Registration deadline Monday for rose symposium
October 08, 2009

by Mary Janak,
Victoria County Master Gardener

edited by Charla Borchers Leon,
Victoria County Master Gardener
Registration Deadline Extended

Check for $65 payable to;
Victoria County Master Gardener Association

Accepted if postmarked on Oct. 9 and mailed to:
P.O. Box 1723
Victoria Texas 77902

or hand delivered by noon on Monday, Oct. 12
to Victoria County AgriLife Extension Office, 442 Foster Field Drive (Victoria County Regional Airport)
Victoria County Master Gardener, Jerome Janak, chairman of the Earth-Kind Rose Research Study Garden at Victoria Educational Gardens, conducts a monthly evaluation of each of the rose bushes growing in the garden.
Carefree Celebration Rose (INFO) Home Run Rose (INFO)
Freckles Rose (INFO)
Carefree Celebration, Freckles, and Home Run have been revealed as some of the newest experimental roses that will be given out to participants at the Earth-Kind Rose Symposium on Saturday, Oct. 17.

the symposium will be at the Victoria County 4-H Activity Center, 259 Bachelor Drive, located across the street from the Victoria Regional Airport control tower. The Victoria County Master Gardener Association and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service-Victoria County, coordinators of the full day event, have be given an extended deadline for ordering these roses and making it possible to extend the final symposium registration date to noon Monday.

How to Register

Registration must be prepaid and forms are available at, by visiting the Victoria County Extension office, 442 Foster Field Drive, at Victoria Regional Airport, or one of the sponsoring nurseries which include Renken's Nursery, EarthWorks, Northside Farm and Ranch Pet and Garden Center, Wal-Mart SuperCenter, and Texas Backyard at H-E-B Plus.

Participation is expected from near and far. So far participants registered from Brownsville, Cibolo and Katy.

Exceptional Opportunity

It's a real credit to the local Master Gardener program and Victoria County Extension to have been included as one of the sites for an Earth-Kind Rose Symposium given by Steven W. George and his team of rose and gardening experts.

Dr. Steven W. George - George, creator and national coordinator for the Earth-Kind Environmental Landscape Management Program, conducts Earth-Kind Rose Symposiums at sites across the state, across the nation, and even internationally. He has served as a landscape horticulture specialist for the Texas AgriLife Extension since 1988 and is headquartered at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Dallas. George will provide an "Earth-Kind Overview" and discuss "The Ever-Expanding Horizons for Earth-Kind."

Gaye Hammond - Featured speaker Gaye Hammond is a consulting rosarian, an international lecturer and writer and past president of the Houston Rose Society, the largest local rose society in the United States with well over 2,000 members. She oversees the creation and maintenance of three Earth-Kind trial sites in Texas and is involved in Earth-Kind projects at the American Rose Society Headquarters in Shreveport, La. Hammond's topics will include a discussion on "Earth-Kind Roses: The Ultimate In Beautiful, Low-Maintenance Roses" and "Introducing Children to the Joy of Growing Roses."

Agents Steve Chaney and Shari Koch - Texas AgriLife Extension Horticulture Agents Steve Chaney of Fort Worth and Shari Koch of Rosenberg round out the team.

Chaney's morning address will be on "Improving Existing Soils Through Earth-Kind Environmental Soil Management." During the four concurrent break-out sessions scheduled for the afternoon, he will demonstrate "Earth-Kind Bed Preparation," while Koch will highlight "Companion Plants for Earth-Kind Roses."

In addition to learning from these notable speakers, each participant at the symposium will receive a two-gallon size rose bush of one of the three varieties mentioned above as part of registration. The fee also includes an Earth-Kind Handbook, a box lunch, morning and afternoon snacks, a tour of VCMGA's Rose Research Study Garden and the award-winning Victoria Educational Gardens.

There will also be opportunity to purchase additional bushes at a reasonable price and shop the nursery displays of some of the sponsoring businesses.

Fall Perfect Time to Plant Roses

While roses are often not available for planting until spring, fall is the perfect time for planting roses and most other perennials in South Texas, since our mild winters and long growing season give them time to become established before having to face the ruthless heat of our summers.

Each of the three rose varieties to be given out are own-root, repeat-blooming, hardy shrub roses ranging from 3 to 4 feet in height and width.

Carefree Celebration is a recently introduced variety with rich orange-colored blossoms.

Freckles is a double, pink-blend rose introduced in 1976 by the renowned Griffith Buck.

Home Run is a deep-green, bushy, rounded shrub rose with singe, deep red blossoms with sunny yellow centers and a slight apple scent.

In addition to the above mentioned roses, a limited number of Carefree Beauty and Climbing Pinkie rose bushes will be available for purchase on a first come/first serve basis. Both have already triumphed over the rigorous testing that the Earth-Kind rose program requires and have received the coveted Earth-Kind Rose designation.

Carefree Beauty's stellar performance resulted in its being named the control rose by which all other trial roses are now judged.

After attending this symposium you will be able to create a beautiful landscape with a variety of Earth-Kind roses and other hardy plants, decrease supplemental watering by up to 70 percent, minimize use of pesticides significantly, and grow beautiful landscape plants with abundant blooms in a variety of soil types by utilizing Earth-Kind gardening techniques. So send in your reservation today and learn how to garden the Earth-Kind way.

Remember - registration must be postmarked by Oct. 9, or hand delivered to the Victoria County Extension office by noon on Monday, which is Columbus Day and mail will not be delivered that day. If you are even slightly interested in roses, this is an opportunity you do not want to miss.
Gaye Hammond
Dr. Steven W. George
Time Line and Credits
begins at 8:00 a.m.; Symposium adjourns at 5:30 p.m.,
(after rose bush distribution)

Full Agenda Credits
6 hours - Texas Master Gardener Continuing Education

3 hours - Texas Department of Agriculture pesticide license holders
(2 IPM and 1 General)
The Gardeners' Dirt is written by members of the Victoria County Master Gardener Association, an educational outreach of Texas AgriLife Extension - Victoria County. Mail your questions in care of the Advocate, P.O. Box 1518, Victoria, TX 77901; or, or comment on this column at