Return to the Roses Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Giving suggestions

Posted by catsrose VA 6 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 0:34

I keep reading these lengthy posts where someone has asked for suggestions and everybody offers his/her favorites regardless of zone and climate and then the old-timers chime in to explain why half the suggestions won't work.

I don't want to spoil the fun and I know we all want to be helpful and we all love our favorites, but few roses do well everywhere. I'm not sure how helpful it is to recommend a rose that does well in zone 7 to someone asking for suggestions in zone 5. Adding, "but I don't know if it will work for you," isn't helpful, either. Unless you know for certain it will do well--ie, you once grew it in zone 5 yourself or you researched it before you suggested it--it might be best to stand down and leave the field to those who can make viable suggestions. Newbies especially need minimal confusion and maximum success.


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Giving suggestions

I agree, Catsrose. It's one of the things about this forum I find most discouraging - and yet, I have seen it happen over and over in all the years I've been here (since 1999 actually.) I notice it esp. because I live in a very cold zone and I can't tell you how many times I groan over someone in zone 7 or even 9 making a suggestion about a climber to someone in Ohio or Michigan! Sometimes I think that people just like to talk. They don't mean any harm and they really haven't given a lot of thought to the OP's situation; they just want to talk about their roses so they jump into the thread with nothing helpful at all.

I really don't see it ever changing. And we just have to continue to be the "old-timer" chiming in to correct the situation, as discouraging as that gets to be. Sometimes I wonder if that isn't a reason some long time posters just disappear: they get fed up repeating themselves and move on with life. ;-)


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

Giving suggestions based on zone doesn't work too well either because a zone 7 on the west coast is nothing like a zone 7 in the mid Atlantic. Lately I've been the spoilsport asking "If you're in the mid Atlantic, do you plan to use a fungicide?" But there's a very limited list of no spray roses in Virginia and a new person wouldn't know that.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

On the other hand, a robust response may give readers a chance to pick and choose and think and question.
The old timers chiming in lend a steady hand, but the outpouring of favorites named is an offering of the joy the contributors feel, imperfect or no, for those favorites.

While some may be new to roses, there are very few who are unschooled in the ways of the web, and almost everyone realizes that anything read anywhere should be taken with a grain of salt. (Bonjour meme here).

Is rosing an art or a science?

Here is a link that might be useful: Bonjour

This post was edited by lucille on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 9:56


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

And there is an art to sitting on your hands.

Not only are there all the 'helpful' people who come and push their favorites, no matter how inappropriate, but there are the newcomers who don't seem to have any idea that location matters. They will learn the hard way, but how badly will that damage their enthusiasm?

When we first got heavily involved in rose growing, we had the term Future Former Rose Grower. Often you can spot them a mile off. They are the people whose expectations are totally out of line with reality. It is one thing when those expectations come from catalogs. It is another when they come from people who should know better.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

It is important to indicate your location in your signature. It is also important to include information which qualifies your response.

If I recommend a climber to someone in a colder location, I should make it clear that it works for me in SE PA, but might suffer die back in other parts of PA or NY. And that I spray fungicide 5 times per season. I also like to remind newbies that "just because you local nursery is selling a rose does not mean it can survive in your garden".

What's important is that an inexperienced rose enthusiast understands that there is often a thin line between success and failure. Its up to us to add as much information as possible.

Finally, I don't think we should dissuade posters from telling a newbie about their successes. Posters just have to remember that it is not about selling you favorites, but instead about helping a beginner get a good start as a rose grower.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

I can see both sides of this issue. I am an infrequent visitor to the rose forums but over the past four years, I've dropped by to try to get recommendations for varieties that might work for me in New England and in a no spray organic garden. I remember getting a lot of responses that didn't really work out for me, but that was okay with me. I did do my own research and when people qualified their recommendation about where they grow it and how it worked out for them, it helped. I definitely understood that I should pay attention to the recommendations of those rose growers who also lived in New England.

I do want to point out, that often I would read threads that others had started and the responses to their question, and maybe the OP had asked for a rose that grew in California, but someone responded with a variety they had success with in New England and I would zero in on that. Which helped me without even posting to the thread.

I guess I think that if people are asked to figure out when their experience is just perfect for someone else, you will see a lot fewer posts. And I feel the OP can sift through the information and compare it to other information they have gathered from other sources and narrow down the best choices for them. And any time someone has success with a rose, it's worth reporting because someone will benefit from that information.

That is just my two cents as an infrequent visitor and the opinion of those people who are here all the time, should count more than mine, but I just threw that out there for a different perspective.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

Since we are talking suggestions.....Can someone suggest a forum that have a lot of people that post that are growing roses in colder zones?

This forum has a multitude of California, and warm zones and not many cold zones. Maybe there are less people in the colder zone bother trying to grow roses because of failure.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

. . . or perhaps it is too cold in those zones for them to be posting now. I have felt at times that a lot of questions were being asked by the colder zone folks regarding which roses to grow. I think it could be a matter of timing of when folks are on here. Right now, us warmer zone folks are starting to have blooms and are more active on here.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

  • Posted by seil z6b MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 14:55

If you're careful to note that there are zone differences I don't see a problem with making suggestions. For one thing it's how we learn about each other's garden conditions. It's interesting and knowledge is always a good thing. For another, there's no way to know for sure how any rose will do in your garden until you plant it. It might be horrible in your neighbor's garden and do great in the spot you picked in yours. I have Memphis Blues. It's dwindling down to a one cane wonder. My cousin lives just down the street from me and the rooted cutting I gave her is huge and gorgeous. So a rose that is good in CA may still be good in MI and vice versa. Until you try it you don't know. Granted there are some that won't take cold at all and some that need cold to bloom but those are fewer and usually people note that in their replies or don't suggest them. People have been telling me for years what I can and can't grow here. I have sometimes just said the heck with it and tried. Much to my surprise some of those no-nos did very well. No one encouraged me when I wanted to grow roses in pots. "It's too cold in MI, they'll never winter". Well I did it anyway and they do winter, outside! I can probably give you a dozen more examples of things people (in my zone) said were great and weren't and roses that people said wouldn't work that did.

Of course a lot depends on your expectations. We are all looking for that perfect rose that blooms continuously, never gets any disease and grows like an elephant. We look for Cinderella and Prince Charming too but we know lthat ain't gonna happen, lol. Nothing is perfect and that includes roses. Sometimes they don't bloom or the blooms aren't picture perfect. Sometimes they spot or mildew or rust or whatever. Sometimes they like the heat...or not. The fact is they have flaws. They're not perfect and until we learn to accept that, enjoy them for what they are we're never going to be happy with them. I kept trying to battle blackspot. For years and years I aimed for that spot free garden. Ha, ha! Once I accepted the fact that that is never going to happen in my humid MI yard I found I spent a lot more time enjoying the lovely blooms I had.

Yes, a certain amount of people will try, have problems and give up. Those people are usually the type that give up anyway regardless of the advice they get. They're in and out of one hobby after another. The ones that are really interested will learn from their mistakes and move forward. Gardens, after all, are all about trial and error. They change from day to day and evolve. Even "old timers" make mistakes and have to try again. It's part of the process. Gardens are plants, living things, they are never static. Anyone who thinks they can install the perfect garden from the get-go isn't being realistic and probably believes everything they read on the internet!

If I'm asking a question please feel free to give me your thoughts from any zone around the world. I enjoy reading and learning from them even if they are not specific to my zone. Inquiring minds want to know!


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

I grow my roses in pots - if I went to a forum just for cold zones - I wouldn't find any information that was appropriate. :)

I think it's wonderful to hear about roses that people love. The passion comes through and inspires everyone.

If many people like a certain rose - it's more likely to be a good rose for many more people.

Just my opinion. :)
Carol


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

When I first began posting here I made the mistake of thoughtlessly chiming in when someone from a completely different zone asked about recommendations. Fortunately some of the more experienced people commented on that and quickly showed me the error of my ways. It's one thing to offer ideas to someone a few zones away from you, but a bit funny when you live in southern California and have suggestions to a forum member who lives in northern Minnesota. I could suggest rugosas and the Canadian Explorer series and that would be the end of my wisdom and still not that helpful since I've never grown any of them. I think a little common sense is in order here and all will be well.

Ingrid


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

Microclimates are such that a rose that does well for me may be not so great two blocks away, so do you suggest that we just forget about giving advice on roses? The fact that you live in the same state as the poster requesting advice doesn't mean the rose will necessarily do well for him. Weather conditions and soil varies so much in Florida that what grows well in north Florida may not necessarily do well in central Florida. What does well for Jeri in California may not necessarily do well for Ingrid in California, anymore than it would in a northern state, so I guess I'm having trouble with your entire point of view. I love hearing about roses in California. All of them may not do well here, but many of them do.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

I will try any rose. Any zone. If I can get one season out of it, then I accept that. It is fun to seen how long I can keep a zone 7 alive in my zone. Great satisfaction seeing them come back year after year...if that happens. If I stayed strictly in my zone I would have not tried probably 50 percent of my roses. If they don 't make it....oh well. It is a plant. Some zone 5 roses kick the bucket for one reason or another, too.
Common sense is not always so common.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

I disagree. Maybe the rose won't fit the original person asking the question but there might be others reading the post that the information will be relevant for. That is the way I look at this forum; as much info about roses that can be offered for as many as possible.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

I look at it like jaspermplants- the OP isn't the only person who is looking for information in these posts.

I am in a zone where there is no real disease problem. Although all the inevitable admonishments about poor disease resistance of whatever rose don't apply to me-- they are probably helpful to be thrown out there for others. I sometimes think I would like to make a post that said- "if you had a magic wand that would make all your roses disease resistant... what would you grow?" to hear about all the lovely roses that people gave up on in more challenging climates.

Also- I have a harder time keeping some roses healthy in zone 6a than I did in 4. It's hard to really guess what a rose will do for one person in their yard.

....And I do think it's about conversation. I have looked at much older posts where people who haven't grown many roses give each other kind of funny suggestions-- but really, all they care about is sharing a basic level of enjoyment for roses. IE: is it pretty? Will it bloom a lot?

My mom only loves hybrid teas and I think of her when I read these posts. She just wants pretty. Period. her neighbors come and oooh over her pot garden and she cuts them bouquets.
....I keep telling her to grow just joey and the nursery lady keeps telling her to buy something else..... over and over again when she goes to buy it. It's fine. She's happy trying any HT. She'd never want a once bloomer- she barely will try out an Austin-- which are the suggestions most people would give her if they thought of the "right rose" for her situation.

I think even when an information tug of war breaks out on this forum from folks in the same zone it's worthwhile to read.
It's a bad rose.
No it's lovely.
It's lovely if you like a dog.

Horse for courses--It's probably both.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

  • Posted by subk3 7a/Mid TN (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 22:03

One thing maybe the OP isn't considering is the importance of the search function!

"SuzieQ in TN's" suggestion of her favorite rose "ABC cl." that's doing wonderfully in her garden for someone's request for a rose for PA might not be so great. BUT when I do a search at a later date for "ABC cl."--something I do after a spin at HMF for every rose I'm considering--to see that someone in TN is happy with it that is GREAT information for me.

I just love to hear peoples' enthusiasm. I'm pretty new to roses, but It doesn't take much time hanging around here to get a dose of the mantra "right rose for the right place." If the experienced growers would just keep piping up to keep things realistic--which they generally do--I think it works out pretty well...


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

  • Posted by TNY78 7a-East TN (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 22:09

I really enjoy reading other's suggestions and looking them up if I'm unfamiliar with them. I think trying roses that may not be the best suited for your area, and seeing what happens, is part of the learning experience.

I'm definitely not one of the experts and more like one of the newbies, but in five years, I've pretty much been obsessed with growing and reading about roses and their care. I've managed to collect around 600 roses which has forced me to become fairly well versed in rose care. I've had good recommendations, and not so good ones on here, but I don't mind...I still enjoy reading everyone's comments and advice.

So for me, all opinions are welcome.

~Tammy


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

I have to admit I don't always even read some of the posts from other zones just because there is nothing a newbie like me could add and I might end up remember something and thinking it was good here.

But, once I get my own garden where I want it, I will be paying attention. After all I have a friend with a ranch in driving distance from Northland Rosarium!

I have to laugh at a different forum where the "rulers" of the forum will post and pontificate on what to do what is tacky-wrong-cheap etc and then through out long lists of suggested planting All while never bothering to ASK where the op even lives. (clearly not a rose/flower forum but to not offend anyone will not mention the forum)


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

I lurked for a year before I posted and the enthusiasm and joy of growing roses comes through. I have learned so much on this forum and I love to hear about what people are growing and enjoying. I also really appreciate the long time rose growers, soil experts, propagators, etc. who jump in and say-tut tut don't try that one at the North Pole. They are all so gracious about it too. I'm too new here to recommend anything, but I will try to remember to note my climate if I mention a favorite rose. This forum is such a great resource. I clip posts every day. Mary


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

As Lola says, it is a conversation - at least that is what is happening in my head, therefore, I am free to state anything I like because someone else will come along and refute it (happens all the time to me). Not only do I chime in about roses, regardless of zone (because I like them), I am happy to ramble on about pretty much anything else which comes into my mind at that moment, because I am basically just chatting. Aren't we all?
As for new rose growers, unless they were seriously mentally challenged, it must surely be obvious to them also, just what is going on here. Of course, there are people with vast knowledge and experience whose input is valuable for that very reason (and we mostly know who they are) and we have others, more flighty and easily distracted (ahem) who are willing to bore on for years in total irrelevancy. So what? The internet is a participatory forum....and generally, whenever I have seen ridiculous suggestions, someone has jumped in, often on the very next post, to remind the gullible that the poster was talking rubbish.
So, while I can see exactly where Catsrose is coming from, I for one, have no intention whatsoever to desist from waffling on about favourites (and hated) plants because I am talking on the internet as a free gardener, not being held up as an expert who needs to weigh their words carefully. Furthermore, as far as I can see, this forum is a whole lot less dangerously prescriptive precisely because we are who we are - NOT experts, and therefore not to be mindlessly followed. Even worse, I have absolutely stopped reading the vast majority of so-called 'expert' advice since it is usually ill-thought out rubbish, repeated ad nauseum or revived as a little media trend, or there is an agenda to get us all to BUY STUFF.
So, what do you suggest - we simply admit we are all ignoramuses (ignoramii?) and let the experts or 'old timers' (wtf?) have their say because they know best......or do we continue, with all the stuttering faults and backtracks, to have a dialogue based purely on love of plants (or, much more fun, hatred of other plants).
As Lucille points out for those unable to see the blindingly obvious - it is the internet!.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

One thing about pronouncements about the worthiness or suitability of a rose...I have noticed some experts assuming a rose is worthless because it was not good in their garden and since they're an expert that is the final verdict. Maybe they just didn't know how to grow it well, or it didn't like their climate, or maybe they got a dud. Ahem, they don't know they don't know it all. So you still have to find out for yourself and sort through comments. The more comments, the more likely you can come to a good guess.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

This is a forum, not an encyclopedia. I enjoy the back and forth, the mistaken opinions and the corrections that follow, the experience in other zones whether or not they have any bearing at all on my own zone and the postings like this one initiated by Catsrose, with which I totally disagree, but still enjoyed reading.


 o
RE: proof of the pudding

And, as I scrolled on down to the next post - wondering whether to plant a band in a pot or the ground, what do I see....but the usual heap of suggestions of what various people (Lo, even you, Cats) would do REGARDLESS of the OP's location, expertise etc.etc........because, when it comes down to it, that's all we can do - speak for ourselves.

My decision, Avia, is based on where I am planting: in my home garden, I would risk putting something directly into the soil....but, if I am planting at my allotment, a bike ride away, I would keep the plant in a pot, at home until I am certain a decent growth has been attained.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

I'd prefer to see this as a request to gardenweb to enable filtering in threads. I do think zone should be required, not optional. And within a thread, having the reader be able to select which zone responses they want to see (single or range), or default to all. And enabling the zone setting to be set in a cookie or something, so if a reader only wants to see zones 4-6 always, they don't have to choose that everytime they go into a thread.

Personally, I love all the responses when I ask a question because I learn from so many posts that are nowhere close to my zone. I'd hate to ask people to sit on their hands and control their enthusiasm.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

Kippy, I quit skipping posts that i don't think are relevant to me when I realized how these threads morph into things totally unrelated to the original post. I read every single one. I would miss out on valuable stuff if I didn't.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

Some people take things way toooo seriously. I enjoy what everyone has to say, weither it pertains to me or not. I don't think anyone should "stand down" everyone has a right to try and help a fellow gardener and you never know what you might learn.


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

Thanks, camp!

I have found the vast majority of posters to be very gracious, even when they think I've made some silly newbie mistake :)

As a newbie, I'll chime in here. There is a fine line to walk between being a wet blanket and being a realist; I would assume the goal is to encourage all rose lovers, new and experienced. For me, I am a first season rose (attempted) grower and a new gardener to boot. I certainly hope I am not already labeled as a 'future former rose grower' due to my enthusiasm and lack of knowledge.

The many varied responses to my own posts, but also to everyone else's posts, are helpful to me. I live in zone 7A VA, but on top of a little hill in the foothills just below the App. Trail- I have a micro climate that's not the same as my neighbors down or up the mountain, even though we share a zipcode. Seeing many responses from all over gives me more information to help build the picture of what seems similar in my yard. Yes, this way involves critical thinking and some trial and error. I am prepared to lose some of the choices I made this year as I learn, but they are nominally appropriate for my location and I loved the pictures of them so I am giving them a shot!

I think you do, also, learn who is around you. I pay attention and I look for Cecily, and Catsrose, and the_dark_lady cause I know they are in VA and I store that in my mind when I am reading as a post that might be super useful to me.

And, lastly, I did post an intro to myself over in the mid-atlantic section, where I gather they have a pretty large in person exhange every spring. The overwhelming feeling, put expressly into words and just in attitude, was 'hey, come out and meet us, even if you have no plants to share- cause we would love to help you get started!' It was so welcoming, and reassuring! I thought maybe I got lucky and found a community instead of just an FAQ list. The rose community here is very strong, active, and knowledgeable- it seems to me that responding only to the few (realtively) posters who happen to be within a state or two of you would greatly diminish the potential to be a community of enthusiasts and friends.

Catsrose, thank you for starting this thread!


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

Wonderful suggestions! I have learned many, many things over the last few years by tuning in to your conversations. I've learned how to zero in on what will work for me. I especially appreciate the gentle wisdom from Jeri and Kim and other long-timers. I have much admiration for you and I'm so glad you don't mind sharing over and over again for the newbies.

So, after reading your posts, I'd like to second these thoughts:

“I enjoy what everyone has to say, whether it pertains to me or not . . . I just love to hear peoples' enthusiasm.”

“The old timers chiming in lend a steady hand, but the outpouring of favorites named is an offering of the joy the contributors feel.”

“any time someone has success with a rose, it's worth reporting because someone will benefit from that information.”

“The more comments, the more likely you can come to a good guess.”

“Yes, a certain amount of people will try, have problems and give up. Those people are usually the type that give up anyway regardless of the advice they get. They're in and out of one hobby after another. The ones that are really interested will learn from their mistakes and move forward.”

“I think it's wonderful to hear about roses that people love. The passion comes through and inspires everyone.”

“Maybe the rose won't fit the original person asking the question but there might be others reading the post that the information will be relevant for"

"the OP isn't the only person who is looking for information in these posts.”

And especially this from Tuggy3:

“I lurked for a year before I posted and the enthusiasm and joy of growing roses comes through. I have learned so much on this forum and I love to hear about what people are growing and enjoying. I also really appreciate the long time rose growers, soil experts, propagators, etc. who jump in and say-tut tut don't try that one at the North Pole. They are all so gracious about it too.”


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

I am in the "put all your information out there" camp. I will decide whether I wish to read it, gain from it, or ignore it. Even when reading posts regarding growing roses in England, Canada, or Minnesota, I feel that I learn something even though I am in the heart (and heat) of Texas.
Molly


 o
RE: Giving suggestions

I agree with most above - all posts are potentially of use, or amusement, or valuable to someone (except spam, of course), and we should not try to discourage folks from posting whatever they want.

Jackie


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Roses Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here