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The Rose Whisperer: Getting off the ground

Photo courtesy of Lynn Hunt

(Read caption) It may not look like much now, but this properly planted tree rose will soon be a blooming beauty.

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Beginning today, seven different bloggers – specializing in roses, herbs, greenhouse growing, garden-related travel, and general gardening – will be writing garden posts at Diggin' It. Usually, several different bloggers will be posting each day. So do return often to learn and be entertained. (You may want to bookmark us. The URL is

First up is Lynn Hunt, an accredited horticultural judge and a Consulting Rosarian Emeritus for the American Rose Society. She has won dozens of awards for her writing in newspapers, magazines, and television. She grows roses and other plants in her garden on the Eastern Shore of Maryland:

Over the years I've come to realize that writing and gardening have a great deal in common. Both are solitary pursuits. Both can be extremely rewarding and incredibly frustrating. Both can foster tremendous success and smashing failure – sometimes within the same day.

There is a unique anticipation that accompanies the start of each new project, a blend of excitement and dread that comes from not knowing exactly how things will turn out. There is the endless task of editing, whether it is trimming a paragraph or shovel-pruning a disappointing rose. There are the hours of painstaking, meticulous work that others never witness.

Mostly, writers and gardeners share the challenge of starting with nothing, a blank page or a bare patch of earth, with the expectation that a mixture of creativity and elbow grease will result in something special.

Here’s hoping that The Rose Whisperer will be just such an endeavor – a combination of tales from the garden, growing tips, news from the rose world, and humor that will grow on readers.

So now that we are just getting off the ground, I decided to start my posts with the most basic of basics: the planting hole.

You see, it has been my experience that more thought is given to the rose purchase than to where the plant will eventually live. My cry of “don’t put a $20 (or maybe $30 these days) rose in a $2 hole” routinely falls on deaf ears. The result is unsatisfactory for the rose as well as the pocketbook. A properly prepared hole at least gives the plant a chance for success.


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