Archive | March 2017

2017 Is the Year of the Rose

Reposted with permission of the National Garden Bureau:


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2017 is the Year of the Rose!
Year of the Begonia
The US National Flower first appeared around 35 million years ago and is part of the Rosaceae family which is very important for our food supply (think apples, strawberries, etc…). There are more than 150 species of Roses but very few are used in today’s gardens.

Roses have been associated with the human population since the earliest recorded history. The oldest record is from China and dates back more than 7,000 years ago and their popularity has never faded since. Modern rose hybridization started in Western Europe in the 18th Century, and today there are more than 11,000 existing varieties of hybrid roses, with more being bred every year.

National Garden Bureau is proud to present the Year of the Rose in partnership with the American Rose Society.
Join us during the 2017 #YearoftheRose! Follow us on Social Media! Use the hashtags #YearoftheRose and #Roses to post pictures of your favorite garden roses and join the conversation!
The rose industry is divided into 3 main areas, the Fragrance industry, the Fresh Flower/Florist industry and the Garden industry.

The Fragrance industry uses mostly 2 species grown specifically for that purpose. R. Gallica and R. Damascena. The industry is concentrated on the Mediterranean basin where the climate is ideal for their culture. It takes 10,000 pounds of rose petals to make 1 liter of Rose oil, one of the most widely used components in making perfumes.

The Florist rose industry produces more than 1 billion stems a year in more than 30,000 acres of greenhouses worldwide. The industry started in Europe and the US near the main urban centers in the late 19th Century and has moved into areas with climates better suited for their production. Columbia and Ecuador in South America, Kenya and Ethiopia in Africa and now China and India are the major producing areas, although there is a small but growing trend in the US to produce locally grown fresh flowers once again.

Last but not least, Garden roses have been front and center in the garden since the Middle Ages when they were widely grown for their medicinal qualities. The industry today is largely concentrated in developed countries (US, Europe, Japan, Australia…) but there are big developments in newly industrialized countries and especially in China.

Read more about the Year of the Rose including how to grow and pruning tips…

Pansy Inspire Plus Beaconsfield
Rose Pink Double Knock Out
Pansy Colossus Tricolor Imperial
Rose High Voltage
Pansy Nature Mulberry Shades
Rose Sweet Fragrance
Pansy King Henry Viola
Rose Oso Easy Italian Ice

2017 is the Year of the Brassica!

Reposted with permission of the National Garden Bureau:


2017 is the Year of the Brassica!
Year of the Brassica

The Brassica family of plants is one of the most prolific genera of vegetables in the world, enjoyed by countless generations in many forms and playing a starring role in many culturally significant recipes. Brassica vegetables, including bok choy, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, kale, kohlrabi, rutabagas, and turnips are popular around the world today and have been a major food source for as long as anyone can remember. The Chinese philosopher Confucius, before dying in 479 B.C. wrote over 300 traditional songs describing life in the Chou dynasty. Many of the songs were agriculturally themed and named over 40 foods of the time, including cabbage! Perhaps current songwriters should devote more lyrics to healthy eating and the joys of agriculture!

Also known as cole crops, derived from the Latin word caulis, denoting the stem or stalk of a plant, brassica provide plenty of nutrition (vitamin C and soluble fiber) and healthy doses of glucosinolates, a compound that helps reduce the risk of various cancers of the digestive tract.  In addition, red Brassicas provide mega-doses of Anthocyanin (a powerful anti-oxidant) at bargain prices. Some glucosinolates have a bitter flavor that makes them unpalatable to some people.  Modern breeding has replaced some of the bitter glucosinolates with neutral-flavored ones so that all palates can enjoy Brassicas.

To celebrate the Year of the Brassica, try one of these Brassica recipes from Chef Jonathan Bardzik
Read more about all the different types of Brassica including Broccoli, Brussell Sprouts, Cabbage, Pak Choi, Cauliflower, Collards, Kale, Kohlrabi, Radish, Rutabaga, Turnip.
See pictures of all the different types of Brassica.
New Varieties from our members:
Brussels Sprouts Dagan
Brussels Sprouts Dagan
Cabbage Caraflex F1
Cabbage Caraflex F1
Kale Prizm F1
Kale Prizm F1
Kohlrabi Konan F1
Kohlrabi Konan F1
Radish Sweet Baby F1
Radish Sweet Baby F1
Radish Fiesta Blend
Radish Fiesta Blend
The National Garden Bureau recognizes and thanks, Jan van der Heide from Bejo Seed as the author, and Heather Kibble from Sakata Home Grown as a contributor to this fact sheet.

This brassica fact sheet is provided as an educational service of the National Garden Bureau. There are no limitations on the use. Please credit National Garden Bureau. Please consider our NGB member companies as authoritative sources for information. Click on direct links to their websites by going to and searching our Member Directory. Gardeners looking for seed, bulb and plant sources, please select “Shop Our Members”.

Photos can be obtained from the NGB website. National Garden Bureau would like to thank our members for providing the photos for this feature. Please credit the National Garden Bureau anytime one of these images is used.