April Meeting




DATE:            Thursday, April 24, 2008


                        NEW MEETING PLACE:

LOCATION:   Taltree Arboretum & Gardens

                        450 West, 100 North

                        Valparaiso, IN


PROGRAM:   “Growing Roses in Pots” by Andy               Plasz


TIME:              7:30 PM

                        Meeting & program, followed by                         refreshments




2008 Officers



Adolph Ferber




1st Vice President

Dale Fadley



2nd Vice President



Show Chairman

Karl Bapst






Doris Fadley





Lisa Mella





Yvonne Peterson






Calendar of Events



February 28       Presentation by Patty Stimmel, Taltree Arboretum


March 27           Pruning Seminar – Karl Bapst hopes to have roses for everyone to practice on.  Bring your own pruners


April 24            “Growing Roses in Pots” by Andy            Plasz


May 29             tba


June 26             tba


July 31              tba


August 28         Annual Picnic – date tentative


September 25   DRS members’ “Small Rose Show”


October 30        tba


November 27    Annual Potluck Dinner




Consulting Rosarians

Have questions about growing roses?  Consult an expert.


Karl Bapst, MR




Adolph Ferber, CR




Clarence Albers,

Emeritus Consulting Rosarian


Norm Backus,

Emeritus Consulting Rosarian


Agnes Medvecz,

Emeritus Consulting Rosarian







Letter From the Prez

by Adolph Ferber


Howdy Y’all from the

Lone Star State


Howdy, folks!  I’m writing this message while on vacation at my daughter’s in League City, Texas.  Now, you’re probably asking, “Where the heck is League City?”  It’s approximately 25 miles from the Gulf of Mexico, located between Houston and Galveston.  The temperature has been in the 70’s, sunny but windy.  This is the nicest part of the year down here, as it tends to get quite warm and humid during the summer months.  It does snow for about 10 minutes once every four years, which is my kind of weather.  This is not a bad place to “recharge your batteries”, avoiding the cold, icy winters in Chicagoland.


The Houston / Galveston area is about a month or so ahead of us in the growing season.  There are plenty of azaleas, hibiscus, cyclamens, bluebonnets in bloom, but to my dismay, no roses.  I did see a lot of lush foliage and buds developing in neighbors’ yards and in surrounding parks.  However, there were plenty of potted roses in bloom at the garden centers.  Roses, in general, were about $1-$2 cheaper per bush than back home.  So much for checking out all the roses, therefore I decided to explore some of the surrounding sites and attractions.  What I saw could be a forerunner of things to come in our bailiwick.


1.  I saw my first zonkey* today at the Bayou Wildlife Park situated on the outskirts of League City.  The Bayou is approximately 85 acres and houses exotic animals like camels, emus, rhinos, etc.  There used to be two zonkeys but one died.  This animal is unusual and worth a visit if you’re in the neighborhood.  However, I would not drive from Munster to Texas just to see a zonkey.

2.  At the supermarket, I saw a novel approach to adding additional color to a vase of flowers.  Of course, this does not include roses.  Instead of buying more flowers, use fruits like apples (red), lemons (yellow) to spruce up an arrangement.  Cut the fruit in half, skin intact and let sink about halfway down the vase.  The display will catch your eye.

3.  The water table in this part of Texas is high and there is plenty of standing water everywhere.  I went on a field trip with my granddaughter, who is a Daisy Girl Scout, in search of animal tracks.  We came across numerous crawfish holes.  I’ve been told crawfish habitat varies throughout the US, but down here they burrow holes into the soggy earth and tunnel down.  They are fairly easy to catch.  Tie a piece of bacon to a string and entice them to come up to the surface.  They are tasty when boiled, especially with onions, potatoes, and other veggies.

4.  I don’t know if this business is going to make it, but I saw a combination car wash / grill.  In other words, you can grab a bite to eat while you wait and watch your car being washed.  Will it catch on up North?  I don’t know…

5.  I did like this combination, though: I ordered a Caesar Salad for an appetizer.  It not only had the regular fixings, but slices of strawberries and apple wedges as well.  It was very refreshing and delicious.


* Oh, by the way, a “zonkey” is a cross between a zebra and a donkey – body of a donkey with striped legs.  If I come across other unusual items, I will mention them at our next meeting.


Kudos to Sauk Trail Rose Society for hosting the upcoming Fall District Rose Show in September.  Taking on this responsibility is praiseworthy, considering the short, short window. 



See you at the next meeting!





Karl’s Korner

by Karl Bapst


We finally had a nice day to prune at Taltree. Adolph, Maria, Dale, Doris, Patty, Sue, a Taltree volunteer, and I showed up at 4:00 on the 15th. It was a sunny day and the temps were comfortable. Everybody chipped in and we were done by 5:30. Last year, the roses were just lightly pruned and Patty did not get the look she wanted. The Taltree rose garden is supposed to be a formal rose garden which means the bushes need to be hard pruned to control their height and overall size. They then need to be kept tidy throughout the season to maintain that formal look.


A cursory inspection of the bushes showed many were not planted properly. Some are too close together and not planted deep enough. These were pointed out to Patty and helpful tips were given so the roses will have the look they want.


Someone donated 20 hybrid teas. Right now they are potted and growing in a hoop house. They would like to get them planted sometime in mid- May after the danger of frost is past. I’ve told them I’d be available to help, when they pick a day, to make sure the roses are planted properly.

Remember, we pay nothing for our meeting room and as a bonus they have coffee ready for us which is another savings, so we should help with the rose garden when we can. Most often that help will be in the form of consultation and advice but they don’t care if we want to get our hands dirty.  When they plant I think they’ll have volunteers on hand to do the grunt work.


Hey, did any of you feel the earthquake Friday morning at 4:30? It woke me up. My bed was rocking a little and the glassware on my book shelves was rattling. I listened to make sure it wasn’t a heavy truck on the nearby county road but all was quiet.  When I got up I asked Nancy if she felt an earthquake and she told me it was all over the news. Glad I don’t live in California as that’s about all the earth-moving I can handle.


I know many of you are sick of the cool weather we’ve had this spring. We’re finally getting some temperatures that are closer to the seasonal averages. This is the latest I’ve pruned in many years.  Most of my roses just were not ready to be pruned. The cool temperatures kept them dormant and even now I have trouble finding a swollen bud on many bushes. These warm days plus the rain we’ve had will bring out the leaves in a hurry.


I’m about 75% done pruning.  Everything looks like it’s survived although I’ve had to do some severe pruning on a few bushes.  With all my hardy shrubs, I’m not cutting back as far as I have in the past. The hybrid rugosas and Canadian roses are mostly green so I’m only pruning dead tips and damaged, dead, and crossing canes. I want to see if I can get some size to these roses.


Frankly, I like a spring when the plants are in no hurry to grow. My forsythia is just now blooming. Last year it was bloomed out by the end of March.

My grass was brown until April 5th. It seemed to green up overnight.  I had to cut it this week to even it out.


Two years ago I planted a few “hardy” climbers from Great Lakes Roses. Last year the late freeze caused a lot of die back but this year many are looking good. Perhaps I’ve found a few that will end up actually being climbers and not just tall hybrid teas. Those with lots of surviving cane are Dublin Bay, Leverkusen, City of York, Ramblin’ Red, Quadra, Berlin, New Dawn, Coral Dawn, and Darlow’s Enigma.


Other hardy roses to consider, and although they are not classified as climbers they act like they one, are John Davis, Gen Jacqueminot, and Lousie Odier. Autumn Sunset and Fourth of July experience some dieback but don’t start the season from ground level. My four have four feet long green canes. None of the above had any winter protection except the leaves that blew onto the base.


I’m really happy with the hybrid rugosas. They all looked like dead sticks, then began to show tiny green buds. Mine range from 3 to 5 feet tall which is their mature size.  If you want a hardy tree rose, Polar Joy from Bailey’s is the one. Mine is planted in a large tree pot and is green to the tips. It’s advertised to be hardy to minus 30 and some cold climate growers are reporting that it’s true.


Ever the optimist, I’ve not completely given up on hybrid teas. I have six hybrid teas that I’m planting this year plus a few floribundas. Of the 38 varieties of hardy shrubs I picked up, 20 are not in my garden. So, naturally I have to set aside one of each for myself. I’ll be scoping out the roses at the various nurseries, Lowes, Home Depot, and garden centers as the days pass and possibly pick up a few more.

Unlike the old days, I’ve become very selective. It’s easier to walk past roses that I’d otherwise put in the shopping cart. I prefer growing potted roses but will pick up a boxed rose if it’s one I want.


When you take inventory of all the work you have in your garden, don’t get worn out by the list. Take one chore at a time and finish it. You’ll be surprised how soon that list gets done. Just stick to it and one day you’ll find yourself sitting on your porch admiring your roses with nothing to do.


Take advantage of these pleasant spring days to prune and clean the winter mess from the beds. If you choose to spray a fungicide to prevent black spot, start spraying as soon as leaves appear. Get in a habit and spray regularly for the best results. May the year bring rain when needed and only at night so our days aren’t messed up.


Think Spring!

Remember to

And don’t sweat the small stuff.

Real Men Grow Roses


Refreshments – 2008



March               Adolph Ferber, Lisa Mella

April                 Yvonne Peterson, Patty Stimmel

May                  Barb Rohr & ??

June                 Rose show – no meeting

July                  ??

August              No meeting if picnic

September        Agnes Medvecz, Kitty Vargas

October            ??

November         Annual Dinner – Potluck