By Carol Wong, President
Between showers I hope you had a chance to go outside, take deep breaths of fresh air, and ponder how you want your roses and garden to look in 2017. The delicious meals of 2016 are a memory. The bronze medal of the Peninsula Rose Society was presented to Priya Kamath for outstanding service, the Helper Award was given to Andrew Ferguson, and the Master Rosarian pin was presented to Marie Hubbell by NCNH. They are an inspiration to us all. Barry Johnson’s dedication to the Society as Historian reminded us of our 61-year history and depicted the past year’s programs and speakers.
Now we check: tetanus shots up to date? Tools sharpened and oiled? Long leather gloves, by-pass pruners, long-handled loppers, collapsible saw, and hand rake ready in a bucket? We are ready to bend using our knees, stretch and lift loads of pruned cuttings into the green waste containers—-all exercises which aid flexibility and strength. We prune long canes down 1/2 or 1/3rd to an outside bud, remove crossing and weak branches, and leave 6 or so canes for average bushes. Climbers and minis require different criteria. This is our pruning season.
If you would prepare some gallon pots with damp compost and save some cuttings of some of your roses no longer under patent, we could have a cutting exchange among ourselves next summer! Dab some root hormone on strong canes with several nodes for root growth, use a sharpened pencil to make a channel for each cutting, and put 2- 3 of the same variety in a compost-filled pot. Keep moist and in partial shade. I am planning to try to propagate some of my old rose varieties which are long past patent protection. Perhaps some of you would like to start some of these roses. Their fragrance is wonderful!
We would appreciate some volunteers in January to help our Consulting Rosarians demonstrate pruning techniques at local nurseries. We will announce dates and times in January. Jerry Georgette would appreciate your help pruning at the Palo Alto Veterans Hospital rose garden on Saturdays in January especially Jan. 21 from 9 a.m. to about 1 p.m. You may share your expertise and tools with a veteran or use your pruners on many bush, climber, or mini roses. It is our way of giving back to our communities.