The idea of blogging is new to me and setting up a blog daunting. This new electronic media presents challenges but on the other hand creating a place where others who share my interests and the love of roses can come together and exchange ideas is an exciting one.
The idea of the Great Rosarians of the World Annual Lecture originated in 2000 as a way to bring together the men and women who have made substantial contributions to our understanding and love of the rose and to provide these outstanding rosarians a venue to share their work with a wider audience. Beginning in 2001 and continuing through this year we have recognized a grand total of ten Great Rosarians. And now with the expansion of the series to the East coast and our partnership with the Manhattan Rose Society and the New York Metropolitan Rose Counsel we have a truly national reach.
My hope for this blog is not just to continue the discussion of the Great Rosarians program but to expand its outreach and create a community of like-minded people to discuss issues and ideas to help promote rose growing around the world. Eventually, I hope to expand this blog to other writer/editors from other regions to make regular postings and share their experiences growing roses.
If I could distill a theme from the past eight Great Rosarians programs it would be “Roses are Easy” which confronts the standard wisdom that “roses are difficult.” Those of us who love and grow roses know in our hearts the truth: It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to grow healthy, fragrant, ever blooming roses with a minimum of effort. Today’s gardeners, with all the time constrants of job and family, have little time or patience with difficult plants that require heavy doses of chemicals to keep growing and survive the onslaughts of bugs and disease.
It took nearly two hundred years to select the rose as our national flower and less than thirty years to bring down the Queen of Flowers to a less than popular garden plant. Our world is changing all around us and if rose growing and the love of roses is to thrive we must find new ways to promote growing and our love of roses with a new generation of gardeners.