Jocelyn Moroney, noted rosarian and journalist, conducted the following
interview with Lee Sherman, Dean of the L.S. School of Gardening in February, 1999.
Joss: Happy Groundhogs Day!
Lee: Spring started today...the beginning of gardening season.
Celebrate it every year. Ground Hogs Day.
Joss: What do you do?
Joss Are you using clematis on your ramblers?
Lee: You've snapped to more LS Gardening... clematis at the feet of
once bloomers... it works... clem roots get shade and have a nice host.
Joss How did you get your soil amendments into what must have been
really poor soil?
Lee: I had tons of manure in bags delivered... garden gate was too
small to let a truck into the main garden in back.. all
heavy bags had to be carried... when ever my sons would come to visit,
I would make them each carry a certain number of bags of manure before I
would let them have their beer.
Joss: Did Mike Lowe like your garden when he saw it?
Lee: When Mike and Irene visted here, there were hugs and kisses...
then out to the garden for drinks... Mike and I walked around... finally we
sit under the willow tree, he looks about and says "it's pretty Lee, but
it's not a rose garden." I reply "Not a rose garden! What in hell do you
mean, it's not a rose garden. There are more than 500 roses out here. What
do you mean?" Mike replied "It's a garden with roses."
Joss: Do you ever winter over roses in cans?
Lee: Yes... I shove'em up against the house and tell them to live."
Joss: How do you decide what to prune?
Lee: Walk around the garden in your bathrobe and anything that grabs
you gets whacked off."
Joss: What overall design method do you use?
Lee: The Stick Method. Stick'em wherever there is an open spot.
Joss: What do you do when you get new baby roses?
Lee: I put them in cans. I plant the cans . If they don't do too well
in that spot, I move'em. Put sticks in the cans so you can remember to get
them OUT of the cans eventually.
Joss: How long do you leave the roses in their cans?
Lee: I leave them in their cans until Fall. Then take the rose out of its
can, hold it up and tell it what a great looking rose it is. Put it in the
hole the can has been resting in.
Joss: How do you protect your babies once they are planted?
Lee: Tomato cages. Cut the cages with your loppers.
Joss: Do you use a watering system?
Lee: Overhead. They say it is not good but it works for me. That way
you don't have to dig around under mulch checking to see if every emitter is
Joss: Do you use any other methods for watering?
Lee: The hose. My husband says I'll be buried with a hose in my hand.
I don't know if it is for the roses or where I am going.
Joss: When do you water?
Lee: When it is time to do housekeeping.
Joss: Some people recommend cleaning up blackspot leaves from under
the roses. Do you do this?
Lee: Jeez, NO! don't people know how short life is?
Joss: I want to plant some tender teas in my area. Should I use rose
Lee: Cones! Jeez...LS School tried that one year and said to hell with
Joss: What do you do about those high desert winds you get?
Lee: Supposed to have gusts today up to 60 mph...those roses are going
to learn to handle it.
Joss: What repeat blooming old roses do you recommend?
Lee: Paul Neyron. He's as welcome as a whore at a picnic. You gotta get
Joss: Do you grow any other shrubs?
Lee: Lilacs. I love them. I want to roll in the petals.
Joss: How do you propagate roses?
Lee: A friend in Brazil said he learned more from Malcolm Manner's site
than any book ...go to it. And go to your Rose Society...find the Magic
Joss: I understand you have branched out into other areas of LS Schools?
Lee: The LS School of Cooking.
Joss: Your son, Mark, claims that you have a recipe for Parrot for
Lee: The boys left their birds with me and they can imitate the car alarm
going off... the boys also taught them to swear... I tell the parrots I'll
write a book... 25 Simple Recipes to Serve Your Talkative, Feathered
Joss: Anything else quick for dinner?
Lee: Hors d'oeuvres. Salami slices wrapped around brie.
Joss: Sounds wonderful! Any other treats?
Lee: Toast with poached eggs on top of poached fresh asparagus...For
brekkie, for dinner.
Joss: Anything to go with the main course?
Lee: Salad with Caesar dressing - 5 cloves of garlic, 5 anchovies, 1 1/2 T
lemon juice, 1/4t Dijon, 1/4t Worchestshire sauce, spit or two of pepper, 1
C good olive oil. Whizzle this up in a blender...nummah!