Tara Swenson wrote:Oh boy, I got my first house! I'm so excited! And my tiny .11 acre of land is basically as raw as can get - mostly dead grass with 2 old apple trees - however there are TONS of rosebushes around the perimeter.
What I'm wondering is: is there a role for roses in a food forest/permaculture system?
Yes, they are pretty, but I'm inclined to feel that the roses are taking up valuable food-growing space. Am I wrong to want to rip them out? What are your thoughts?
Mike Haych wrote:
There's probably a role for all plants in permaculture. Figuring out the role is the fun part. Given that you've not got a lot of soil to work with and that they aren't Rosa rugosa (the ones that produce big rips), I'd say that most should go. Perhaps you keep some that are especially attractive to your eye. Having said that, I wouldn't take them out right away. Observe your garden for a year and start by making tiny changes. As the garden evolves towards what you want, you take out the roses as you need to.
Thekla McDaniels wrote:
This is what I was going to say, (except the "most should go" part).
Of course there is a role for roses, and many benefits have been listed, but your priorities will be the guide as to what stays and what goes, and no need to decide right NOW. Plenty of time to watch and wait. Plenty of other spaces to get started on, without taking out any of the few plants that are supporting the underground community. Start by giving the roses no care at all, and see which ones are fine without any pampering. Roses have a reputation for needing a lot of care, but they are VERY TOUGH plants, I don't do much for mine, just make sure the desert does not dessicate them, and keep encouraging their roots and the soil they feed to go ever deeper, so that one day I will not need to water them at all.
With all this talk of utility, don't undervalue pure enjoyment on your part. YOU are a part of your systems, and if you love something, there will be days when that soft spot in your heart is valuable beyond measure, the beauty, the fragrance, the cycle of the seasons reflected in their changes. The rose is an archetypal flower. By it one can gauge the passage of a woman's life span, unfolding from bud to blossom to full blown rose, to fruit, to seed and so on ad infinitum. Lush and fragrant, the rose is deemed the epitome of perfection, as is a ripe peach. Let's not any of us pretend there won't be days when a soul needs the resting place a rose can provide ... or any other element we include and care for, just because we favor it.
It's OK to keep something just because we are partial to it.
Gabriel Grace wrote:I love all the information provided here in this thread, but I did not see anyone talking about using roses as a natural protective hedge.
Joan Didion wrote:What’s so hard about that first sentence is that you’re stuck with it. Everything else is going to flow out of that sentence. And by the time you’ve laid down the first two sentences, your options are all gone.
Thekla McDaniels wrote:A locally owned nursery has a highly fragrant thornless variety of our local wild rose. They found it hiking, took a cutting, propagate it. I just found it this summer and brought one home. (pricey in a 5 gallon pot!) It has taken root, and settled in well. Several new stems from under ground. I have no idea what the hips will be like, or how much it will spread ( I hope it will spread to the goats' side of the fence). Will have to wait til this time next year to know.
Certainly if it does thousands of wonderful things, I'll let you all know, and encourage the owners of the nursery to propagate the plug size for the mail to permies business. They also propagate silver buffalo berry from wild gathered seeds, and many other fine native to this area or xeric plants.
I was going to say they do not have a website, but look how wrong I am! http://chelseanursery.com/
great people, but I don't know if they ship.