PORTLAND -- The chief botanist at the International Rose Test Garden is having the same rough spring as most Oregonians.
Record spring rains were causing one of the worst seasons for roses since 1996. Black spots and flowers that never fully open, call mummies, are two of the problems. Rain leads to disease of the outer pedals, keeping the roses from opening and causing the flower to rot.
Harry Landers has worked at the Rose Garden for 21 years. He said little can be done, except to wait for sunny days.
The cool temperatures were not a problem - it's all due to the rain and lack of sunshine.
People who choose to spray their flowers and plants should know that a four-hour window of dry weather will be needed and the treatments will have to be applied more often than usual, Landers advized.
Another option -- spraying milk or a mixture of water and baking soda in order to alter the PH of the leaves and prevent black spots.
Standing water should be cleared first, Landers said, because the water will stress the roses and could lead to problems next year.
On a bright note, the lack of sunshine has led to deeper, more brilliant colors. Sunshine can fade the colors, a problem many would like to have.