By Pat Naughton
The Brunswick County Botanical Gardens are located adjacent to the County Extension office in the Bolivia Government Center. The rose garden has approximately 50 different varieties. Some of the types of roses that will catch your eye include, hybrid teas, floribundas, grandifloras, shrubs, miniatures, polyanthas, climbers, species roses, and china roses. One of the more unique rose plant is Noisette Rose. This is the only classification of rose to originate in the United States in Charleston SC in the early 1800s.
The garden originally was started as a Crepe Myrtle walk. About 5 years ago, under the leadership of Ellie Bierman, the garden began to transform to a rose garden. Anne Coleman is the current curator of the garden. Anne has no specific favorites in the garden. “Just like our children I love them all, just some more at times than other”, said Anne. Like a proud mother Anne likes to boast about her children. The first to bloom in the garden is Lady Banks which are on an arbor. Later in the season Francis Meilland will show large pale blooms. There is more to roses than beautiful blooms. For a wonderful sweet fragrance Anne likes Paul Shirville. Next to the garden is the entrance to the VA building. Anne’s team planted Veterans’ Honor to greet the veterans. It has performed beautifully in its first year, producing large striking red blooms all summer long.
Here are a few of Anne’s tips for roses. If you are new to rose gardening, start with a Drift Rose. They were developed by crossing groundcover roses with miniatures and have been bred for diseases resistance. Some of the new varieties of Knock-Outs have in-bred disease resistance. Select a sunny location that has at least 6 to 8 hours per day. There are many rose fertilizer products available. Some combine a pesticide and fungicide as well. Follow the label instructions for application rate and when to apply. This year the Rose Garden team will be trying out a timed-release fertilizer, that boasts a single application in the spring. To help control Black Spot prune in early Spring to improve air circulation. Morning watering by way of drip irrigation is best. Watering late in the day with a hose wand can encourage disease if the leaves do not have an opportunity to dry before sunset. A regular spray fungicide schedule can usually keep black spot at bay. Japanese Beetles are a common pest for roses. If they are not too prevalent, they can be picked and destroyed.
An easy way to enjoy roses is to view and sniff roses grown by someone else. The Brunswick County Botanical Gardens are free and always open. Stop by for a visit. The roses will love it if you do.
For more information on growing roses, download the leaflet Roses for North Carolina https://content.ces.ncsu.edu/roses-for-north-carolina.