Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Antique Roses Have a Lot Going for Them

Newspaper article Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)

Antique Roses Have a Lot Going for Them

Article excerpt

I can't believe I missed Valentine's Day, so I guess you'll just have to accept this bouquet a little late, with my apologies. But it's a fine bunch of flowers, even if your feelings were hurt that I didn't remember to present them in time for the big day.

What are they, you ask? Why, roses-are-red, of course.

Hmm. Wait a minute, that's not quite right. These look more like "roses are red and pink and white and yellow, and Radiant Orchid!"

And no, they're not long-stemmed red roses, with barely a thorn. Or a scent.

These don't need any pesticides or fungicides or coddling to look good in a garden.

They come from good hearty stock. You know, like that friend at work who never seems to get the cold that's going around? Or the neighbor that keeps telling you how she never gets the flu, while you're coughing and hacking and wanting to spend all day in bed?

Oops, sorry, what was I talking about?

Right. Roses. A whole beautiful bouquet, just for you!

Some are old, some are new, all are beautiful, and none are blue.

Oops, sorry again, slipped into the wrong special occasion there for a minute.

But it's true.

"Antique" roses are often tougher than their modern relatives. They have to be, to have stayed around for at least a couple hundred years.

Trouble is, many of those old-timers have been grafted onto the roots of young whippersnappers.

Grafting makes it a lot faster to grow a lot of roses from one parent bush, by attaching a stem of the desired rose to the roots of a commoner that grows like a weed.

Yet, it's the slow-growing roots of an antique variety that may help create that long-lived dependability.

So grafting is a tradeoff with antique roses: they're more affordable, but maybe not all they could be.

Modern roses can be wonderful, too. But you won't find any "Knockout" roses in this bouquet. …

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