What better mid-winter garden news could we Oklahomans get? Mike Shoup of the Antique Rose Emporium is coming to speak in Tulsa and Oklahoma City as part of the Oklahoma Horticulture Society’s Annual Winter Lecture Series. Every year, in February, the OHS, along with their partners in Tulsa, bring a big name garden personality to Oklahoma. I just want to say thank you.
Again, thank you.
The rest of the world has its Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie obsession. We, gardeners, have our own celebrities. In the world of heirloom roses, Mike Shoup would probably rather be known as an expert. He’s rustled roses with the best of our Texas friends, and he and the other rosarians helped save many of the old garden roses which survived in the harsh climates of Texas and Oklahoma, but were in danger from development and suburban sprawl.
When I moved to rural Oklahoma twenty years ago, for about three seasons I tried to grow the Hybrid Teas I saw blooming in catalogs. I, then, bought the English roses which were just making their way across the ocean. Without a lot of protection (like that on the East side of my house), the poor roses succumbed to cold, winter winds and harsh summer sun.
I discovered old garden roses, heirlooms and antiques through Mike Shoup and Mark Chamblee of Chamblee’s Rose Nursery.
I know I’m gushing, but it’s due, in part, to the rose rustlers and others that I have roses which thrive in my Zone 7(a) garden. It’s harsh out here. We have cold, cold winters, with no snow cover, and fluctuating temperatures. In winter, it can be 75 degrees one day and 10 degrees the next. Then, in summer, we get drought and heat. I grow many, tough roses which are antiques, and I would never have discovered them without Shoup and Chamblee and all of their staff.
I read Shoup’s book, Roses in the Southern Garden, from cover to cover. In fact, my copy is so used, it could never be resold. In the winter, I often take it down from the shelf, along with Chamblee’s catalog, and my copy of The Rose Bible, by Rayford Clayton Reddell, to dream about next season’s roses.
You can get further information about the dates, times and places in my post at Oklahoma Gardening Examiner. If you’re interested, please head on over.
In the meantime, I think I found a couple of other rose books on Amazon which I haven’t read. I’ll be at the kitchen computer ordering at least one of them this afternoon. In Search of Lost Roses, by Thomas Christopher anyone?