San Antonio Express News
Sunday, May 14, 2006
By: David Rodriguez
Happy Mother’s Day! If you want to impress your mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, aunt or any special woman in your life, I have a great gift idea for you! How about a plant that is hardy, blooms a gorgeous clear pink and will last much longer then a dozen cut roses. That ideal plant would be the ‘Belinda’s Dream’ Rose. She will appreciate its beauty much longer, and it will be that wonderful Mother’s day gift plant she will always remember you by. I know for a fact, that this rose is my wife’s (Gina) favorite plant.
Roses may be the flower of love, but there’s nothing lovely about spindly canes sporting spider mites, beetles and mildew instead of beautiful flowers. Just as love sometimes needs a little helping along, so do your roses. Selection of the “best” rose variety results in healthy plants which are less susceptible to pest attack.
All of the spraying and maintenance required to ensure survival and bloom of modern roses is too much work and too expensive for most gardeners. Most of us would enjoy rose growing much more if we could find rose varieties which would yield blooms, yet did not require constant spraying. This is possible. ‘Belinda’s Dream’ is the rose which does not need constant care in order to produce lovely blooms. This rose variety CAN become infected with black spot fungus and powdery mildew (white powder-like substance) on the leaves when conditions are most favorable for disease, yet this rose WILL survive and WILL continue to produce an abundance of quality flowers.
Texas Cooperative Extension has tested this rose for several years in trial grounds throughout the state. In March 2002, it was promoted as a Texas Superstar. In order for a plant to be selected as a Texas Superstar, it must meet certain criteria such as cold hardness, resistance to heat and insects, and disease tolerant. Although this rose is not disease resistant and can occasionally be attacked by black spot during cool, moist periods, it is vigorous enough to overcome the disease.
‘Belinda’s Dream’ is a fast growing shrub with a sturdy, upright habit. It can reach 5 feet in height by 3-4 feet wide. It is an easily maintained rose that only requires one major pruning each spring following the last chance for a freeze. Plants should be fertilized after the spring pruning and again after first bud development. Throughout the rest of the year, fertilizer should be applied on a regular basis since roses are heavy feeders. Watering should be done by hand or by drip irrigation to keep water from splashing onto foliage and spreading diseases. If you water thoroughly and deeply, this will encourage the roots to grow deeper. The results will be a more drought tolerant plant. Applying mulch will help retain moisture, keep weeds out, and adds nutrients to the soil. Roses should be planted in a well-drained area where there is at least 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight.
‘Belinda’s Dream’ is not purely an old-fashioned or antique rose. Many of us have been misled into believing that because antique roses are old they are disease resistant. Many of the antique roses can survive without pesticide sprays. However, the quality of bloom, especially for cut flowers produced, cannot equal and are not acceptable to most rose growers. If someone is going to grow roses, they want the flower produced to resemble that which most people consider to be a “classic” rose. ‘Belinda’s Dream’ rose looks like a real hybrid rose, but has the toughness of the antiques and old-fashioned types.
‘Belinda’s Dream’ is an attractive, durable, and versatile rose that gardeners will fall in love with. It is a shrub rose with characteristics of a hybrid tea, such as the high center bloom and long stem. The medium pink flowers are produced in abundance throughout the growing season. The large, double flowers are set against the background of glossy, bluish-green foliage. Another characteristic that people expect out of rose is fragrance and ‘Belinda’s Dream’ has a rich delightful fragrance all its own.
‘Belinda’s Dream’ is a gorgeous shrub rose with large, fragrant and very double pink blossoms. It produces successive flushes of bloom from spring to frost and is so disease tolerant that fungicide sprays are seldom required. It is a near perfect landscape rose and is an outstanding performer even in highly alkaline clay soils.
This versatile rose can be easily used in mixed borders, hedges, tubs, barrels, formal, and informal gardens. It is perfect for fresh-cut flowers and for dried floral arrangements. The persistent nature of ‘Belinda’s Dream’ and the many uses this plant can provide make this one of the best gardening buys around. This rose will make the wonderful Mother’s Day gift plant. Check it out!!!
Special Event: 8th Annual Lavender Festival
You do not have to travel to the South of France to see beautiful fields of fragrant lavender.
Plan a road trip to Fredericksburg, Texas and experience the Becker Vineyards lavender field. After traveling to France and seeing similarities in the terrain with the Texas Hill Country, Dr. & Mrs. Becker (owners) decided to plant 10,000 lavender plants in 1998. With the help of family, friends, and staff, they planted 3 acres of lavender with over eight different varieties.
Becker Vineyards invites you to attend the 8th Annual Lavender Festival on May 20 & 21, 2006. The festival will feature over 40 different vendors focusing on lavender, gardening, herbs, pottery, art, gourmet foods, handmade soaps, candles, jewelry, and so much more. Have a relaxing day in the Texas Hill Country at Becker Vineyards. Festival hours are Saturday 10-6 and Sunday 12-6. For a map or more information visit http://beckervineyards.com/ or call (830) 644-2681. You will HAVE FUN!!!
Remember, Learn and Have Fun!
David Rodriguez is the County Extension Agent-Horticulture for Bexar County. He represents Texas Cooperative Extension with the Texas A&M University System. For any landscape or gardening information, call the Bexar County Master Gardeners AHotline@ at (210) 467-6575, email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our County Extension website at http:bexar-tx.tamu.edu