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Temecula Valley Rose Society

An Affiliate of the ARS

The Valley Rose

April 2008                 Vol. 19, No. 04

Jump to Community Outreach for April
Jump to ARS Feature Article: Soil Management
Jump to Frank Brines' Rose Care FUNdamentals
Jump to Calendar of Events

Co-President's Message

by Frank Brines

Temecula Valley Rose Society (TVRS) is a unique organization among the many American Rose Society (ARS) affiliated clubs, and folks around the ARS Southwest District are beginning to recognize that. One of the reasons is that TVRS places a high value on educating its membership. That's because our members–and that means you–are very important to the Society and to its future. The club functions because you take part.

TVRS provides many volunteer opportunities including contributing ideas, programs, and hospitality; acting as greeters, recorders, historians, and committee members; helping set up the Rose Festival room and helping take everything down; weeding, pruning, and spreading mulch at Rose Haven; and even just talking to friends, relatives, and acquaintances about the Society and Rose Haven. Volunteers derive a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, fulfilling their need to contribute to the community, and to give back to an organization that exists for all of us and for the common factor–the Rose–that brought us together.

And there is a terrific opportunity for you to contribute–and to express your creativity: It's the 14th Annual Temecula Valley Rose Festival to be held on May 3 and 4, in conjunction with the local Arts Council at the Temecula Community Recreation Center (TCRC) at 30785 Rancho Vista Road in Temecula. I would like each member to commit to enter at least four bloom specimens in the Horticulture Division. To learn what this involves, check the Rose Show Schedule on the website; if you do not have Internet access, contact a board member and request a printed copy. Some schedules will be available at the general membership meeting on April 17, along with entry tags and vases.

Many volunteers are needed for the Rose Show event. To find out more, contact the co-chairs of the show, Frank Brines and Rebecca Weersing.

Co-President's Message

by Kathy Katz

Once again, a million thanks for the great food and beverages from our hospitality committee. A generally raucous good time in the kitchen makes that work fun and rewarding. I hope all members will pop their heads in to lend a hand and get to know everyone.

Our longtime Board Member and Past President Bill Scheufler has resigned his position due to continued ill health. He was a leader of vision and commitment, and his presence is sorely missed. He believed in working for, and contributing to, those groups he believed in, and he made it clear that problems can be successfully tackled by a group using its strengths and the talents of its members. He was so much a force in getting Rose Haven and the grants and publicity to support it. I know we will never replace him, but I sure hope more people will be inspired to serve by his example.

I hope every one of us remembers to enter the show.

Lucky Star Wish List April 2008

by Frank Brines

Some of my wishes came true this past month, but not exactly as I'd expected. Be assured that 160 cubit yards of the finest composted mulch is now at Rose Haven thanks to a generous donation by Ed Camps of CR&R Waste Management. And it has been distributed into smaller piles near most of the gardens. Now I'm wishing for volunteers to help spread it around each rose bush…but more about that a little later!

One hundred and sixty cubic yards is a very big pile. I knew that our club would have to expend hundreds of hours of back-breaking labor to distribute it around Rose Haven. That's why I'd wished for a volunteer to donate a bobcat and an operator to do the work. Alas, the 'volunteer' part did not materialize, but after a several phone calls and referrals, a machine-rental company highly recommended an operator named Robert Brenier, and he agreed to meet with me and with Ed Campos's representative at Rose Haven on Tuesday April 1 to discuss the project.

I was amazed at how the two men were immediately on the same wavelength and able to discuss the details and logistics of the project from their expert perspectives. All the while I was wondering how much it was going to cost us! I had a ballpark figured based on estimates from other sources, so when Robert agreed to $500 and one day to complete, we sealed the deal with a handshake and agreed to begin work the next day at 9 a.m.

The work took almost 11 hours, but Robert and I worked closely together, and he carefully and patiently deposited the requested amount of mulch as near as possible to each garden. Thank you to every member who donated money to make this possible–we can all celebrate your generosity! All that remains is for my next wish to come true: Volunteers to spread the compost around each rose bush. The result will be a more vibrant, water-efficient Rose Haven that will knock everyone's socks off!

Robert also donated his labor to tear up about 80 square feet of asphalt and concrete from under the Xylosma tree next to the parking lot and replaced it with soil; we paid only the fee to have it hauled away. Robert has offered us additional volunteer services and has some ideas for future fundraising opportunities.

You can contribute to this terrific project–and have fun doing it–by attending a work "party" starting at 9 a.m. any Wednesday or Saturday. We need to get this completed in April so the roses can get the full benefit and Rose Haven can look her best as the first bloom cycle of the year bursts forth! Come on down!

Community Outreach

by Simonne Arnould

The Temecula Valley Garden Club will be presenting their annual Flower Show and Garden Fair Saturday, April 26th and Sunday, April 27th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

This year the theme is "Flower & Fabric Inspirations" featuring traditional and contemporary quilts made by local fabric artists to complement the hundreds of horticultural and floral design exhibits in the show.

The event is at the Temecula Community Recreation Center, 30875 Rancho Vista Road, Temecula 92592. As many of our Rose Society members also belong to the Garden Club, we hope to see many of you there.

Member Meeting Program

Date: Thursday, April 17
Time: 10:15 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Place: Temecula Library (30600 Pauba Road)
Topic: Frank Brines, Carolyn Buman and Mary Frank, Horticulture and Arrangement Judges, will be giving demonstrations and answering questions on "How to create an award winning rose arrangement" for the Temecula Valley Rose Festival on May 3rd & 4th.

A light buffet luncheon will be served around noon. Guests are welcome.

Birthdays This Month

by Florence Blacharski - Sunshine Committee
AnnaMae Ackerman
Simonne Arnould
MaryLou Blacharski
Virginia Boos
Ann Coakes
Nena Meza
Pat Torres
Rebecca Weersing

Membership News & New Members

by Bonnie Bell, Membership Chair
 The Rose Society Rosters are now available. Please pickup your copy at the monthly meeting, or contact me for other delivery at 951-676-6135. We hope everyone enjoys the new size and format, plus the additional information it now contains.

We are pleased to welcome as new members Pat Torres and John and Sung Flanagan.

Rose Haven Update

by Bonnie Bell

After all the terrific rain we received last winter, which was fabulous for all the plants in the garden, those pesky weeds reared up their ugly heads. As you can see by the photo, Ron, Betty, and Phyllis were busy at work trying to cut the darn things down. You can barely see the hillside roses hiding behind the weeds. Just a few days later we had a weed abatement contractor come and weed-whack the darn things, especially the pathways, so we could walk on them. He cut as close to the shrubs as he could, but there is still an enormous amount to be removed or sprayed.

And then the pond disaster. Evidentially the timer for the automatic water fill became stuck in the on position. Holy cow: We had quite a flood in the picnic area, and water running down Jedediah Smith Road. Thank goodness one of our members, Joe Polzin, was driving by and saved us by turning off the valve. Thanks Joe!! Can any of you recommend a pond watering device or system we can use to avoid any further flooding?

On a happy note, all the roses are leafing out perfectly and the perennials are starting to bloom. By late April the garden should be in full boom, just in time for the Rose & Art Festival weekend May 3rd and 4th. Also, the mulch arrived – a huge amount. Frank has a person with a Bobcat placing it all around the garden in small piles, so we sure could use help in spreading the stuff. The address is 30592 Jedediah Smith Road, Temecula. Wednesday and Saturday mornings are the member volunteer days. Hope to see you there.


Frangipani Winery Event a Big Success

by Wayne Blizzard

TVRS is exploring the option of having a winery do a "pouring" at the Last Rose of Summer fundraiser dinner held at Rose Haven. Part of the arduous research in making this decision was completed the evening of Friday April 5 when fourteen members of TVRS answered the call to gather at Frangipani Winery in the Temecula Wine Country. The event was the release of the winery's Late Harvest Zinfandel.

The profound nature of the research task notwithstanding, the event appeared to be a great success. TVRS members took the opportunity to become better acquainted with one another and to meet and chat with other patrons of the winery. We sampled a new champagne, a Riesling, and the Zinfandel. We also enjoyed dipping strawberries, marshmallows, biscotti, pretzels, and little squares of some kind of very tasty little cake into the chocolate fondue. A highlight of the evening was sampling a flourless chocolate cake with the almost-Port-like Zinfandel.

We hope for more events of this nature in the months to come. Watch for announcements by email and in the newsletter. We also ask that you recognize Don and Joanne Frangipani for their many past contributions to the club, including wines for our fundraising auctions. Please show your support by visiting them and be sure to let them know that you are a member of Rose Society. The winery is located at 39750 DePortala Road.

Our 2008 Rose & Arts Festival Signature Painting!

2008 rose showposter

ARS Feature Article: Soil Management
by Ronald G. Schwerdt
3019 N. Major Ave. | Chicago, IL
Are your roses growing as well as they can? There may be many reason why they are not performing as they should. Some problems have simple solutions, while others are a bit more complex. Many are physiological and not related to infectious diseases or plant pests. Most arise with the plant's environment, such as the soil. Too much or too little water, poor drainage, insufficient soil aeration, or a nutrient deficiency, etc. may be the cause. These are conditions that need to be identified and eliminated in order to grow healthy roses.

It is a well-known fact that insects and diseases thrive on stressed and unhealthy plants. Start with a biologically active soil rich in humus. Under proper conditions of moisture and soil temperature, most species of soil organisms in the process of decomposition produces substances such as antibiotics, enzymes and trace elements that provide optimal plant growth, also help fight off diseases, resulting in a natural immunity for the plants – before insects or diseases can get established.

Not all problems related to unhealthy plants are caused by environmental conditions. Some problems can be traced to various insects that inhabit the soil, such as nematodes, fungus, gnats, etc. They can feed on plants' roots and spread diseases showing symptoms similar to plant dehydration, and yet not be caused by a lack of moisture in the soil.

While rosarians will agree that water is of the utmost importance for growing roses, so is proper soil management. Part of this "management" is conserving soil moisture for as long as possible, by any and all means. The best method of conserving moisture is to incorporate organics regularly, like sphagnum peat moss or compost, to build up a live healthy soil. This results in improved soil aeration as well as improving the tithe (workability) of the soil. Opening up the soil for greater air infiltration makes for quicker decomposition of organic matter. This organic material feeds the soil's active microorganisms as it decomposes, thereby building the soil structure, ensuring a constant supply of nutrients and humus, which acts as a reservoir for storing soil moisture.

During hot, dry periods, with a breeze, the loss of moisture will be greatly increased. Having a limited root system and large top growth during these hot dry periods causes some plants to dry out quickly. Plants sometimes lose more moisture through the leaves, than the roots are able to absorb from the soil, causing a temporary wilting of foliage. Water, along with dissolved nutrients, are pulled upward by capillary action under tension. Moisture flows from the roots through the xylem tubes to leaves, where it evaporates into the atmosphere (leaf transpiration), producing a cooling effect in hot weather. As long as the capillary action remains unobstructed, the plants receive an adequate supply of water. Repottimg a plant in an incompatible soil may result in a break of continuity of gravity's pull of water by the roots.

Soil is the key to growing healthier roses. A garden soil is nothing more than a combination of rocks, worn down over the years by nature, into various-sized particles. These particles, from silt to coarser sand to very fine sand are combined with a various amounts of organic matter, such as peat moss, decayed leaves, etc.

There are basically 12 recognized types of soil structures that make up the physical structure of a soil, with the percentage of sand, silt and clay determining the class. These are light, medium, and heavy soils, depending on the degree of air infiltration, water and nutrients absorption. A basic formula is one third coarse sand, one third clay, and one third decomposed organic matter. When mixed together, these elements provide a soil mixture that is light and friable, doing what you want it to do. This is known as loam, and is what you should try to change your existing soil to, if need be.

A light soil is generally sandy. While providing excellent drainage and aeration, light soil also warms up quicker in spring; it is often on the acid side; and it lacks the ability to retain moisture or nutrients. To overcome these problems, a large amount of organic matter must be worked into this kind of soil.

The soil structures in many areas are clay or silty clay loam – a heavy soil. This makes it ideal to absorb and retain moisture and nutrients, but it suffers from poor drainage. To correct the drainage problem of a heavy soil (which you must do to get oxygen down into the root system), you must work in coarse sand (torpedo) and decomposed organic materials.

These facts stated, it becomes apparent that a medium-type soil structure is best – one which incorporates only the best features of clayey and sandy soils into one that is fertile, and well balanced. Any soil can be conditioned into one that will produce healthy roses by incorporating into it what the soil is lacking. Do not try to condition a soil that is too wet to work. All you will do is compact it, making it extremely difficult to condition afterwards.

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Fall is often the best time to condition the soil, as there is still sufficient time to incorporate anything required to improve the soil, letting it mellow over the winter months for next year's spring growth.

Soil aeration is necessary for soil's microorganisms to function properly. This is vital in the utilization of plant fertilizer as they feed on the organic matter as they condition the soil. Over a period of time this organic matter is depleted and needs to be replenished. The more chemical fertilizer used, the quicker this will happen. For this reason, it is a good practice to incorporating some organic matter into the soil every year. Without these organisms and enough organic matter for them to feed on, any fertilizer you give your plants will be of little value.

You should have a professional soil test made at least every four years, sooner if you have problems with the roses. During the growing season, check the soil's pH yourself. Soil testing kits and meters are available that are easy to use. Even though there are indications that the soil is lacking in a certain element, the element may be present in the soil, but because it is locked up by a too high or too low pH, it is unavailable to the plant. Adding fertilizer to a plant suffering poor growth is of little use unless a soil is first conditioned to a level where the plant can take up and utilize the available nutrients. The pH in a soil is commonly referred to as the acidity/alkalinity balance. On a scale of 0 to 14, 7 is neutral. Above 7 is alkaline, below 7 acidity. For roses, the pH range should be between 6.0 and 7.0, with 6.5 ideal.

Sulfur is usually used to lower the soil's pH, while dolomite lime is used to raise it. Dolomite lime is also a source of calcium and magnesium. The quantity to use to raise or lower the pH to the desirable range is on the box. Claims are made by many rosarians that Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) agricultural grade encourages basal breaks. There is a great percentage of sulfur (S) 12.9 percent in a 50# bag, and magnesium (Mg) 9.8 percent. If you already have a soil on the acidity side, adding sulfur will lower your pH further! Be wary of the ashes from some types of briquettes used for outdoor cooking. While many are a source of potash, some contain a high level of sulfur. This, when combined with water, forms sulfuric acid, which again lowers the pH of your soil.

Gypsum (calcium sulfate) does not change the soil's pH and has the ability to loosen up a heavy clay soil. Soils high in excessive amounts of sodium salts sustain damage to their structure. Having an alkaline condition can cause the plant leaves to burn. Adding gypsum provides calcium that replaces the sodium in the soil's structure. This breaks the sodium's bond, allowing water to flush out the soil's salt buildup from too much chemical fertilizer.

It is important to understand the relationship between water, soil and maintaining the proper soil pH. Make adjustments if need be, and when the new rose season is in full swing, take inventory of how the roses are performing in this new changed environment. If rose are still not up to your expectations, what are the problems? Is new growth stunted and puny looking, or are blooms or foliage of abnormal size?

Do you have healthy looking foliage, but no flower buds? How about color of the bloom? Are they washed out and faded looking, instead of deep vivid colors? Are leaves lime green or yellowish (chlorotic) color instead of the dark green which is normally associated with healthy foliage? Maybe something is missing or not being utilized in the soil.

There are times when a plant may show signs of a nutrient deficiency even after being fertilized. These signs include a lack of color in the blooms, stunted plants, some leaves turn light green, white, dull gray, yellow, etc. All these symptoms can be caused by a lack of one or more trace elements (not all fertilizers contain trace elements.) A trace element can provide a plant and the soil bacteria with a balanced nutrition. When using a trace element, only a very small quantity is necessary.

One example of a nutrient deficiency occurs when trace elements are used up in the soil, causing the leaf to turn yellow while the veins of the leaf remain green. This condition usually occurs when there isn't enough magnesium which the plant uses to manufacture chlorophyll in the soil. Yellow leaves (chlorotic) are a good indication the plant has some type of a physiological problem, a nutrient deficiency, or a problem with the plant's environment.

While there are many reasons that cause leaves to yellow, their symptoms can be confusing. Often leaves look like the discoloration could be caused by a shortage of several different elements.

A nutrient deficient plant is plagued by insects and diseases more often than a healthy plant.
This article was provided as a courtesy by the American Rose Society. Benefits of membership in the ARS can be viewed here.

Rose Care FUNdamentals

by Frank Brines, Consulting Rosarian

Mother Nature has been good to us rose growers this past month. She has sent us nearly normal temperatures with moderate day/night variation, and even a little rain–but not quite enough for our thirsty roses, so be sure to check the soil moisture and give them any additional water they need.

I'll bet that your roses, like the ones in my garden and at Rose Haven, are really putting on new growth and buds. They're getting hungry, so it is important to start accelerating your feeding program. If you have been feeding once a month, double that to every two weeks. I always recommend using organic fertilizers, because they help improve your soil's structure and provide longer-lasting results than inorganic ("chemical") fertilizers. The soil gradually becomes more able to absorb water, spread it around, and drain it away. The soil also provides a better balance of nutrients and in the long run you don't have to apply quite as much fertilizer to get great results. All this adds up to plants that are stronger, healthier, more resilient, and able to resist stress better.

On the two-week feeding cycle, consider alternating two different types of food. For example, once a month apply a properly-diluted fish emulsion to provide plenty of micro nutrients. Two weeks later, apply a dry food that scratched in around the plant and wash down with a good watering. For the dry food, look for one that has a slightly higher phosphate content. Susan at L&M Fertilizer (28690 Las Haciendas, Temecula, 951-676-2990) is very knowledgeable and can help you choose products that suit your needs.

All these results are multiplied if you maintain at least 3" of mulch over the entire garden, not just around the rose bushes. If you can make that 4" – 6", all the better. Spreading that much mulch can be a lot of work, but it will eliminate nearly all weeds and make it easier to remove the pesky ones that manage to pop up. To make it easier to apply dry fertilizers–more about those in a moment–it's convenient to keep the mulch a little thinner directly under the bushes and deeper around the drip line and beyond.

The good always comes with the bad, and Mother Nature has been a bad momma this month because she loves aphids just about as much as she loves roses, and has done a great job providing the little buggers with ideal conditions for reproduction and growth! You can keep them under control by giving your roses a forceful water spray every two or three days. If you don't have time to apply such a frequent water spray, try this approach: Mix up a little insecticidal soup or regular non-detergent liquid hand soap with water and apply it to the aphids using a pump sprayer once a week until they are eradicated.

The water spray can also help keep dust from accumulating on the rose leaves, a prime factor in the development of mold and mildew. Mildew is showing up on leaves in some areas of the garden thanks to a few cool, moist nights. There are many recipes for treating this, too many to mention here. Again, Susan at L&M can help you.

If you want larger blooms, now is a good time to begin "de-budding." Identify the flower bud that you want to develop–usually the one at the end of a stem–and gently remove the side buds near it. If you get them early enough they will snap off very easily.

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Youth Gardening Council of Temecula Valley
Boys & Girls Club
28792 Pujol Street, Temecula
Wednesday, April 23/May28
From 10:30 a.m. to noon.

TVRS Board of Directors Meeting
Temecula Public Library
30600 Pauba Road, Temecula
Thursday, April 10/May 8
From 10 a.m. to noon.
Location will change in March.

TVRS Member Meeting
Temecula Public Library
30600 Pauba Road, Temecula
Thursday, April 17/May 15
From 10:15 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Rose Haven 3rd Saturday Garden Workshop
30592 Jedediah Smith Road, Temecula
Saturday, April 19/May 17
From 9 a.m. to noon.

Rose Haven Committee Meeting
30592 Jedediah Smith Road, Temecula
Thursday, April 24/May 22
From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.

Committee meetings will also be held after the monthly Member meeting from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.

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Thank You to Our Friends

Erin's Tree Service
Pechanga Resort and Casino Grants
Corona Tools
Armstrong Garden Center
Agriscape of Murrieta
City of Temecula
CR&R Disposal
Riverside County 3rd District
Crop Production Services (formerly L&M Fertilizer)
Stater Bros. Market
Weeks Roses

For more information about our sponsors go here.

This newsletter is web‑published monthly for members. Temecula Valley Rose Society is a 501(c)(3) non‑profit corporation dedicated to the purpose of encouraging the appreciation, study, and culture of roses. Members are encouraged to join our affiliate, the American Rose Society, at

Our monthly Member meeting is held the 3rd Thursday of the month (excluding July and August) at 10:00 a.m. at the Ronald H. Roberts Public Library, Community Room B, 30600 Pauba Rd., Temecula. A light lunch is served at 11:30, and guests are welcome.

Our mailing address is
 Temecula Valley Rose Society
 PO Box 890367
 Temecula, CA 92589-0367

Do not send any mail to Rose Haven Garden on Cabrillo Ave. – there is no mail box there.

For additional information please visit our web site at

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