Garden Plot: The right roses and other Mother’s Day tips

This little bug may look scary, but it\'s actually a baby ladybug that eats up to 50 aphids a day. Lucky you if you find it in the garden. (WTOP/Mark McGrath)
Watch out for lady bugs

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 7:11 am

Mike McGrath, wtop.com

A Live Rose Plant for Mother’s Day? Growing Conditions Are More Important Than Names

Bobby in Fairfax writes, “Mother’s Day is right around the corner, and my wife saw a beautiful rose bush growing outside a home in Annapolis. We’d like to be able to present as a Mother’s Day gift. The flowers were multiple colors: red, pink and white. Please help me with the name and where I can find this particular rose.”

After a few back and forth emails, in which we established that the blooms of several different (and overcrowded) plants were mingling together to create most of that multicolor effect, I told Bobby that the rose in the mix that most intrigued him might be the famous “Peace Rose,” a multicolored beauty with a great World War II history. It would be an excellent choice. I have a Peace rose in my own landscape, and the blooms look sensational.

I added that there are thousands of named roses, and without a tag you’ll never know which exact variety any particular rose is for sure.

And, when you’re giving a disease-prone plant like roses as a gift, it’s much more important to make the gift as easy and trouble-free to grow as possible than to try and find a particular variety. Ideally, you’d select a disease-resistant plant, and make sure there’s a place for it in the landscape of its new owner where it’ll get the first rays of the morning sun and lots of airflow.

Now Batting for The Nats: The BEST Garden Gloves!

Stephen in Alexandria writes, “A number of years ago I heard you recommend a brand or type of garden glove that protected the hands but didn’t feel so clumsy that you’d have to take them off to do things requiring any dexterity. I’d love to know who makes such gloves and where I can get them.”

I’ll begin this answer by first pointing out that a pair of comfortable, tight-fitting, hand-protecting gloves would make a superb Mother’s Day gift for a gardening mama, Steve!

Now, the specific brand I mentioned back then was “Bionic gloves.” They were the first I ever used, and I was infatuated with them and their extra padding in places gloves usually wear out. They came in a variety of garden styles and still make an excellent gift choice.

But I realized that, at least in basic style, they were a lot like baseball batting gloves. And so I use both Bionics and baseball batting gloves in my garden. Both types fit so snugly you can dial a cell phone while wearing them, offer great hand protection and come in every imaginable size.

One nudge to batting gloves is that you can find them at any store that sells sports equipment. Like, just for instance, you happen to need a gift for a mom who gardens


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