Fremont Rose Garden Volunteers

Bay Area volunteers give Fremont rose gardens a new bloom.

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Gabrielle Coleman
NBC Bay Area is committed to community. Thoughout the year, we help out at local non-profits and we want to introduce you to some who need you.
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Gabrielle Coleman
The Friends of Heirloom Flowers Garden Club is a gardening group in Fremont that maintains rose gardens at the Shinn Historical Park and Arboretum and the Niles Rose Garden.
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Gabrielle Coleman
You don’t need to know anything about gardening to join for an afternoon… or as often as you like!
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Gabrielle Coleman
The club meets at the Shinn Historical Park on Tuesdays from 10 to noon with a social tea afterwards.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Tea is a decadent spread of homemade cheesecake and other goodies served in a cottage straight out of a fairy tale.
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Gabrielle Coleman
They especially need help at the Niles Rose Garden in Fremont on Thursdays from 10 to noon.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Some people join the club because they love gardening, but don’t have a space of their own. Others have no experience and want to learn the basics before planting in their own yard.
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Gabrielle Coleman
One of the big jobs in the summer is “dead heading” roses – clipping dead flowers to encourage new blooms.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Kate (seen here) is one of the group’s most experienced gardeners. She explains that “dead heading,” a term for trimming old blossoms, is different from “pruning,” which is a very severe cut.
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Gabrielle Coleman
She cites an old gardening saying, “You should have your roses pruned by your worst enemy” - because only they will cut them back enough!
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Gabrielle Coleman
Winter is the time for rose pruning and the group holds a free pruning workshop in January.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Kate demonstrates some tricks to dead heading: Start at the old bloom and look down the stem till you see the first 5-leaf branches. Cut at about a quarter of an inch above one of those leaf groups.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Kate likes to cut above “outside buds” – branches that point outward. That encourages new growth to go inward.
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Friends of Heirloom Flowers Garden Club volunteer Kate recommends cutting the thicker stem well below the actual dead bloom because if not, “It’s going to be so weak if you get any growth it’s not going to be any good.”
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Gabrielle Coleman
The gardeners also take branches out of the middle of the plant to improve air circulation and prevent mildew and rot.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Kate shows mildew damaged leaves. Mildew can be caused by lack of sun and overly damp soil.
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The garden group often moves roses around the garden for better light. “Roses are very forgiving,” says Kate.
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Glen uses large clippers to trim a huge, old rose bush that's grown over the garden fence.
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Gabrielle Coleman
She's hoping to prompt the plant to grow more of these dinner plate-sized flower clusters.
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Gabrielle Coleman
The garden needs lots of maintenance beyond dead heading, including weeding...
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.. thinning and relocating other plants...
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... and rebuilding garden paths.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Denise learned bricklaying for this project. She put in the walkways a few years ago and is upgrading the borders.
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Gabrielle Coleman
The Friends of Heirloom Flowers Garden Club
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Gabrielle Coleman
After gardening, the club has a social tea.
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Gabrielle Coleman
The club house is the cottage that the Shinn family lived in before the main house was built.
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Gabrielle Coleman
Tea is a feast of homemade desserts and other treats.
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The rose garden is on the estate of the historic Shinn family home, which was donated to the City of Fremont as a park.
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There is also a Japanese garden on the estate.
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NBC 5 News
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Gabrielle Coleman
If you'd like to volunteer for this or one of our other Bay Area Proud projects, check our website: www.BayAreaProud.com
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