City of Roses needs more roses says Windsor businessman
Angelo Marignani wants the City of Windsor to plant more rose bushes in planters and parks this year
Posted:Jan 13, 2015 6:00 AM ET
Last Updated:Jan 13, 2015 8:37 AM ET
Put the rose back in the City of Roses, says one downtown businessman.
Angelo Marignani wants Windsor to more fully live up to its name. He is calling for more rose bushes in the Rose City.
Marignani wants the concrete planters along Ouellette Avenue and city parks to be filled with rose bushes.
“If you want to sell your house, make sure it looks good from the outside. If we want to sell the City of Windsor, make sure the city looks great. This is something small we can do that has a profound effect,” he said. “Imagine walking down Ouellette and having these beautiful rose gardens and rose patch after rose patch. I know we can do better.”
Jay Terryberry teaches horticulture at St. Clair College and says the rose is one of his favourite plants. He’s not sure roses will even grow downtown.
“It’s a great idea and I’m all for beautification … although I don’t think the downtown core in concrete planters is where roses should be,” he said.
He says roses require 10-12 hours of direct sunlight daily. He estimates they might get five hours a day downtown.
He also said roses require pruning, mulch, irrigation and more.
“Roses are an all-season plant when it comes to maintenance. I can see people dedicated to planters with roses planted in them throughout the summer,” Terryberry said. “They take a lot of extra care and there are so many other plants that can be planted and a little bit needs to be done to them once or twice a year … and they can sit and do their thing.
“You’ll have a number of roses that aren’t going to make it every year.”
Terryberry says the focus should be on parks.
“Windsor is the Rose City, but planting roses in planters downtown is not the answer. We need to up the ante in our parks,” he said. “I think City Hall should be surrounded by roses.
“But the city has to want to do that. To plant them and not increase your resources in any way, you’re setting yourself up for failure.”
It’s not clear why or when the City of Windsor was dubbed the City of Roses. The city’s coat of arms includes roses. Some say downtown rose gardens were prominent in the 1940s.
Elaine Weeks of the Walkerville Times has a postcard of the Coronation Rose Garden, dated 1944.
There are plenty of businesses and organizations whose names include “Rose City.”
But, there are fewer roses today than six years ago.
Terryberry said roses will struggle to grow without a dedicated staff — or the use of pesticides, many of which Ontario banned in 2009.
Between 2009 and 2011, Windsor removed about half of its rose beds because of the provincial ban on pesticide use, something the finicky rose sometimes needs to flourish.
“There are rose growers that have been put out of business, who used to supply garden centres across the province,” Terryberry said. “We’ve seen a real drop off in the last five or six years.”