The fun garden club has gone back to lunch meetings. The no lunch situation just began in September and it was not popular. Wow, what a difference, we could hardly fit everyone in our host home. I was on the lunch committee today so I was very busy being a hostess. Many people came out of the woodwork when they heard "lunch." It was at a beautiful home build in the late 1880's, lots of remodeling, but retaining the original character of the home.
The driveway and the patio brick was from a past era, and the gardens looked true to the original time period of the home. Our lunch was a wonderful salad of tortellini on a bed of lettuce with bread sticks and salami gorgonzola biscuits with chive butter. The deserts were yummy, carmel brownies and homemade chocolate chip cookies.
This was a very active crowd who could barely stop talking to hear the presenter. It is amazing what food will do! Our speaker was a Botany major in school and has a business as a garden designer and coach. She spoke on roses, their requirements, culture, pruning and her favorites for our area. She demonstrated pruning techniques on a real rose bush and answered questions on fertilizing, coffee grounds (not a proponent of using coffee grounds) and protection for the winter (mulch - not rose cones). She recommended compost as a first course when planting and then the Bayer Systemic throughout the season until August.
I am showing some of her recommendations for our (zone 5) area, but I am sure many will do well in several zones. There were many more listed, but I just picked out one in each category. I have had problems with the original cherry colored Knockout, but I agree with our speaker that it is still the most desirable. The doubles grow smaller and do not have the same spreading habit as the original. I would say the Rainbow Knockout, even though the flowers are smaller, has a similar spreading growth habit to the original Knockout.