Rose Days at Otto & Sons is an annual event, they pull out all the stops and the roses are in full bloom. As always it is lovely traveling out to Fillmore but the beauty certainly doesn’t end with the drive. I decided to attend Saturday’s events this year and although I’m sure I would have gotten a lot out of both days it certainly didn’t disappoint.
I arrived in the tent in time to listen to Pat Carney talk about the new roses that Jackson & Perkins have out this year as well as give tips and tricks for rose care. With over 20 years at Jackson & Perkins he certainly knows what he’s talking about. Scott Klittich, owner of Otto & Sons was standing by lend a hand and put his two cents in and they made a great team. While Pat is attracted to the color of the rose, I am enamored of their scent. I may first be pulled toward the color, but if it isn’t fragrant, I usually opt for a less colorful more fragrant specimen (although there are exceptions). Here are some of the things that I want to pass on to you from their talk as well as first hand knowledge. Below is Perfect Moment Rose, a favorite of Scott’s.
We here in Southern California have no excuses to not have roses (except if you only grow natives) because we have the perfect weather for roses and that goes double for Santa Clarita! We have far less problems with diseases and pest due to our weather and they are an almost bulletproof plant for us. The biggest problem with growing roses in SoCal is that people don’t prune their roses. I understand that it’s hard to prune something that just keeps blooming and blooming, but they need to be pruned and they are much happier for it. The harder you prune your roses the better they are. An exception to that rule is their first year of growth. You should not prune your rose the first year you have it. (Deadheading is okay.)
When you buy a new rose, give it three years to mature and come into itself. The first year it will establish, the second year it will grow and thrive and the third year it will look like it should. If you are not happy with a rose in it’s third year, perhaps it’s not the rose for you. Dig it up, give it to a friend or neighbor and plant a new one that you might like better. With so many choices you can try and try again.
Rose Days is a big event for the family owned nursery and all the kids come out to help the staffers. Barbara & Marge manned the check out desk and were there to offer plenty of advice and even a ride on one of their golf carts to pick up a load of roses. Unfortunately I didn’t see anyone driving the awesome old truck, or I would have hopped aboard.
Otto & Sons is growing 24,000 Iceberg roses this year! An astounding number to me, however I bet there won’t be many left at the end of the season. Otto & Sons has over 800 varieties of roses and in addition to Jackson & Perkins roses they also carry Weeks Roses, Star Roses, and David Austin Roses. Below is Cinnamon Girl & Sweet Intoxication.
Some new offerings for 2010 include:
Ch-Ching, Green Romantica, and Sedona all Hybrid Tea/Grandiflora roses.
Bubblicious, Lavender Meidiland & Limoncello Shrub Roses
Easy Does It, Pumpkin Patch, and Sweet Intoxication Floribunda Roses
Charles Darwin, The Endeavor, and Young Lycidas English Roses
Apricot Drift, Beach Blanket, & Sweet Drift Groundcover Roses
Cinnamon Girl and Daddy’s Little Girl Miniature Roses
Cancan, Citrus Burst, and The Charlatan Climbing Roses.
Below is Rock & Roll with Easy Does It and Orange Crush a beautiful climber.
I hope that if you didn’t come this year, you will consider taking the beautiful drive out to Fillmore next year and join me and rose lovers like Rick & Gail Thompson of Valencia (of course I have to meet someone from my town) in enjoying some beautiful and fragrant stars of the garden.
For more information on my designs: thegrassisalwaysgreener.net