Summer Thoughts

Thank you to all who attended the Pot Luck Picnic this summer. Sue and I enjoyed hosting the event this year. We had a great time showing off the rose gardens and answering loads of questions. I guess this is our own brand of exhibiting roses. Remember, you don't have to let another year slip by before visiting again. Anyone from the Society has a standing invitation to visit us anytime. We love to show off the roses!

A special thanks to John and Arlene Minsky, who came from St. Johns to attend. John is the president of the Lansing Rose Society. I hope all of you had a chance to say hello to them. They are such nice people, but then what else would you expect from fellow rosarians?

My apologies for not having all my rose name plates in place. I promise I'll do better next time. All things said though, we felt the gardens cooperated with an abundance of colorful blooms just for the occasion. Usually this time of year, we don't have near the display that was present on picnic day. I guess my pre-picnic pep talk with the rose garden really did pay off.

On a more serious note, Dick Schmidt contacted me after reading my last two articles in the Rose Lore regarding the use of aluminum sulfate. Dick indicated that he has read from two different sources that one should never use this product with roses. Both his sources were a little vague as to why, but rather it was best to use an alternative such as sulfur. The product I used is sold under the name, Country Cottage, Soil Acidifier which is 8% aluminum and 15% sulfur. I spoke with a company agricultural representative who said they had never encountered any adverse effects with roses when applied in the proper recommended applications. She stated that one could contaminate a soil with just about any soil enhancer if improperly applied. This past spring I used one application of this aluminum sulfate and followed it up in the summer with a product called Cal-Sul, sold at Home Depot. This has been the best year for healthy plants and abundant blooms in my rear garden since we have lived here. This is not to say that I am ignoring Dick's caution. On the contrary, I value his experience and knowledge a great deal. I just haven't witnessed any adverse effects in my personal garden. This fall I'll probably switch to sulfur just to play it on the cautious side. If any other members have read anything about aluminum sulfate, good or bad with roses, I would like to hear their comments. You can call me or e-mail me at my address which is

I hope you are all keeping your gardens well watered and don't let up on your spray programs. This is the time of year when some of us have a tendency to drop our guard and let the spay programs slide a little. It may have something to do with the "Dog Days of Summer". I don't know. With the warm days still here and the cool nights coming, your roses need all the protection they can get to get ready for the coming cold season that I am not even going to mention by name. It is imperative that you keep your plants healthy.

Having said all that, I hope that all of you enjoyed a great summer with many blooms savored in the garden. Enjoy them while they are here! A special get well wish to Doug Bima. We're all thinkin' of ya and hope you are back in your garden producing great flowers real soon.

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