About the Author
Author: Mitch Shirts
Sub-Region: Southern California Coastal, Inland
Born and raised in Southern California. Graduated from Mt. San Antonio College and California Polytechnic Untiversity with degrees in Ornamental Horticulture. Other credentials: California Certified Nursery Professional; All-America Rose Selection Judge, American Rose Society Judge; American Rose Society Consulting Rosarian; member of the permanent judging panel for the International Rose Trials at Rose Hills Pagent of Roses Rose Garden in Whittier; Curator of Roses for the Rose Walk of Fame and All-America Rose Selections Test Garden at the Flower Fields in Carlsbad, California.
Please tell us briefly about your favorite cause/business/product in which you are involved that you would like to share with the general public and why.
Dispelling the myth that roses are a high-maintenance plant. They're not! They give you more 'bang for you buck' than any other plants in the garden.
Where can members get more of your advice?
Briefly describe the climate where you garden now (climate zone, state, area) and any other areas where you have gardened in the past.
My garden is in San Gabriel Valley in Southern California. The summers are hot and winters mild. I have lived in this area since birth.
How long have you been gardening?
Over 50 years.
What triggered your interest?
A family interest.
What is your specialty, expertise or claim to fame?
While roses are main interest, I do have some expertise in a wide array of plants.
What formal education do you have?
See biography above.
What formal horticultural training do you have?
See biography above.
What is your favorite garden or plant-related topic? Tell us a little about them.
Roses and cycads.
Chris' Book Recommendations
Chris' Favorite Websites
Help Me Find Roses
What is your biggest gardening pet peeve? Tell us about it.
Home Depot; Lowes; OSH. They cheapened the gardening experience and reduced it to a commodity.
How much time per week do you spend gardening?
10 - 20 hours a week.
How much time per week do you spend working at the business of gardening, such as consulting, reading, writing or talking about your gardening subject?
What gardening or horticultural clubs, societies, or organizations (or any other interest) do you belong to?
I'm a member of the American Rose Society, Pacific Rose Society, Invitational Rose Seminar and California Coastal Rose Society.
What other biographical information would you like to share?
What do you like most about gardening?
What do you dislike most about gardening?
Mowing lawns and pulling weeds
What individual has influenced your gardening interest the most? How?
My mother and father who encouraged my gardening as a child.
What is your favorite place or activity in the garden?
Working in my rose garden. Hybridizing.
What is your favorite time in the garden?
Early mornings and after work.
What is your favorite public or private garden in the world? Why?
Rose Hills Pageant of Roses Rose Garden.
What is your favorite color in the garden?
If you could grow only one plant, what would it be?
The Rose - -not a toughie at all. And if you want a particular variety - -it would be 'Silverado'.
What plant have you tried to grow that has given you the most trouble? Or, what plant would you like to grow and can't, and why?
What is your favorite gardening outfit or costume?
Shorts and a tank-top.
Do you have a gardening philosophy you would like to share with other gardeners? What is it?
My philosophy would be mother nature doesn't have a color scheme. Why should you?
Who is your own favorite gardening personality on TV, radio or in print? Why?
Paul James -- because he's nuts.
What is the one question about gardening you would really like people to ask you?
How do you successfully grow roses?
And what's the answer?
Throw them down and run.
What is a garden myth you hear frequently which you know is untrue?
That roses need to be grown in formal rose gardens and that they are demanding prima donnas.
And, what is the reality?
Nothing could be further from the truth.
What group or kind of person do you think would benefit most from the advice you can give on gardening?
Garden Clubs and Rose Societies.
Would you like to participate, or can you recommend someone who you think should? We're always looking for more expert gardeners to tell about their philosophies and give their plant recommendations contact us and we'll get started (it's easy and a great way to promote yourself).