Tips to growing ‘Dress Blues,’ Portland Rose Festival’s 2018 fragrant floribunda

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Tips to growing 'Dress Blues,' Portland Rose Festival's 2018 fragrant floribunda

Portland Rose Festival 2018 official rose is ‘Dress Blues,’ a disease-resistant Floribunda with a magenta heart named to honor people serving in the U.S. military.( The launch of the summer Portland Rose Festival is not cheered announcements of court princesses in March, but the selection of the official rose in February. For 2018, that’s ‘Dress Blues,’ a disease-resistant floribunda with a magenta-colored heart named to honor people serving in the U.S. military. The medium-stem rose with a fragrance of grapefruit with hints of spices is available exclusively at Dennis’ 7 Dees Landscaping and Garden Centers in Cedar Hills, Lake Oswego and Seaside. The Bethany location will reopen in the spring. The Southeast Portland center has been permanently closed. The nursery will donate $2 to the nonprofit Portland Rose Festival Foundation for each ‘Dress Blues’ plant it sells. Christian Bedard of Weeks Roses was the hybridizer of the rose with lavender petals. “Dress Blues,’ like the other commemorative roses selected each year as the Portland Rose Festival’s official rose, is easy to grow. It’s also known as Violet’s Pride in Weeks Roses’ Downton Abbey collection. The Portland Rose Festival runs May 25 through June 10 . The theme this year is Play Happy. Tips to growing better roses Nicole Forbes of Dennis’ 7 Dees offers this advice to nurturing roses: It’s time to tune up roses for the season. Remove all of last year’s foliage from the plant and pick up leaves that fell around the base. “These are germ factories with last year’s fungus spores,” says Forbes. When planting new roses, make sure the soil is healthy, there’s six hours or more of sun per day and at least three feet of space so the new rose has room to grow and receive good air circulation. Amend your soil to ensure you have fresh organic matter and add a layer of mulch around the rose base to reduced weeds and water evaporation at the soil surface. Good air flow and full sun with healthy soil reduce the odds of plants getting sick. If you’d like to learn more about roses, members of the Portland Rose Society will be at Dennis’ 7 Dees’ Lake Oswego center, at 1090 McVey Ave., from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 3, demonstrating proper rose pruning techniques. The free event also includes an opportunity to have your hand pruners sharpened and a cup bag of your soil pH tested at no cost (503-636-4660, RSVPs appreciated ). Read more rose tips at dennis7dees.com/blog/post/rose-care-101 — Janet Eastman jeastman@oregonian.com 503-799-8739 @janeteastman