Everything’s Coming Up Roses

Antique Rose Emporium: San Antonio, TX

Guess what? I have something new to share with you. I had planned to put this post off until next week, but I just couldn’t help myself. Because we are BFFs, I had to share it with you today.

I am sure that most of you have already picked up on my interest in gardening. It doesn’t rival my interest in quilting, but this time of year, it’s very hard to sit inside while so much wonderfulness is happening outside.

In my efforts to transform my brown thumb into a green one, I have started attending gardening lectures put on by the Fort Bend County Master Gardeners. This is an amazing group of people who are as passionate about plants as we are about quilting.

At a recent program, someone brought in a beautiful arrangement of flowers to share. The oohs and aahs coming from the group would have rivaled any quilt at a Show-N-Tell. It was a wonderful thing to experience. After witnessing that reaction, I knew I was in the right place to learn.

I’ve gone to three meetings so far and each has been wonderful and extremely informative. I’ve learned about fruit trees and how to care for them. I’ve learned the difference between soil and dirt. I’ve learned about compost and mulch and a variety of other gardening subjects, but one lecture I listened to fascinated me and offered another opportunity for adventure.

The lecture I attended was on roses. Like most, I love roses, but they have a horrible reputation for being high maintenance. I love the way they look, but have no interest in garden Prima Donnas. I want plants that mostly take care of themselves. As much as I love the look or idea of roses, I figured they were out of the question. That was until I listened to this lecture.

The guest speaker was the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium. He explained how and why he started his nursery and then when on to explain how wonderful and maintenance-free roses are. As he spoke, he showed slide after slide of his nurseries and the roses on full display.

It was an amazing sight to see. The photographs from his nursery reminded me of Disney theme parks. They were overflowing with color and he was using roses in ways I had never seen before. These photographs put the Antique Rose Emporium on my adventure list. I learned that they have two locations, one in Brenham (Bluebell Ice Cream’s home town), the other in San Antonio.

Since I was going to San Antonio for Jana’s birthday, it seemed like the best time to visit and take some photos. Jana was up for this adventure and we had a blast spending time there.

I took several photos, but it doesn’t begin to showcase what they have on display. By looking at the bushes, I realized that I had just missed a prime blooming phase. The roses were still beautiful, but nothing like they would have been a week or so ago.

Next time I plan to go, I will find out when the roses are at their peak. I imagine that this will be breathtaking to see. I will probably have to spend the day there, just to cover half of what is on display.

Since I had such a great time at the Antique Rose Emporium, I thought I’d create a special post and album for it. If you’d like to check out these photos, you can click on the image above or click here.

Hope you enjoy the show. 🙂

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

News Update: Seriously? Did you think I had forgotten?

Nope. Haven’t forgotten at all. I’m still working on how to tell you about this BIG, EXCITING and WONDERFULLY FUN news.

I will be working on the posts this weekend, so I can fill you in next week. I have a few more details to sort though and images to create to make the posts memorable. I know you are going to enjoy my news, so please be patient with me.

I’m trying hard to get it all done and it’s taking a bit of time to juggle everything I have to do. Trust me. It is good news and I am going to have a blast doing it.

Here’s a hint . . . My news has to do with quilting. 🙂


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17 Responses to “Everything’s Coming Up Roses”

  1. penny fp Says:

    Unlike my forsythias, that only bloom beautifully once a year, roses will bloom again and again. So don’t feel like you’ve missed “the season”! I just experimented last winter with cutting my rose trees WAAAAY back!! (hubs was SURE I ruined them) but I am thrilled to be able to say…I DIDN’T!! This weekend I think I’ll be able to bring in a full dozen for the kitchen table!!! Wow, I need to find a gardening class I can attend…… can’t wait to hear your news!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Penny, Forsythia are amazing, but they dont’ stay yellow for long or long enough is a better term. Wonderful plant though. For some reason I don’t see them around Houston any place within a short drive. Must be too hot here for them.

      Speaking of multiple blooms. That’s what is so fantastic about these antique roses, so many of them are constantly blooming. They bloom from early Spring to late Fall around here and are magnificent to see.

      My friend Judy Murrah urged me to cut my roses back right after Easter. I was hesitant to do this because I had several big buds and hated to cut them off. She said it would be better for the bush and I would be happier because I did it. Judy was SO right.

      My rose bush looks amazing. I can’t get over how much better it looks now. It’s hardly the same rose. It’s so pretty, it makes me think I know how to garden. 🙂

      Gardening lectures are wonderful to attend. Besides the Master Garden lectures, several of the nurseries provide lectures too. There are lots of opportunities for me to turn my brown thumb green.

      Congratulations on your roses. I know they will bring you great joy as you gaze upon them while puttering in the kitchen.

      Have a wonderful weekend and thanks for sharing.

  2. jayardi Says:

    • • • I LOVE roses. Number one on my list. Dan had bought me a mini indoor bush. Sadly, it did not survive the winter move. 😦 My BLACK thumb didn’t know what to do. Seeing your photos helps a lot. Thanks for the beautiful pictures.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Jayardi! What? You love roses? How cool is that? Since you aren’t a fan of floral fabric, I thought that translated to the actual plants too. What a great surprise. If you love roses, then you would ABSOLUTELY LOVE this place. I have never seen so many roses in one spot.

      They had every kind of rose you could imagine and some were in colors I have never seen. Next time you come to Houston, we will need to take a special road trip. I am sure our friend Lisa will also want to go. I am sure she is a rose lover as well.

      Glad you enjoyed the photos! xxxooo 🙂

      • jayardi Says:

        • • • Don’t forget about Ms. Carol. She’s famous for her roses. Made the society page and walking tour. I know she’ll want to join us.

  3. Cyn Strang Says:

    Love roses! Would have loved to hear that lecture and learn how to make mine low maintenance! After getting black mold disease, I cut them to the roots. They are back now and I already have some small blooms!
    Planting tomatoes this weekend, now that the frost we had this last week is gone. Looks like we are on a warming trend again.
    Can’t wait to see what all you do with your garden this year!
    Love ya! Xoxoxo Cyn

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Cyn! Glad you enjoyed the photos. I was blown away at the beauty and diversity of the types and sizes of roses. It was an amazing experience.

      The lecture was fantastic, but it didn’t cover how to make your demanding roses maintenance free, but discussed how there were amazing varieties that require little maintenance and are exceptionally hardy and disease resistent. You would have loved the lecture. It was fantastically informative.

      When I start seeing mold I spray my plants with diluted dishwashing liquid. It seems to help. It also acts as an organic pesticide. Very quick and easy to do.

      You might consider adding some kind of shell or porous material to your soil so that the water can drain away.

      I’m looking forward to seeing what my yard does as well. I think it’s off to a great start and am anxious to see how it evolves in the coming months.

      I am considering big changes in the Fall. I would love to rearrange things now, but it’s starting to get too warm here to consider moving anything big and I want to move and add BIG things. For now, I will just keep things as they are and anxiously watch for what happens next.

      Have a wonderful week. Love to you and Jeff. xxxooo 🙂

  4. Wendy Says:

    Thanks for sharing such beauty and color on a day when we in upstate NY have 32 degrees and a stiff wind!

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Wendy, You are most welcome. I am happy to share the beauty I experienced with those, like you, who are still waiting for Spring to fully arrive.

      Stay warm and think of Spring.

  5. Linda Says:

    Hi! cousin. Beautiful photos. I’m not familiar with some of the plant photos but would love to have some of that purple foliage and also the one with yellow and red varigated leaves. You don’t happen to know the plant names?
    You should get you some Knockout Roses. They are very easy to grow. I have a Peace Rose that is a hybrid Tea rose that is so beautiful in the spring. I also have old fashioned climbing red roses, Jacob’s coat, miniture red roses, 2 knockout roses (one pink and one red), and Pink Fairy roses. Love all of them! Oh! and a white rose bush that I don’t have any idea the variety name.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Linda, Glad you enjoyed the photos. The purple plant is called a Prussian Shield. It’s an unbelievable plant to look at. It is so colorful, you think it’s artificial.

      The yellow plant is a Coleus. I’ve seen an amazing variety of different styles and colors this year and I am blown away by what the nurseries are creating. Stunning color combinations and textures. Really breathtaking plants. Too bad they are annuals. I would have dozens of varieties in my garden if they perennials.

      I am in the midst of figuring out the type of rose I want. There are hundreds of varieties to choose from and I am going to explore each one in hopes of finding the perfect rose for me and my home.

      Thanks for sharing your garden with me. Have a great day!

  6. Sherry Branham Says:

    as long as your news is about big brown rick rack and trapunto, I’ll sit very still and wait. otherwise, there will be fidgeting going on.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Sherry, You are too funny. This news doesn’t deal with rick rack or trapunto, but future news definitely will.

      You don’t have much longer to fidget. 🙂

  7. Eddie Landreth Says:

    Hi Tom!

    I imagine those pics of the Antique Rose were beautiful indeed. And can you just imagine what some place like that would smell like? Years ago I went to New Zealand on business and got to visit a botanical park in Wellington that had a huge rose garden area. It was beautiful, but what I remember most was the smell – and it changed as you walked through it, slightly, but you could tell when you were in a different area. A wonderful memory.

    Looking forward to your big quilting news, too. I’m sure it’s going to be seriously exciting and wonderful at the same time.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Hi Eddie, It’s so good to hear from you. You’ve been absent for a while. You must be very busy quilting. Good for you.

      Wow, what an adventure. I would love to see something like that. You are SO right. The smells were amazing.

      I learned at my rose lecture that antique roses were treasured because of their smell and not the bloom. It’s not that they aren’t beautiful, it just not their only function.

      The newer Hybrid roses were created for the bloom. They are show roses and are meant to be beautiful and make fantastic arrangements, but their smell has been sacrificed for the beauty.

      Going to the Antique Rose Emporium was a feast for the senses—all of them.

      Thanks for dropping by to share your story. I’ll be sharing my news soon, so stay tuned.

  8. Carol Anderson Says:

    Tom, Tom, Tom, my friend, we really must talk.

    Antique roses are a particular favorite of mine. I will be happy to give you a tour of my garden (such as it is) since I have about 50+ antique roses. The fall would be much better; they tend to get cranky in the summer heat.

    I just need a couple of days’ warning so I can clean up all of the doggy dooo before you arrive.

    • Tom Russell Says:

      Well Carol Anderson, as I live and breathe,

      What a pleasure it is to have you drop by, and even more so, because you want to talk about roses.

      Wow! 50+ roses in your garden. That must be amazing to see. I can only imagine how beautiful that it. Sounds almost like you have your own mini version of the Antique Rose Emporium. Congratulations!!!

      Thank you for the offer to share your garden with me. I would love to see it and I will bring my Magic Camera along to document the experience.

      I’ve been looking for someone to ask about selecting the right rose for me and it appears, you may be the perfect person to discuss the subject with.

      When you are ready for me to visit, just say the word and the Magic Camera and I will be there.

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