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I learned that if you want to start a rose you don't do it from a seed. Everything that I have read about starting from seeds pertains to making a new rose breed.

I've never tried growing comercial roses from seed, but I've started several wild rose species and the ones from lowland areas (the ones around here anyway) seem to start without any treatment after a 2-3 of weeks.

That's all I've ever done and it's worked for the ones I've grown.

And it is so much easier.

I place twigs of wild roses into the ground to learn, but I'm certainly not an expert.

Also, forgive me if you know all this aready.

So pretty

There are two parts of a rose, the base root and the graft.

The base is from a plant that is resilient, and has a powerful root system. Wild roses are just that. If you wish to create your own roses, you'd grow some wild roses first. Growing wild roses from a variety of methods should be easy, they grow like weed and are fairly resilient. Use seeds or clone them.

The graft is the noble rose. They are not usually very resilient and nobody cares to grow noble roses with a strong roots, so a noble rose with its own root would be a feeble creature indeed. Instead you grow noble roses by grafting. From a rose you like (smell, look, built) you cut a twig and place into the root system of a cut-off wild rose.

This is grafting.

Afterwards, you keep the root system of the original wild rose in the earth, only letting the nobel rose protude.

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To get rid of the fruit flies fill a bottle with apple cider vinegar and put a paper funnel into the top of the bottle and leave it by the plants. The flies should enter the bottle and drown in the apple cider vinegar which will help get rid of them quickly.

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The Don Juan Among Roses

Don Juan is a magnificent rose! And it loves to climb, that means that it will be thrilled to have a nice trellis to climb. It won't like being cut back too much, but if you have to do so for size restrictions, do it in late fall or early spring. If you want to prune the long canes you can, just make sure to prune to a node!

Starting Them

IDon Jaun roses

You can actually grow them inside all winter, provided you have a sunny window for them.

When you plant them outside, usually in a larger pot I would use a natural mulch because it can really help act as a natural barrier. You should be able to find good mulch at any garden centre. And When I say natural I mean a real one, not those synthetic coloured ones that you see around.

As a rose grower, I feel the need to warn you that overwintering them in pots is a risky game.

A snowy winter or a warm and wet winter will all be fine. The cold and dry winter that we get sometimes is what will likely kill a potted rose.

If you have somewhere you can put it to shelter it, like a garage, it will stand a better chance.

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A really easy and surprisingly good soup I made yesterday is a french potato soup called 'Potage Parmentier'.

A friend of mine emailed me the recipe and I just had to give it a try. Plus it was really simple, cheap and looked delicious!


  • 1kg potatoes
  • 800g leeks
  • 1,5l vegetable stock
  • 4 slices of toast
  • 2-4 tsp butter
  • fresh chives
  • 200g cream

First, peel the potatoes and cut into cubes of around 2cm.

Wash the leek and cut the white and light-green parts into small pieces.

Put potatoes, leeks and the vegetable stock into a big pot, boil and let it simmer for around 45minutes.

Cut the toast into smallish pieces and roast them in better - in other words make croutons. Then cut the chives into small roles.

When cooked, blend the soup, mix in the creme fraiche and heat up again.

To serve just put it into bowls and at the end add the croutons and the chives. Might have to salt a bit more before if needed.

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I have talked about it before but I thought that I would share my enchilada soup recipe with the colder months here.

Brown meat with onion and garlic.

Add cumin and chili powder, cook a few minutes. Add tomatoes and green chilies, bring to simmer. Add chicken broth and heavy cream. Bring to near boil, cut cream cheese into manageable blocks.

Add cream cheese. Cook until cream cheese is melted.

  • 1 pound hamburger meat
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 3 teaspoons garlic
  • 2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 can tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 can chicken broth
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 1 package (8oz) cream cheese

Sometimes I will leave the onions out. This brings it down to 37.8 carbs for the whole recipe and 6.3 carbs per serving. This recipe reheats really well, and I also like to add avocado, cheese, sour cream or all of the above.

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Some older heirloom roses, like old-fashioned June-blooming ramblers, are reputed to be more tolerant of shade than modern flower-heavy hybrids.

Roses with white or pale flowers are supposed to need less sun than deep red colors.

But that doesn't mean that they are ideal. And no matter what you choose they will need sun.

I'd actually probably try a Dr. Huey there.

That's the rootstock that a lot of grafted roses revert to after heavy winterkill? It's all over my end of town as a nearly unkillable rose, always right next to the front porch.

I rescued one of them from the house next door when the old lady went into a nursing home. The new neighbors thought that they had dug it up and killed it, it actually took them about 10 years before it quit sending up suckers periodically.

The Climbers

One of the most popular types of rose are the climbers. And yet they might not be right for your area or your skill level.

Climbing varieties aren't impossible to grow but they can be a challenge. Climbers bloom on old wood, and that's what gets damaged in winter, so you lose height and blossoms in tough winter areas.

The soil is another thing to consider.

Honestly, I won't make any specific suggestions since amendments to the soil can be very tricky. For amendments, the only way to get a sure answer is to do a soil test and work from that.

But nutrients are a big part of the reason people do not get good results from their rose garden.

Prepare your bed by digging in a LOT of manure or compost. Roses are heavy feeders, like a soft bed, and require lots of water to be at their best - compost or manure will help with all of that. They also help buffer ph, so you don't need to worry what your mulch might be doing.

The Don

Find Your Zone

Do you know what zone you are in? If you don't, a local authority can tell you, try calling the DNR or extension office in your area.

I have been told the best way to safe guard against winter is to choose a climber, "One zone colder." Unless you bury the canes in the fall, depending on the variety you can expect a certain amount of winter kill.


I will say it again. Sun. Sun, sun, sun. Roses love the sun. Your desired location for the roses and the actual place where you plant them might differ. For example, between two lots.

Does it get enough sun?

Not if it is like the bottom of an urban canyon.

If it only gets a few hours of midday sun when the sun is directly overhead, that may not end well. It's not just a question of photosynthesis, it's also a question of overall dampness vs. dryness and diseases, as roses do better if they're in a sunny, warm, well-ventilated location.


Dead Heading

Dead heading is where you cut off the flowers so that the plant doesn't keep putting energy into the flower and instead focuses on foliage growth, which then gives it more energy to make more flowers.

I dead headed the rose the first season after planting, basically never letting buds develop. This season it's non-stop bloomed since March.

For dead heading, just cut from the bud to the first leaf.

Some people just use their fingers to snap the stalk, if it's an old flower. I prefer to cut with a sharp gardening knife. Here is something you could read for more about dead-heading.