The rose is one of the most recognized flowers in the world. The headquarters for the American Rose Society is located in Shreveport, Louisiana.
“The American Rose Society is the largest rose society in the world, right here in Shreveport,” said John Corkern, Executive Director, American Rose Center. “It is over 127 years old now. It started in Pennsylvania and moved to Ohio but it moved here in the early 1970s.”
The American Rose Center is a 118-acre park full of trails, fountains, a reflection pool and a variety of gardens. The focus is not only on appreciation, but also education.
“We have Green Thumbs every quarter here at the American Rose Society. We want to teach people how to grow roses… grow other plants.”
Those green thumb classes are important because while roses are one of the most beautiful flowers, they can be challenging to grow. Connie Reeve, who’s an expert rose gardener, shares tips for beginners.
“We’re probably all familiar with the Knock Out roses which you see around city landscapes as well as homeowners and those are easy care roses,” said Reeve. “Breeders are developing roses that are disease resistant and easy care roses.”
One major disease is black spot.
“During this time of year with the humidity and the moisture it’s more prevalent on the roses and you have to use a fungicide,” said Reeve. “You can get this at your local garden centers… your box stores.”
She says you have to spray every two weeks or the plant will lose its leaves. Roses have their best blooms in spring and fall. During the summer, it’s important to deadhead, which is removing the spent blooms. Reeve says to cut near the five leaf groupings.
If all of this sounds like too much work, and you decide not to grow roses yourself, you can always enjoy them at the American Rose Center.
“It is a rose garden but it is also a woodlands garden,” said Corkern. “We want families. We want school groups to come out here and relax and look for a place of respite.”
Click here for more information on the American Rose Center.