Tennessee Records Repository

Decatur Co. TN

Tom Jennings

From Lillye Younger, People of Action (Brewer Printing Company, Jackson, Tennessee, n.d.).

This People of Action, issued circa 1969, reproduced newspaper clippings about people in Decatur County. Most items probably were written in the mid 1960s. Most, but not all, of the items were written by Lillye Younger herself and most, but not all, appeared in the Jackson Sun. The photographs, which in the book were poorly reproduced from clippings, have not been scanned.

Special thanks to Constance Collett and the estate of Lillye Younger for permission to make these web pages.

Thanks to www.tnyesterday.com for contributing this transcription.

By Lillye Younger, Sun Correspondent

Parsons Rose Gardiner Has Tips For Fanciers

PARSONS, Tenn. — "I became interested in a rose garden when I visited my son and family in Albuquerque, N. M. who had just started one," says Tom Jennings, who now has the most beautiful rose garden in Parsons.

"I came home and kept batting the idea around and one day Bob McCauley came by my place with the loveliest specimen of roses I ever saw, and upon questioning him, I discovered he had raised them at his cabin near Perryville.

"Well that did it," said Jennings.

"In the spring of 1964 I planted a few hushes and made the mistake of putting them on the west side of my house. They grew but I planted them too near the trees for sunshine. After this experience, I decided it I wanted to raise roses I'd better learn something about them, so I bought a book that tells what to do, when to do and how to do. I discovered the location must have plenty of sunshine and good drainage. I also joined the American Rose Society, which publishes a monthly magazine showing how plants are tested and new breeds are introduced each year. It is a non-profit organization strictly for development of roses."

Jennings started his first rose garden on a plot 25 by 30 feet, behind his garage. He began by digging up the clay soil mixture and adding peat moss. In December he put out 15 plants.

"A hard freeze came and in the spring I began to look for my plants and thought something had happened to them. Some had been killed by the freeze however I had a few nice ones to survive.

In March I received more plants which I put out. In planting those bushes, dig a hole 15 to 18 inches deep and add two handfulls of bone meal, mixed with commercial fertilizer. Be sure the soil is around the stems to keep them from drying out. Soak the plants before planting. Place them three to four feet apart; they need plenty of air circulating to keep down disease and discourage insects. Water sparingly; roses like a drink but they don't like their feet to stand in water."

Spraying and dusting is of utmost importance to raise roses. Jennings said. Some of his plants developed black spots, which is one of the worst diseases, and mildew, which is caused from cool nights and warm humid mornings. When black spots appear, pull off leaves and burn. Watch for other things that like roses, he added. Insects like to chew, bite and deface them. Spray regularly with a good insecticide and fungicide to keep down disease and insects.

"For feeding my plants I use, as a mulch, two or three inches of cotton seed hulls placed a-round the plants. After June blooming feed lightly with commercial fertilizer so as to not disturb the roots."

Do your arm chair gardening now, Jennings said, by planning where and what you are going to plant for this spring. Place your orders early. If they come in during a freeze, bury them in sand until the weather permits planting.

Jennings has 50 plants of __ varieties. One of his most beautiful species is the Royal Highness, which is a rich shade of pink that grows on a large tall stem, he said. Mr. Lincoln is a stately rose which is a deep red in color. Another variety is the Queen Elizabeth which is a tall bush with upright blooms of light shades of pink.

"I have blooms from the first of May throughout the summer and fall," he said. "I'm not too interested in show roses," he continued, "however, I some varieties better than others."

It takes plenty of time and effort to raise beautiful roses but it pays off, in the long run, with the abundance of blooms. Roses have always been among Jennings favorite flowers. His rose garden in June resembles a rainbow with its profusion of blooms.

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