Loriana Moffitt informs me that most people are scared of roses, and I think, "Oh yeah, those sharp little thorns are kind of nasty." But this isn't what she's talking about. What she means is that roses need to be trimmed back just so each winter in order to bloom the following spring and summer. So important to the cultivation of roses is this process that Loriana runs pruning clinics for amateur gardeners because, yes, people need to know how to take a pair of pruning shears and whack away at a plant.
Ms. Moffitt knows roses. She has taught rose classes at Hancock College, is a certified nurseryman, and has spent years buying roses for local nurseries. She even makes her own potpourri and soaps (rose scented, of course). To help the Central Coast stay colorful and smelling good, she continues her exploration of all things roses with the opening of Ana's Roses in Nipomo.
" A lot of people move over here from the Valley and wonder, "'What's wrong with my Mr. Lincoln, Tropicana, and Sterling Silver?'" muses Loriana. "Fact is, they just came over from rose heaven and now live in a very different spot. They blame themselves and it's not their fault . I have a little testing area where I can see which ones do well."
To find roses that fare well in these climes Loriana imports varieties from as far away as Canada and South Carolina. The roses that do well are cared for and cultivated in pots, trimmed, and fed throughout the winter months so that they come to life about April.
" I keep hearing the same names over again," says Loriana of the hybrids that thrive locally. "'My Double Delight is fabulous,' they say, along with Just Joey, Tournament of Roses, Hot Cocoa - to name a few. If I don't get good feedback or have trouble, the rose is out!"
In addition to roses and the many rose-related accoutrements she offers at Ana's Roses, her famous pruning clinics, once reserved for the classroom at Hancock College, are starting up again, and students can practice on actual roses instead of just visualizing the process.
"People would show up to the college class and spend all this time taking notes, but never actually get out and prune the roses," she says.
"But this time I'll have roses for them to actually prune. Most people are scared of cutting too much, but you really have to try hard to kill a rose."
... Chorro Creek Training Center (CCTC) in Morro Bay serves about 30,000 meals per year for those county residents in need. CCTC also does some training, teaching useful skills to aid in one's assimilation into the self-sufficient life. Recently, Pacific Coast Home and Garden lent a hand to those lending a hand by donating a $28,000 cabinet setup to store all those meal fixings. CCTC is still undergoing improvements. If you'd like to help, call them at 772-5815....
... Tree of Life School of Tae Kwon Do in Atascadero is offering a self-defense and personal safety class for teen girls. The comprehensive weeklong class focuses on a variety of safety issues most women will face at some point in their lives. Students will be taught verbal assertiveness as well as physical defense skills (to be practiced on a padded attacker) in a fun, self-positive environment. To sign up, or for more info, call 461-3865....
... While most of the Mid-State Fair is all about animals that taste good, a spot will be reserved for helping out the kind we like to cuddle up with. That's right, move over pigs and cows; it's puppy and kitty time again. Crystal Springs Water is donating $5 to Woods Humane Society on behalf of each person who signs up for water service while at the fair. New customers can double that donation to $10 if they participate in the "Sink a Birdie for Homeless Doggies and Kitties" putting contest at the Crystal Springs Water booth.
Contributor Bryan Dickerson compiles New Times' Strokes & Plugs. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.