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'Come. Come with me to see the roses! '
It was late July when a friend coaxed me away from my work at the garden center to visit an area rose farm called 'Stop and Smell the Roses' in Delevan. I wouldn't mind seeing a few roses, I thought to myself.
I had no idea what was in store . . .
This is the view that greeted us.
The owner, Doug Amon, gave us a friendly welcome. He tends this collection of hybrid tea roses on his farm in memory of his late wife. His collection has grown since he started 10 years ago. Now he welcomes hundreds of visitors every summer to walk among the 400 varieties.
Each rose has it's own fragrance, some stronger than others. Doug told us he deadheads daily to keep the roses blooming all summer. And look at those leaves - no sign of insect damage anywhere.
'A single rose can be my garden . . . ' - E.B. White
This lavender rose shown above was one of my favorites. If the beautiful color of the blossoms wasn't enough, the undersides of the leaves added to its appeal.
'Pearly Gates' (shown above) is appropriately located next to the entrance of the white lattice walkway.
After losing 25 roses that first winter in 2006, Doug came up with this system. Each rose is grown in a large plastic pot placed inside another pot buried in the raised beds. Every fall, he hauls them inside the barn for the winter.
So many pretty shades of yellow and orange on 'Sundance' (above).
'Crescendo' (above left) begins as a white bud and opens to a light, blushing pink and smells like honeysuckle.
This is my friend and fellow gardener, Sandra, who probably wouldn't want me to include her picture, but it demonstrates how tall the roses are. Somehow she knew how much I needed this - to take time to stop and smell the intoxicating fragrance of each lovely rose. Thanks, Sandra.
Another personal favorite, 'Lady Ashe' is so gorgeous I can hardly stand it!
If you decide to go, and I hope you do, check out the website www.stopnsmelltheroses.org. And be sure to take a friend along who needs to step away from the busyness for a while and walk among the roses.
- Tracy Hankwitz
BGC Store manager