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EDITOR'S LETTER: You Heard It Here First … Roses Are Easy To Grow

By Karen England. First published in 2012 on

For over a decade this unknown rose variety has been growing uncared for in a dirt lot in Vista, CA. Photo taken in April 2021.

The rose was the Herb of the Year™ for 2012 and when folks find this out they invariably say one (or more) of several things to me …

“… I didn’t know roses were herbs,"


“… roses are so hard to grow,"


“… I didn’t know roses were edible,"


All of this is proof positive that the point of the IHA’s (International Herb Association) Herb of the Year™ program, that of Herbal Education, is working! Especially since no one goes away from a conversation with me about the herbal aspects of the organically grown rose without a better understanding of just how edible, useful, and healthful roses are, as well as just how easy roses are to grow.

This rose bush, shown here in 2012 above, and in 2021 below, is just another example of how easy roses are to grow.

This rose, whose name I do not know (but if I had to guess, I think it might be “Pope John Paul?”) has been growing in a dirt lot behind a liquor store and a taco shop at the corner of Warmlands & East Vista Way, in Vista, CA for well over a decade. When it rains, the area that this rose is growing in puddles up but other than that there is no water nearby. The area is riddled with gophers and gopher holes and the weedy grasses and mustard growing around it hides a shocking amount of trash. The bush gets no fertilizer, never gets pruned, has no irrigation and yet it grows, it blooms and the fragrance is incredible, year after year. What can be easier than that?


Are you growing your roses organically? If so, think about eating and drinking them as Karen does.

To learn more, consider getting yourself a copy of the International Herb Association's Rose, Herb of the Year™ 2012 book. Karen England is a contributor to this IHA membership written book and the book is available for sale from Karen’s blog store here. (


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