Virtual Tour of Gardens: Strowd Garden

Witherspoon Rose Culture Presents:
Virtual Tour of the Gene Strowd Community Garden

We live in a society that champions speed and efficiency.  Smartphones make it easy to communicate without verbal communication and almost eliminate the need for face to face contact.  These advances in technology, frequency of relocation, and busier schedules have all contributed to an overall sense of isolation in our society.  We truly have to work to be a part of a community, but it is a refreshing experience to be a part of something larger than ourselves.  Gene Strowd was a man who championed community, and over four hundred and fifty roses stand as a testament to that fact in the Gene Strowd Community Garden in Chapel Hill, NC. 

Gene Strowd Community Garden

Gene Strowd was a rosarian on the national level, but his heart was obviously dedicated to his home community of Chapel Hill and Carrboro.  Mr. Strowd used roses as a way of engaging with people and bringing beauty into the lives of those he came in contact with daily.  In 1987, he proposed the idea of a community rose garden where everyone was welcome to come and experience the beauty that only roses can provide.  Gene Strowd, along with the Chapel Hill Rose Society and the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department, designed the layout of the garden and construction began in 1988.

Climbing Iceberg

As you walk into the garden, you get a sense of what Gene Strowd hoped to accomplish by planting a rose garden in the middle of Chapel Hill.  There are benches around the garden where you can sit and have a face to face conversation with friends.  You will hear joyful giggles from the playground that is located directly adjacent to the garden, and if you take time to sit in the gazebo at the back of garden you will see how many people from the community take time to stop and smell the roses.  The copper fountain in the center of the garden provides a soundtrack to the rose garden with soothing sounds of trickling water, and the brick pathways lead you through the fragrant beds of roses that encourage you to take time out of your busy day to enjoy pure beauty.

Raised Brick Bed

Both Gene and his beautiful bride, Irene, have passed on from this world, but through Strowd Roses, Inc their commitment to the community of Chapel Hill and Carrboro continues on to this day.  Not only does Strowd Roses, Inc fund the maintenance of the Gene Strowd Garden, they also provide funding for community organizations that improve the quality of life for the community of Chapel Hill and Carrboro.

Living in a society where speed and efficiency are often championed over personal connection, it is refreshing to step into a world of beauty where we can slow down and enjoy the people around us.  Gene Strowd and his wife Irene dedicated their lives and their money to promote a community where helping one another and enjoying togetherness was advocated for above all else.

Carefree Spirit  
Climbing America
Copper Fountain

Seating area in the gazebo


Double Delight



Join us next time for our third stop on the Witherspoon Virtual Tour of Gardens!

Would you like for your garden to be featured in our virtual tour of gardens?  
Email Kelley Triplett at

Witherspoon ships premier roses to all 48 contiguous states February- April.  
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Witherspoon also provides professional rose care services.  We offer preventative and corrective spraying for pests and diseases, fertilizing, pruning, mulching, and planting.

Give us a call at 1-800-643-0315 to request a FREE onsite estimate.
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2014 Rose Introduction

Meet the New Roses!

I know you don’t want to think about this, but the winter months are right around the corner.  Between the shorter days and the cold weather, it is hard not to long for the warmer days of spring.  Let Witherspoon help you get through these tough months!  Take time to curl up in your Snuggie with some hot apple cider and the Witherspoon 2014 Rose Catalog.  Now is the time to dream about your new rose garden and begin to make your plans for next year.

So grab that cider and sit with me for a while so I can introduce to you the new roses we are carrying this year.  We are excited to introduce six brand new varieties along with two varieties that have returned after a long absence!

Brand New for 2014

Happy Go Lucky
Hybrid Tea

The charming, old fashioned pure yellow blooms will brighten your day, and since it is such a prolific bloomer, your days will never be dull!!  To top it all off, this bush has great disease resistance and a moderately fruity fragrance.  (3’w, 3-5’h )
Good as Gold
Hybrid Tea

This rose is not for the faint of heart!  With daring golden orange blooms, long stems and a sweet citrus fragrance, Good as Gold is a bold addition to any garden.  (3’w, 3-6’h)

Jump for Joy

Luscious clusters of peachy-pink blooms will have you jumping for joy in your garden.  Not to mention, the mild apple fragrance and long lasting blooms that will certainly bring a smile to your face!  (3’w, 3-4’h)
Sweet Sunblaze
Miniature Rose
Sweeten up your life with this disease resistant mini! The flourishing double blooms are the clearest pink in the Sunblaze family, and with a slightly spicy fragrance, you will have a little sugar and spice which makes everything nice!  (18″w, 1-2’h)

Lady of Shallot
David Austin

Orange red buds open to reveal a stunning old fashioned chalice bloom with a salmon pink center and a golden reverse.  This hardy and disease resistant rose will also tantalize your sense of smell with the fragrance of warm tea and spiced apples!  (3.5’w, 4’h)

Munstead Wood
David Austin

Enjoy the mystery of this rose as light crimson buds gradually open to reveal a deep velvety crimson center!  This excellent repeater is disease resistant and has a strong fruity fragrance.  (2.5’w, 3’h)

Welcome Back!!
Melody Parfumee

This grandiflora has clusters of deep plum colored buds that unfurl to reveal rich purple blooms which soften to lavender on this prolific bloomer.  These beautiful blooms paired with a strong old rose fragrance and disease resistant foliage will have you singing throughout your garden.  (4’w, 5’h)

Radiant Perfume
Hybrid Tea

If the deep golden yellow color of this roses doesn’t draw you i for a closer look, the strong citrus fragrance most certainly will.  The long stems are great for cutting and the rich green foliage creates a perfect backdrop for the radiant blooms!
(3’w, 5-6’h)

To celebrate these new additions to the Witherspoon Rose Family, I am giving away a R.K. Witherspoon Rose!!

That’s right…you heard me… a FREE ROSE!  I know you are wondering what you have to do to be entered into the drawing for this FREE ROSE.  It’s easy… just follow our blog!  At the end of October I will enter the names of all our followers into a randomizer in order to pick a winner!  Isn’t that easy?

UPDATE 10/16/2013
I have added a followers section to the top of the right sidebar so it should be easier to find where to follow the site!

The winner of the R.K. Witherspoon has been notified via email!  Congrats and we can’t wait to hear from you!

Stay tuned for more giveaways!!  
This could be your rose!

If you are interested in learning more about our new roses, check out this video introducing our new catalog!

If you would like to receive a 2014 Catalog from Witherspoon

The Heat is On!


A Note From Our Service Department

Now that our rose gardens have exploded in their first bloom cycles we look ahead to the hotter summer months to continue to enjoy our prized beauties.  At Witherspoon, our Service department is gearing up for what’s to come when the heat is on.  We experience a myriad of challenges from watering to insects to smaller bloom size.  What’s a rose gardener to do when faced with such encounters? 
Last year we began a new venture in rose garden care by releasing beneficial predatory mites in our customers’ gardens to help combat the destructive spider mites we often see when it’s hot and dry.   We have celebrated this new initiative with great success.  By backing off on the insecticide use while releasing the beneficials we allow them to do their job of eating the bad guys in the garden.  Three cheers for the beneficials!
Adequate water is a single necessary requirement for rose bushes.  We are often asked “how much and how often?”  The answer is depends on some weather conditions, i.e. rain.  If we receive an inch of rain per week, then that is suitable for the roses.  When we do not, then we must supplement the bushes with an equivalent.  This amounts to 5 gallons per rose; we recommend dividing your watering in to 2 separate applications during the week.  Watering a couple of times per week to achieve 5 gallons is better than watering every day at only a gallon at a time.  The reason is you ensure deep watering to the roots when watering with more water less times per week. 


If you have irrigation you’ll need to figure out how to calibrate your particular system to accommodate the 5 gallons per week rule of thumb.  Since irrigation systems vary, we would be unable to tell you specifically what you need to do to effectively get the job done.  The main thing to keep in mind is a higher volume of water a couple times per week rather than watering every day. 
One of the many reasons we see smaller bloom size in the hotter months is due to, in most cases, lack of water.  But, it is not limited to only the effects of water supply; heat and humidity play roles as well.  And let’s be honest, all 3 really are working against you at the same time!  When it’s hot, it’s drier, and when there’s no rain, plants get stressed. 
Along with smaller blooms we are often asked about fading color.  While it’s true that most flower color is best when it’s cool, there are a small handful of roses that will color better when it’s hot.  Both Tropicana and We Salute You™ will hold their color.  Some just simply continue to deliver great performance all the way around in the heat, such as Chrysler Imperial and Mother of Pearl™. 
Remember, it is always best to continue to remove the spent flowers as they fade away.  Keep them well watered during times of lack of rain, and most certainly remember to share them with your friends!