5/17/12

The War of the Roses

Everything's in Bloom (Part 9) 
The roses have star power in my gardens. They bring visual delight and in some varieties even have a sweet fragrance. While they bloom in abundance over and over again from early spring until it is too cold usually late in the fourth quarter, they are also challenging, persnickety and demand attention. We do battle on aregular basis. 
Some of the roses are fairly easy and deliver nicely like the Knockout variety. They still require water, deadheading and some treatments to keep the pests away but overall, they are pretty dependable. Those with the biggest and showiest bloom are a lot more work, they require advanced care that gets close to coddling but when they bloom, it all seems worthwhile. If you are successful in cultivating roses, they engage anything near in a turf war for dominance, sunshine and prominence.
I do get to earn my stripes – literally. Caring for these roses as they do attack (or so my husband says) with sharpened thorns ready to shred clothing or flesh that may get too close. Just try digging one out that has been there a while and you find that the root plant that the showy plant was grafted to is even meaner than what you usually see. Sometimes their “wild side even tries to become a bush with scraggly undesirable growth that given a chance will crowd out the performers and never give you a return on your investment. 
Roses are in some ways a lot like producers and sometimes staff in some companies that I have observed. Just like the plants, the roses of your company or office seem to engage in skirmishes that untended become “the war of the roses” Do you have any of these types in working for your company? 
  • The large flowered climbers are an interesting group. They are fairly hardy, look good at least once a year and them seem to have big blooms positioned on scraggly foliage. They never grow exactly the way you planned but their blooms are enough that you appreciate them when it happens and hopenot to get scratched removing the dead head afterward. They are highly social and make friends with anything that might be nearby.
  • Floribundas are great for working the periphery and helping to form a hedge against invaders but will take over any territory regardless of the rules or norms without control.
  • The Hybrid Teas, with rare exception, would never survive on their own. They need alot of help from you and everyone else. These are very showy and want to be noticed.
  • The Old Garden Roses are a pretty happy bunch, steady in performance, hardy and just want to be left alone. Rarely the stars of the show but you can count on them for the long term. 
  • The miniature roses are great as a potted plant where they can be the center of attraction in a small space but don’t survive well in most gardens. They are not tough enough and cower to all bullies. Often short lived with little impact.
  • What does the name “Grandiflora” say to you? These are the prima donnas of the roses –often delivering in a large and showy manner but you are going to have to pay attention to them. These are not social and do not play well with others, they need a special spot. You will often want to recalculate the cost benefit.
There are roses in every company with many varieties represented. Just when you think you have everything under control, a minor infraction or neglect turns into the “War of the Roses” often between you and the roses or among allroses. Left unattended, the blooms of production diminish and none will thrive. When the roses are not doing well regardless of the reason, the pests invade using the situation to cause real damage.
As the owner or leader, you are constantly tending your company including the producing roses. It is not always an easy or pleasant task but the work does bring rewards. With the benefit comes the risk as every rose has its thorn.

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