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Red roses have their day

Red rose, titled Power Point
This beauty is called Power Point. Today is National Red Rose Day. (Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Celebrate nation's flower with your own favorites

Cluster of Trumpeter roses
A cluster of Trumpeter roses brightens the garden.

Today, make time to smell the roses or give a bouquet to someone you love.

It’s only appropriate – June 12 is National Red Rose Day.

Roses are the birth flower for June, which also coincides with this beloved flower blooming in gardens throughout America. June is also National Rose Month.

Red rose
Olympiad was developed for the 1984 Olympics.
The rose is also our nation’s official flower, thanks to Congress and a proclamation signed by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1986 in a ceremony – where else? – in the White House Rose Garden.

Red roses in particular hold special meaning as a symbol of love and romance. Red roses also tend to be among the most fragrant in the garden. Some varieties are cultivated specifically for perfume.

In roses, red comes in many hues, ranging from eye-popping scarlet to deepest burgundy.

Garry Chin, president of the Sierra Foothills Rose Society, challenged local rose enthusiasts to send him photos of their favorite red roses for a salute to National Red Rose Day. The results demonstrated the range of red roses that love the Sacramento area.

Some 22 local rose lovers submitted 106 photos with relatively few repeats, Chin said. “Total different varieties of red roses submitted is 73 not counting five photos with unknown names. … Three separate submitters had Altissimo, Fame and Lasting Love; all other varieties had one or two submitters.”

One society member sent four versions of "The 1812 Rose."

Red rose, titled Kentucky Derby
Kentucky Derby is a gorgeous red.
As for my own garden, I have several red roses, of course. Among my favorites: Mister Lincoln (for its incredible scent), Ingrid Bergman, Olympiad, Trumpeter, Veteran’s Honor, Kentucky Derby and Power Point.

There’s a red rose for everyone. You just need to look – and sniff.

Looking for the perfect red rose – or any rose? Check out the American Rose Society website at .


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of March 19:

Spring will start a bit soggy, but there’s still plenty to do between showers:

* Fertilize roses, annual flowers and berries as spring growth begins to appear.

* Watch out for aphids. Wash off plants with strong blast from the hose.

* Pull weeds now! Don’t let them get started. Take a hoe and whack them as soon as they sprout.

* Prepare summer vegetable beds. Spade in compost and other amendments.

* Prune and fertilize spring-flowering shrubs after bloom.

* Feed camellias at the end of their bloom cycle. Pick up browned and fallen flowers to fight blossom blight.

* Feed citrus trees as they start to blossom.

* Cut back and fertilize perennial herbs to encourage new growth.

* Seed and renovate the lawn (if you still have one). Feed cool-season grasses such as bent, blue, rye and fescue with a slow-release fertilizer. Check the irrigation system and perform maintenance. Make sure sprinkler heads are turned toward the lawn, not the sidewalk.

* In the vegetable garden, transplant lettuce and kale.

* Seed chard and beets directly into the ground.

* Plant summer bulbs, including gladiolus, tuberous begonias and callas. Also plant dahlia tubers.

* Shop for perennials. Many varieties are available in local nurseries and at plant events. They can be transplanted now while the weather remains relatively cool.

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