The Shirley and Emery Sexton Garden
Note: The following is an article by Linda Mortimer. It was re-printed from Roses on the Red.
Our spotlight this month features a very special couple: Emery and Shirley Sexton.
If you missed seeing Shirley at our last RRRS meeting, it is because she is recovering from hip replacement surgery performed on March 5. We all hope that there will soon be a “spring” to her step as she tends her rose garden.
Why do you grow roses?
Emery and Shirley believe that the beauty of the roses and the challenge involved in having healthy and beautiful roses is their inspiration for growing roses.
What classes of roses do you grow?
The Sextons grow both EarthKind and Floribunda roses.
How do you care for your roses?
The Sextons care for their roses using both organic methods and chemicals. They particularly like to use the fertilizer from Roses, Inc. out of Tulsa, OK.
What are your favorite roses?
Emery‘s favorite rose is the ‘Julia Child’ rose for its beauty. This is a floribunda rose of butter yellow with blooms borne in small clusters. It has an intense sweet licorice fragrance. His favorite class of roses, in general, is the ‘KnockOut’ roses for their ease of care. It is hard for Shirley to choose a favorite as they are all so beautiful to her. She says the ones she likes the best are the ‘Double Dipped’ rose, a hybrid tea rose with very large, double petaled blooms of red and white with red edges; and the ‘Hot Cocoa’ rose which is a floribunda with flowers that are russet colored with large, double petaled blooms borne in small clusters.
Do you have a favorite rose garden or memory that you feel has impacted you greatly and your love of roses?
To the Sextons, the beauty of the rose naturally attracts us to want to grow them. There are so many beautiful varieties from which to choose. Emery remembers growing up near a park that had a beautiful rose garden that he always enjoyed as a child. They visited that same park last year, on the banks of Lake Erie in Ohio, and they were more beautiful than ever!
How many roses do you grow?
Emery and Shirley are currently growing 19 rose bushes. The varieties are: ‘Double KnockOut’, ‘Double Dipped’, ‘Hot Cocoa’, ‘Ebb Tide’, ‘Belinda‘s Dream’, ‘Julia Child’, ‘Martha Gonzales’, ‘Climbing Pinkie’, and ‘Mister Lincoln’.
What is the best advice you would give to a novice rose grower?
They recommend joining the Red River Rose Society as their first choice. There are plenty of very knowledgeable people to help you in your efforts in learning about roses. They also recommend visiting local nurseries and asking for advice. The nurseries can provide valuable information that the big box stores cannot provide.
What secret tip would you be willing to share about growing roses?
The Sextons put coffee grounds and banana peels on all of their roses. They really seem to like it! With Bill Cashin‘s advice, they have started using alfalfa pellets this year as well.
How long have you been growing roses?
Emery and Shirley have been growing roses since May of 2008 when they began to landscape their new home. Emery had grown some roses in the past, but not as seriously as he does now.
What unusual experience have you had growing roses?
The Sexton had, with all the advice they had received, decided to prune their roses this year on Valentine‘s Day. When they went to the February 17th meeting, they heard Mark Stelljes advise, “Do not prune your roses until March!” They hadn‘t realized they should have waited, but they say their roses seem to be doing fine. Emery did also say that, “Next year, I will definitely wait! North Texas weather is very UNPREDICTABLE!”
Yellow roses are beautiful
Happy blue morning visitor