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Gardening Etcetera
Gardening Etcetera: A rose is a rose was a rose

Our growing season is coming to a close, and this summer we have seen many beautiful modern roses at the nurseries. These recently introduced roses possess characteristics of cold hardiness, disease resistance, and recurrent summer bloom that echo from their ancestors of millions of years ago. Roses are among the most ancient of plants. A thirty-five million years old fossil of a rose was found in North America. Roses originated in Asia about 70 million years ago.

These ancient original wild roses are called species roses. Their legacy of cold hardiness, disease resistance and recurrent bloom has provided a foundation that has enabled hybridizers, in especially the last 200 years, to develop rose varieties that are not only cold hardy, but also disease resistant, and also possessing recurrent or continual bloom within each plant.

Most of the species roses were winter tender, not surviving in climates colder than Zone 7. (Here in Flagstaff we live in a colder zone, Zone 5.) However, Rosa arkansana and Rosa canina were cold hardy.

Rose diseases such as the black spot fungus and powdery mildew fungus have always been serious problems for roses. Black spot infection prevents the leaf from photosynthesizing; the leaves die and fall off. Severe powdery mildew prevents rose buds from opening, so the rose cannot reproduce. Several of the ancient wild roses in Asia were disease resistant, such as Rosa dividii, which was resistant to black spot.

Most of the species roses were covered with a short flowering of small five-petaled, white or pink blooms in the spring. The species rose from China Rosa chinensis, however, bloomed a second time, in late summer. Its welcome introduction into Europe in the 1700s and 1800s and then into North America ignited an intense experimentation to integrate these superior traits into known roses. Rose hybridization is a huge business all around the world. Families for generations and companies years old have honed hybridization into a complex science. It takes about 10 years to bring a promising rose to market.

In the hospice garden most of the roses are not only cold hardy, but also disease resistant, and recurrent or continual blooming. Some of the best are our Flower Carpet groundcover roses, cold hardy to Zone 5 and covered with clusters of blooms until late fall; ‘The Fairy’ polyantha (a small shrub), is cold hardy to Zone 4, and the ‘John Cabot’ climber, is cold hardy to Zone 3.

The DNA that existed in the very first roses from millions of years ago is still present in the old garden roses of the last six hundred years and in the modern roses developed since the first modern rose in 1867. So next spring when you shop for roses, take a minute to marvel at the timeless heritage of the rose, and the work and care of generations of hybridizers who have brought us the incredibly vigorous and carefree roses of today.

Fall Planted Bulbs for Spring Bloom

When the summer heat gives way to cool fall mornings, gardeners get a renewed energy and planting spring blooming bulbs is an ideal way to use that energy. From the earliest snowdrops to magnificent scented daffodils, bulbs provide a low maintenance focus to the garden.

The year starts out when the tiny snowdrops bloom and they seem to arrive overnight. Snowdrops and the bright yellow or purple crocus frequently appear during that first mild spell, and they do fine with some late snow. Seeing snowdrops and crocus is a sign that the long winter is almost over.

Daffodils are probably the most common bulb to plant and there is a tremendous variety of color and size to choose from. An added attraction to daffodils is that deer, that devastate many gardens, tend to leave them alone. Look for daffodils that bloom early, the middle or late in the season. Very warm areas may have problems with daffodils as some require more cold than others.

Tulips are another spring favorite that comes in many sizes and colors including the tiny, early booming ‘Emperor’ tulip. Alas, much as gardeners love tulips, they do tend to be a favorite for browsing deer, so protection is necessary.

All the bulbs above are a bonus in any perennial garden, and they can be planted as long as the ground is workable. In the south, the bulbs should be planted before Thanksgiving to give them maximum cooling, although some will tolerate planting as late as the New Year. The key is to let the ground cool down sufficiently before planting, which happens much later in southern states.

Plant spring blooming bulbs at a depth that is twice the width of the bulb, and place the slighter flatter end down in the hole. A dibbler is a handy tool to use for planting individual bulbs, but a standard trowel will work as well. For groups of bulbs together, dig a square hole and plant several bulbs, 4-6 inches apart, in the hole together before covering. Bone meal or other phosphorous nutrient can be sprinkled in the hole before placing the bulbs in the ground, but there are some reports that the scent of bone meal encourages dogs to dig the bulbs up again!

Spring flowering bulbs can also be grown in containers where the early bulbs are planted close to the surface and larger, later flowering bulbs are planted further down. Combining a group of bulbs, all with different bloom times, gives a variety of bloom for several weeks, all from one container.

Daily Almanac

Saturday, Nov. 11

Veterans Day Observance: 11 a.m. American Legion Post 3, 204 W. Birch Ave. Annual Flagstaff Veterans Day ceremony at the war memorial in Wheeler Park. Free and open to the public. A $5 lunch will be served across the street at the Legion following the ceremony. 

NAU Football: 5 p.m. NAU Skydome. NAU vs Montana State. 523-0639.

Town Hall with Congressman Tom O'Halleran: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. NAU - SBS Castro, 5 E. McConnell Dr. Congressman Tom O'Halleran is coming to NAU to discuss issues that affect students. He will also be hosting a Q&A at the conclusion of the discussion. If you are interested in asking a question, please submit them to for consideration.

Theatrikos present "Red" for one weekend only: 7:30-9 p.m. The Doris Harper-White Community Playhouse, 11 W. Cherry Ave. The Tony Award-winning play "Red" explores an unsolved art world mystery with a series of fictionalized exchanges between artist Mark Rothko and his apprentice. 774-1662.

Andre Feriante in Concert: The Poet of the Guitar: 7-8:30 p.m. Mary D. Fisher Theatre, 2030 W. SR 89A, Suite A3, Sedona. Internationally-recognized classical and flamenco guitarist/composer Andre Feriante is returning to Sedona by popular demand — after a sold out performance last year — with his new show "The Poet of the Guitar". 282-1177. $15.

It's Elemental Opening Reception: 6-8 p.m. Coconino Center for the Arts, 2300 N. Fort Valley Road. It's Elemental celebrates the talent and creativity of Arizona's craftspeople by showcasing fine craft work that demonstrates a command of the medium and a high level of workmanship and design. 779-2300. Free.

Autumn Leaves & Holly Arts and Craft Show: 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Elks Lodge, 2101 N. San Francisco St. Get an early start on your holiday shopping while supporting Arizona artists and craftsmen.

Disney's "Mulan Jr." - Theatrical Performance: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sinagua Middle School, 3950 E. Butler Ave. Join Alpine Community Theater as we take a mystical journey to ancient China in this action-packed stage adaptation of Disney's animated film. 266-7925.

Chili Fundraiser Dinner/Auction For Canyon Gateway Festival/Music Festival: 5-7 p.m. Williams Senior Center, 850 W. Grant Ave., Williams. $5. Dinner with all the fix-ins: cornbread, salad, dessert, drinks. All proceeds and items raised go directly to our first annual Christian/Family Festival next year. Live music, silent auction. 877-31-MUSIC.

Short Film Screenings: Noon-1:30. Museum of Northern Arizona, 3101 N. Fort Valley Road. MNA is honored to host a screening of two indigenous-made short films: "The Mayors of Shiprock," and "Metal Road." Each screening will be followed by a brief panel discussion with some of the creators of the documentary. 774-5213. Included with admission.

East Side Show- "The Other Art Walk": Noon-8. Flagstaff School of Music, 2213 E. Seventh Ave. It's like an art market with live music all provided by local artists. 856-0656.

Free Veterans Appreciation Day at Northern Arizona Shooting Foundation: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Northern Arizona Shooting Range. Take Winona Exit 211 south and follow the signs. Daily range fees will be waived for all veterans and targets provided.

Craft Sale & Boutique: 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Flagstaff Christian Fellowship, 123 S. Beaver St. Featuring hand made crafts, vintage and decor items, Christmas Shop, fresh home-baked goodies and hot, delicious soups available for eat in or take out. 774-3603.

Bashas' Barbecues at NAU's Home Football Games: 1-5 p.m. NAU Walkup Skydome — The Ponderosa, 1705 S. San Francisco St. A fundraiser for the Lumberjack Athletic Association. Team members from Bashas' Supermarkets will grill Villa Roma brats, bacon brats and Bar-S hot dogs, served with buns from Holsum Bakery, Frito-Lay chips, Pepsi soft drinks and Gatorade. $3.

Book Nest Neighborhood Toy Store Day: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Book Nest Toy Store & Babies to Kids, 2632 N. Steves Blvd. Free train rides, Lego racing, crafts, giveaways and a raffle to win a huge stuffed animal. 714-1167.

Sunday, Nov. 12

Horizons Concert Series presents HELIOS: War and Peace: 7:30-9:30 p.m. Ashurst Hall, NAU. The early-music choral ensemble HELIOS -- named after the Sun God -- presents a program of Renaissance music on war and peace in commemoration of Veteran's Day. $20; seniors and NAU employees $12.50; students and youth. Free. 523-3731.

Theatrikos present "Red" for one weekend only: 2 p.m. The Doris Harper-White Community Playhouse, 11 W. Cherry Ave. The Tony Award-winning play "Red" explores an unsolved art world mystery with a series of fictionalized exchanges between artist Mark Rothko and his apprentice. 774-1662.

Ballroom Dancing: 5-7 p.m. Canyon Dance Academy, 2812 N. Isabel St. Ballroom dance lesson followed by open dancing. Beginners, experienced dancers, singles, couples and students welcome. No partner needed. 814-0157. $5-$8. 

Sunday Salsa Social: 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tranzend Studio, 417 W. Santa Fe Ave. Dance lesson followed by open dance. Live DJ. Refreshments offered. 814-2650. $10.

Randy Wilson, Arizona Daily Sun 

Some maples along Oak Creek still had their red fall leaves this Saturday. These were spotted near Cave Springs Campground. Send your fall foliage photos to and include the date and location.