Everything comes up roses for Judy Bacon


By Donna Thornton/News Editor

When members of the Gadsden Rose Society met at Judy Bacon’s home on Reynolds Street for a garden party/meeting last month, election of officers was on the agenda.

Not that there was much of  a contest. Bacon was selected as president of the Gadsden Rose Society for the seventh year.

And looking at Bacon’s garden, one might understand why.

Bacon’s garden features 205 rose bushes. Not too many varieties are repeated, she said. There are probably 180 different kinds of roses, along with hundreds of other plants, flowers and shrubs. Bacon has shrub roses in one bed, she said, and climbers in other appropriate areas – around arbors and trellises.

There are hydrangeas throughout the garden, greenery and other blooming flowers, accented by statuary, benches and other decorative elements.

But roses, it seems, are Bacon’s specialty. She said she does not have a favorite type of rose.

“I love pinks more than I do any of them,” Bacon said. She loves pink roses of all shades, and she’s partial to yellow, too.

Bacon said she’s been growing roses for about seven years. At first, she said, roses may seem difficult.

“I recommend you learn how to grow them, and listen and study and really learn what to do with them,” Bacon said. “Then they are easy to grow. After you get the hang of them, they’re easy.” For beginners, she recommends shrub roses and old-fashioned, proven varieties of roses rather than hybrids.

Roses need more water than people think they do, Bacon said. She said she waters the roses every other day.
As for her own garden, Bacon said it took her the seven years she’s been growing roses to get her garden looking the way she wants it.

With plants, she said, she followed logic in planting many things: Plants that grow well in shade naturally went in the shady parts of the back yard, while sun lovers were placed in brighter spots.

“If I putting out a plant, I’ll put it in a bed and stand back and decide if that’s where I want it,” Bacon said. The garden is a lot of work, she said. Bacon said she’s watering something in the garden daily.

For the rose society garden party, Bacon and her husband Steve placed tables in the garden and tents for the food tables beneath an apple tree.

Benny Campbell of Attalla Florist used cut flowers brought by members of the rose society, some but from Bacon’s garden, and a variety of containers to demonstrate the making of several kinds of arrangements.

And there was the election, that kept Bacon in the office she’s held for so long.

“They won’t let me leave it,” Bacon said. “Nobody will put the time into it that I do.”

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