At our Monday, March 13 meeting, we will be welcoming horticulturalist, author, lecturer, and rose breeder John Bagnasco. John’s talk will focus on preserving the genetics of threatened rose cultivars and the ways in which we can help return these beautiful flowers to our home gardens. Over the past several years, John has observed that many rose cultivars are in danger of extinction. This includes not only old garden varieties, but also more recent hybrid teas. In John’s presentation, he will discuss the efforts of the nonprofits Save the Roses! Foundation and California Coastal Rose Society. Both these organizations are working with concerned commercial growers and rose societies to preserve the genetics of rare and unusual rose varieties; their goal is to return these species to home gardens. He will also discuss what each of us might do to save the varieties of our national flower that are in danger of extinction, and explain how every gardener can become involved in saving endangered roses. John has a horticulture degree from Michigan State University and has been in the gardening industry for 50 years. He is an amateur rose breeder and is responsible for introducing over a dozen new roses. John was chief rose buyer for Armstrong Garden Centers in the late 1990s, and he has taught horticulture classes at Palomar College and San Diego State University. He is also the host of the DVD “The Essential Guide to Roses,” which features Bryan Main and Bruce and Sharon Asakawa. John just released Planting Designs for Cactus and Succulents, a book that he co-authored with Sharon Asakawa and is working with Cliff Orent to write the first ever book on polyantha roses. Currently, John is president of the California Coastal Rose Society and host of Garden America, a nationally syndicated radio show and webstore (www.gardenamerica.com). He also continues to be involved in many other horticultural projects. For more on efforts to preserve genetic diversity see
John Bagnasco has been in the gardening industry for over 50 years, starting with a horticulture degree from Michigan State University and followed by a stint at Frank’s Nursery and Crafts in Detroit. After publishing his first book “Plants for the Home Vol. I” in 1976, he moved to California to become regional manager and buyer for the Nurseryland division of Sunbelt Nursery Group. He then became the head buyer for Armstrong Garden Centers based in Glendora, California. John had a part-time affiliation with Creative Promotions for ten years before joining them full-time in October 2000 as a senior editor and radio personality for Garden Compass. John has also taught horticulture classes at Palomar College and San Diego State University. He is the host of the DVD “The Essential Guide to Roses,” which also features Bryan Main and Bruce and Sharon Asakawa. His most recent book is Planting Designs for Cacti and Succulents.