Our scheduled meeting this month was a work-shop on displaying roses. Considering that this is May 23rd in the central Willamette valley, the number and quality of the roses was impressive. We can share with you the visuals, but the fragrance we can't. Even a couple of neighbors stopped by for an enjoyable evening.
I've noticed that sometimes our blog attracts readers from outside the USA. To be more accommodating to them, I have added a translation tab at the top of this blog. Try it out, and welcome to everyone !
Unless you're growing certain species roses (like R. glauca), you probably won't be encountering the tiny rose-gall wasps shown in my previous post. The galls might sap a little energy from a rose bush, but the diminutive wasps are kind of fun to have around. Our next guest, however, is definitely welcome in our rose gardens. If you see "soldier beetles" among your roses, treat them with kindness and respect -- they are preying upon aphids. Soldier beetles fly around like larger versions of ladybug beetles.
Here's one that I just saw in my garden. Check them out on Wikipedia; additional photos can be found on Google Images.
You might recall my posting of December 12, 2011 titled "I hope they're friendly wasps". Well, patience has paid off, and at least one of the little rose-gall wasps has emerged. I was surprised at how small the little guy was, not any bigger than a medium sized ant. A quick review of the literature re-affirmed their small size -- 3 to 4 millimeters. Here's some photos that I took today; click on the photos to enlarge them.
Update of July 4, 2012: Today was house-cleaning day -- I removed two old rose-galls from my Rosa glauca. About half a dozen new ones are currently being formed, and I'll probably remove all but two later on to repeat the cycle for next year. The old galls were surprisingly tough and solid, and required the use of my rose pruners to slice them open. Here's a photo of one of them: