Sunday, June 30, 2019

100,000 Roses!

"100,000 roses are in bloom!" exclaimed the email from the Antique Rose Emporium (ARE), and as a bonus, owner Mike Shoup would be conducting tours of their greenhouses and growing fields near Brenham, Texas, on the last weekend in April.  How could I miss that?  And since June is National Rose Month, sharing our tour is the best way to close out the month.

I invited my youngest sister, and the serious rose lover in the family, to join me at the appointed time.  She lives in East Texas where roses are popular and easy to grow.

We were met by owner and rose expert Mike Shoup.  First stop was a talk on propagating roses.  We were invited to take one of the Katrina roses as we left.

The highlight of the tour was a visit to the greenhouse where they develop new rose varieties.  

Mike described how they use their own roses and commercially purchased roses to breed new roses for market.

Each rose is tagged with a color and tags added as they are cross pollinated.

Some of these tiny rose plants are blooming already.

The challenge is to breed roses that are disease resistant with marketable characteristics such as color and scent.  This recent article in the Houston Chronicle details more about the program.

Mike gave us plenty of time to smell all the roses!  He discussed dominant and recessive genes and other fascinating details about his craft.

A few closeups of roses used in the program.  One surprise was how many commonly available retail roses they use to breed their stock.

Hundreds of rose plants selected and ready outside the shipping shed.

Mike demonstrates their specialized boxes for shipping roses.

Ginger the dog was taking it all in too.  If she's heard it all before she didn't let on.

After the guided tour we were invited to take our own driving tour of the fields.  Ginger decided she would be our guide.

Roses are blooming all the way up the hill in the distance.

They weren't kidding about the number of rose blooms either!

We don't see these types of ponds around San Antonio.

Happy to be surrounded with roses!

Next stop is around the corner at the retail nursery for some plant shopping.

Thank you Mike and The Antique Rose Emporium for a fun and informative day.


  1. What a fun event--especially since you were able to share it with your sister!

    1. We did have fun learning about the operation behind such a well-known business.

  2. That's one impressive operation! I love roses but I don't grow many. They need more support to do well here than I feel I have to give them.

    1. They grow okay in my garden but they grow much better where it rains more.

  3. I respect people who grow roses! They have patience which I personally lack.
    Roses are beautiful, and those two with hats in the last picture are the best! :)

  4. You are so sweet Tatyana!


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