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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 simultaneously was the editor of their newsletter. A meteorologist by trade, he then left The Weather Channel to start a full-time rose business he named Rose Gardens by Ryan. At that point, he also 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

 In Atlanta, Ryan’s personal rose garden included over 300 rose bushes and 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 101st 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.


Ryan's Timely Tips


 I just received my maiden plants from Wisconsin Roses. The reason that I ordered maidens was that it was the easiest way to get plants of Kristen Singer , a great rose. Sometimes, this is the only way to get certain newer roses you want with the decreasing number of small growers. Maidens are shipped to you with a small plant that consists of a rooted cutting of multiflora with one bud of the rose variety that  you want. You plant it in a small pot with a good potting soil just like any other rose and wait for the multiflora cutting to start growing at the top. After a week or two when the plant has settled and the roots have taken hold, you cut all the new growth off above the bud which allows the bud to start growing on it’s own. This will become the bud union of your new rose where all your new canes will be growing from.

This bud will grow rapidly to the point where you will have one bud ready to bloom. Since this little plant will be top heavy, be sure to support it as it grows taller. It is always a thrill see the very first bloom that it produces if you have never grown the rose before. Once that bloom is done, you will be surprised how fast this plant will start putting out new shoots from this small little bud union. As it gets bigger, you will want to gradually repot it up to the next size pot. Do not repot it into a much larger pot as the roots may not dry out quickly enough to prevent the roots from being waterlogged which will lead to a decline in the growth. The next largest pot will be just fine.

Irrigation Prep

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

 Ryan's Journal is coming out monthly now here. Don't wait for the next issue of The Crazed Rosarian. With Spring finally arriving in Washington State, I bring you some beautiful roses to view. And then soon, you'll be reading the June Journal.

The Portland Rose Show just wrapped up, and our

Fort Vancouver Rose Show is just around the corner.

Ryan’s May 2023 Garden Journal

May 05 – Normally I would wait a few more weeks to plant my new roses, but with hip replacement on May 12, I had no choice but to get them in right now. Good thing I already had all the spots well prepared so all I had to do was dig, remove rose from pot, plant rose, water, and mulch.
May 06 – It is imperative that I get these roses off to a good start so I will be watering every day for awhile. Next week it looks like we will have several days in the 90’s while I am having surgery. Could have waited a few days if you ask me.

May 8 – In many parts of the country, roses are starting to bloom, or blooming is in full swing and that means
thrips. For a small garden, using a hand sprayer or aerosol can to spray only the buds and blooms every 3-4 days
will eliminate them after only 2 or 3 applications. Conserve is the most Nature friendly product to use but not the
best. For tough thrips, especially in warm/hot summer regions, I use Safari, Malathion, Conserve, Orthene, or
and rotate with Conserve. For large gardens, try using a pump up sprayer with as much pressure as you
can get and mist over the tops of the bushes. Also, remember that thrips like other shrubs like gardenia blooms as
well so if they are close by, spray their blooms as well.
May 10 – I am taking a calculated risk by not doing a main season spray before the surgery. All roses are putting
out a lot of beautiful new growth and are more susceptible to spray damage at this stage. Even though the next 2
weeks of warm and dry conditions will be favorable for powdery mildew. So, I am utilizing risk vs. reward logic and have decided to hold off on the spraying and avoid the risk of spray damage in this hot weather.
May 11 – With surgery tomorrow, I am giving all roses a really deep watering due to the upcoming heat wave while I am bedridden.

May 12 - My big day. Wendy will be watering for a while.
May15 – 20 – Watering, disbudding, and staking take center stage with the Portland Rose Show 3 weeks away.
May 21 – Even though there is a little bit of powdery mildew and an aphid or two here and there, I am not going to make a large scale pesticide application unless the situation warrants it. A bit of spray damage can ruin an otherwise great bloom if it is entered in a rose show. For now, just spot spraying with Eagle for powdery mildew will have to do.

Dec Journal

Past Journals

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