for a freshly updated Rose List and Auction Catalogue! Many, Many thanks to our rose donors, listed below.

This is going to be great. Saturday, February 11 – we’re looking forward to seeing you there!

Rose Auction Info: Here it is!

JUST ADDED : A webpage for our upcoming Rose Auction. Click here to go to our Auction Page, where you’ll find event info, a list of auction roses, and an Auction Catalogue with photos and info for each auction rose. Do check back, as the list and catalogue will be updated frequently!

Here’s a page from the catalogue, featuring a fabulous rose, Bolero.

Do it Yourself Fruit Tree or Rose Bush!

Would you like a rose bush with different roses or a fruit tree with different kinds of fruit? Come and make one for yourself!

Rose Auction 2017

Come have some fun and bring home some fantastic roses!Rose Auction Feb 11 2017

Milorganite & SedgeHammer

We want to apply Sedgehammer to the church garden. But also Milorganite. Does it matter in what order we do this?

I would apply the Milorganite first as it is a slow release fertilizer.

Yes, it will feed the nut-grass but I see that as a plus, because for SedgeHammer (a selective herbicide for nut grass) to work the nut-grass needs to be actively growing and the Milorganite will do this.


Steve Sheard
ARS Master Rosarian
Mesa East Valley Rose Society

Rose Hips in the Desert


Will rose hips ripen here in the valley? (I live in the Gilbert area.) I have several roses about 2-4 years old. Last year a couple had rose hips in late spring/early summer, but they never ripened. They just withered and dropped off.

This year, I have two small bushes covered in the hips and am wondering if they will ripen. I am not sure if the young age is the reason for the dropped “fruit” or if our summers are too hot.

The short answer is YES, roses will form hips here in Arizona. Some roses are better at falling pregnant and being mothers than others.

When the breeders are trying to cross roses to try and obtain the good traits of rose A and combine them with the good traits of rose B, they watch to see which one hold the hips better. It becomes the female.

Breeders are working on roses that will NOT hold hips so that the gardener does not have to “dead head”.

We have rose lovers in both Phoenix and Tucson trying to breed the next best rose, as well as the main rose growers west of the valley.

Some roses self pollinate very easily and always form hips. 4th of July and Altisimo in my garden do this with no trouble at all.

To help your roses form hips try taking a small paint brush when the bloom is fresh. Collect the pollen from the stamens and brush it onto the top of the pistil. (See picture at top of post.)


Steve Sheard
ARS Master Rosarian
Mesa East Valley Rose Society

The Fragrance of Roses

Veterans' Honor

Veterans’ Honor

Can you tell me why florist roses have absolutely no fragrance? Why is it that roses can be hybridized to have longer stems and longer vase life, but in the process, the fragrance is not there? Thank you.

Fragrant Roses – only if we could have everything perfect. Rose growers are always trying for more, taking the strongest feature A (Long Stems) of one and mixing it with the strongest feature B (Shelf Life) of another hoping to get both perfect A & B in the offspring.

Now that we have both A & B can we add C (Fragrance)?  They are trying. As you pointed out the store bought roses have long stems and good shelf life and are poor with regards to fragrance. In time I am sure we will get a fragrant store bought rose.

When a rose grower mixes A & B they will get maybe 1000 seedlings, every one different. Of these they may keep 2. So as you can imagine it is a long and arduous process, not knowing when the perfect rose will appear.

Fragrance come from the purple gene, so it is VERY hard to develop a fragrant white rose. But John Paul II is white and fragrant.

Steve Sheard

Master Rosarian

Note from Webmaster: I included a photo of Veteran’s Honor at the top of this post. You can easily grow it in your garden. It lasts a long time in a vase. You can cut long stems if you like, but I choose not to. It has a lovely, light, raspberry fragrance.

Below is a great English Rose, Abraham Darby. The bush is glorious in your garden and has a wonderful citrus fragrance, though it doesn’t last a long time in a vase. Mine is wrapped around a cast iron rose tower. Put a pot of mint beside it and sit there to read the morning paper!

Abraham Darby

Abraham Darby

Compost! For Sale in The Garden This Saturday!

Bagging Compost at Rose garden at MCCSaturday, February 28st  come to the Rose Garden at MCC and buy bags of Ken Singh’s compost. Read about Ken Singh and his compost here.

Volunteers spread it in the Rose Garden at warp speed and it quickly disappears. The bags for sale are $5. You can see in the picture above the bags are large. These great guys filled the bags for us last year. Come 8:00am until 12 noon. However, I’d go early, as we have been known to run out.

There are knowledgeable folks there to help determine how much you need. It should be spread around your roses 3 – 5 inches deep. We put the seats down in our Subaru, spread an old shower curtain in the back and drove 15 bags home. If you have a truck you could also go to Ken Singh’s farm and pick it up yourself.

Ken Singh donates this wonderful stuff and the money goes to benefit the Rose Garden at MCC. So when you buy a bag you’re doing something nice for your own garden and something nice for the Rose Garden at MCC as well.

I’ve found wonderful things happen in my garden with this compost. It holds moisture in in the summer months. It breaks down and greatly increases the quality of my soil. I have no weeds. It looks nice. All good. It makes a huge difference growing roses here in the desert. Here’s a picture up close:


Happy Valentine’s Day!

Black Magic and Moondance

Black Magic and Moondance

Happy Valentines’s Day! Here’s wishing you and your roses a great year of blooms!