--- Rose fans in the Hattiesburg area don't have to go far to see
the latest hybrid of the popular plant.
As home to
one of only two All-American Rose Gardens in the state, The University
of Southern Mississippi's garden is a colorful showcase for the
work of rose growers hoping to get their product on the market.
Southern Miss receives from two to three new roses from the All-American
Rose Society that join the approximately 750 plants that make up
the garden located at the front of the university's campus. This
year's edition includes such names as "Day Breaker," "Memorial
Day" and "Honey Perfume."
they (society) select the roses, they send them to us in early spring,"
said Sid Krhut of the Southern Miss Grounds Department. Krhut and
his staff are responsible for the care and promotion of the garden
and an estimated 500 more rose plants located throughout the campus.
"We're responsible for caring for them and making them visible
to the public."
Rose Society provides the roses to their designated gardens across
the country through its distribution arm, All-American Rose Selections
Inc. of Chicago. The roses are award-winners as judged by evaluators
from the society, and their display in the gardens is not only an
opportunity for rose lovers to examine them, but also a chance to
market the plants to potential buyers.
(rose growers) love the smell and the colors, those are the main
things they like about roses," said Larry Underwood, who assists
Krhut with maintenance of the plants at Southern Miss.
at Southern Miss was developed by the Hattiesburg Area Rose Society
in 1972 through the leadership of the late William Wicht, a Hattiesburg
resident who served as the first president of HARS. A memorial to
Wicht's efforts to make the garden a reality is located next to
the garden. Since its official dedication in 1974, the Southern
Miss rose garden has received numerous awards for maintenance and
the garden takes a larger measure of dedication and work than regular
watering and fertilizer application. Vulnerable to various diseases
and insects, roses require weekly sprayings and trimming of dead
leaves and stems, along with thorough prepping of the garden beds
in the spring, which Krhut said is a two-week process.
But for rose
lovers, the rewards are worth all the effort. "Roses are different
from a lot of other landscape plants," Krhut said. "They
have a long period of bloom production, from midspring to November."
about the Southern Miss All-American Rose Garden and to arrange
tours of the garden, contact Krhut at (601) 266-6951.