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Ryan's  "BIO" 

Ryan Tilley loved roses since he was a kid, but became serious about them in the early '90's when he started his own rose garden at his and Wendy’s first home. By the mid-90s, Ryan was president of the local rose society in Atlanta, GA and the editor of their newsletter.


A meteorologist by trade, he then left The Weather Channel to start a full-time rose business Rose Gardens by Ryan. He started writing a newsletter for his clients, The Georgia Rose that won accolades from peers and rosarians all over. Ryan gained a reputation as THE ROSE MAN of Atlanta. He was a Consulting Rosarian and Master Rosarian with a nationwide reputation for excellent roses and excellent writings about roses.

By the time Ryan retired in 2018, he was maintaining over 100 rose gardens in and around the Atlanta area, including several award-winning gardens that were featured on tours or in national magazines.

Ryan's Bio Continued

 Ryan’s personal rose garden in Atlanta included over 300 rose bushes, was featured on the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Connoisseur Tour and at both ARS National Rose Shows and Conventions held in Atlanta, GA. 

Ryan and his wife Wendy moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2018 with their six cats and he now tends his own garden of approximately 250 roses. He continues to receive accolades about his garden and even recently received the coveted “Queen of Show” award for his Neptune Hybrid Tea rose at the Portland, OR Rose Show in 2022.


Ryan continues to write his newsletter, turned magazine, now called The Crazed Rosarian– now in its 104th issue!! In retirement, Ryan and Wendy enjoy their new home, Ryan’s Halloween and Dr. Who hobbies, and exploring the Pacific Northwest and western Canada.

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Ryan's Timely Tips


See Issue 103,The Crazed Rosarian for this tip and more, including pictures. More on Maidens: coming, Issue 106. Order your maidens from Wisconsin Roses,

Irrigation Prep for Winter

If you live in a cold part of the country, make sure you drain your irrigation system and shut it off so you don't have broken pipes come Spring. Many of you will have this done already, like we have. If we need to water, we will use the house water instead.

Irrigation Prep for Spring

It's a good day to get the irrigation system ready for action, if you haven't already completed this annual chore. I redesigned a few areas of my PVC Dramm system and fixed a few leaks in the soaker hoses.  Two of my outside faucets cracked at some point over the winter and will need to be replaced.  By doing this now, it will be one less thing to do when the roses really starting growing and will need the usual TLC.  Additionally, I will not be fixing the irrigation system in the heat and humidity that will be here soon enough.


Ryan's Journals

My Lady Barbara
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The Rose Gardener

We are at the end of May now, and Spring is here!  FINALLY!!

I'm Loving Being Back in my Garden!

The May Journal is

MAY 2024! part 1

May 2 - Finally got some dry weather so I applied Stature to try and eradicate downy mildew once again for the upcoming cool, rainy days. It is really annoying how downy mildew has snuck in the garden on many of my floribundas and disease prone roses like Neil Diamond. Nothing really major, but it’s irritating just the same. As per usual, I added something to prevent leaf spots. This time I added Banner Maxx and Daconil Ultrex. This spray should give me at least 2 weeks before I have to spray again.

May 3 – I started adding the final bit of mulch to all the rose beds. This time I am using mini nuggets on top of the composted mulch from Soil Builders I applied earlier in April. The plan is to keep the moisture in the composted mulch even more and allow it to decompose more efficiently without it burning up in the hot summer season. This is probably the most spring mulch I have added since my Atlanta Days. Here’s hoping it will save money on my water bill this summer. A few months one of those blue water pipes broke underground and created a lake on the side of the property. Total cost over $3000 for both labor and water wasted!

May 5 - Disbudding and Staking, disbudding and staking, disbudding and staking.

May 6 - Still waiting for Love’s Promise to hit its stride now in year 3. Blooms are deep strawberry current red on the upper surface and a lighter cardinal red reverse with divine raspberry fragrance, when (if?) they ever decide to bloom. I really want this rose to be great (or at least passable), but so far, not so much. This year if it does not perform, gone baby gone!

May 7 - The underwhelming Hot Prince that Wendy likes, is still here, in year 4, and has not produced even one bouquet, just like another doomed Wendy favorite, Bronze Star. Now a monster rabbit is eating all its leaves... a sign from above that its time has come? I would like to replace it with Hot Princess when it is time to pull the plug. Maybe if I leave a shovel out the rabbit will dig it out for me.

May 9 - Summer is here. First 80-degree day since October 2023

May 12 - New variety Chantilly Cream is blooming and even at this early date, it is better than the-so-far-disappointing Lemontini now in its second year. I think I now understand why Lemontini was so hard to find last does not seem to be very vigorous and is decidedly winter tender, so there might have been a crop failure. This has happened on occasion in the past with other varieties.

May 14 - Several bushes are starting to bloom. They are Pope John Paul II, Stephen Rulo, Halloween, Olivia Rose Austin, Easy on the Eyes, Princess Alexandra of Kent and World War II Memorial. I am especially happy with Halloween which has gotten better each year and its first blooms this year are terrific. It is perhaps the most fragrant hybrid tea in the garden. Used my 2-gallon Solo sprayer to mist buds and blooms with Malathion for thrips.

May 15 - A personal favorite of mine, Affirm continues to disappoint. A standout grower and bloomer despite its botrytis problems in Atlanta, it still won’t grow or bloom here in Vancouver the last 2 years. I had hoped that the dry summers with low humidity would help cure it botrytis problems, but looks like I will never know.

May 16 - Did not wait until Hot Prince bloomed due to rabbit damage. It is now in Louie’s rose garden. Got the far superior Hot Princess in the mail from KandM Roses a few days ago to replace it. But it apparently sat in the post office over last weekend and looked really bad and dried out when I opened it. I believe it will recover in a week or two.

May 17 - Cut first bouquet of 2024. Blooms included are Halloween, Pope John Paul II, Boscobel, Princess Alexandra of Kent, Abraham Darby, Maurice Utrillo, Koko Loco. (picture above, middle) Watered all roses really well since there has been no real rain for 10 days now. Made adjustments to the in-ground system to hit a few more roses. Finished planting potted roses the last few days. Did not mulch them as I wanted the soil to warm up a bit first.

May 18 - Did another spot spray with Malathion to prevent thrips. So far, no thrips! So many roses are starting to open, it’s too many to list, but Vibrant Vonnie has some outstanding blooms with great color. Clovie’s first blooms, not so much.

May 19 - 44 degrees last night. Should help increase the size of blooms over the next few days. Even though the weather is favorable for powdery mildew, have resisted temptation to spray to prevent very young foliage from wrinkling with spray damage. The Banner Maxx I sprayed last week should still offer protection for most bushes. But this could change if mildew starts getting out of hand, especially for mildew magnets like hybrid tea, Sweet Mademoiselle and the shrub rose Pumpkin Patch. Sweet Mademoiselle.

Past Journals

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