Monday, January 1, 2018

Taking Stock - January 2018

Happy New Year’s! While it has been several years since I did a blog posting, you will find regular updates in the months and years ahead. I retired from teaching and staff training in the Ithaca City School District at the end of June 2017 after 32 years. I started in this field almost 42 years ago in the Bronx. How the years flew by.

So, what have I been up to the past few years?

I became a Consulting Rosarian with the American Rose Society.

I volunteered with the Syracuse Rose Society helping them maintain the E.M. Mills Rose Garden

I worked with Master Gardeners from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County in maintaining their rose collection at the Cutler Garden in Binghamton. (

I worked at Cornell University overseeing the zone 5 trials of over 60 varieties of David Austin English Roses.

I donated vintage climbers and spent time consulting, planting and  helping out at the Elizabeth Park Rose Garden.

I also spent lots of time thinking about Der Rosenmeister Nursery. It began in 2003 when we purchased a 3 acre hayfield on a south east slope in the Inlet Valley in the town of Ithaca in NY state. The soil was good, and the views were spectacular. Once our home was built and the basic infrastructure was in place each year brought a new project. Now, the views are complemented by spectacular gardens, arbors, brick and stone terraces and stairs, paths to explore, bridges across the creek and places to sit and take it all in.  I’m not sure how I did this while teaching full time.

Through the past 14 years, I grew about 400 different varieties of roses. It’s been an eye opening, educational experience trialling roses with a focus on cold hardiness, disease resistance, vigor and beauty. Most of the roses in our collection now are climbers and ramblers and shrubs. They include roses from the early 1800s to the latest releases in 2018.

Our mission remains the same- provide the best roses for zone 4 and 5 gardens, and the knowledge and skills to grow them. We are intent on sharing our passion for roses. But our core values of sustainability and plant conservation are clearer and guide what we do every day.

“Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. To pursue sustainability is to create and maintain the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony to support present and future generations.”
US Environmental Protection Agency

Plant Conservation
“...a broad group of activities which aim to prevent plants from becoming extinct. It includes the direct conservation of wild populations, collections of plants with gardens, education programmes, invasive species control, recovery and restoration work, research programs, training…”  Botanic Gardens Conservation International

You will hear more about our values and work in the months to come, along with lots of pictures of roses and the gardens. Look for us on our blog, on Facebook as Der Rosenmeister Nursery and on Instagram as leonginenthal. If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, contact us at You can also email me at or message me through Facebook

Our list of roses available this year will be on the website by the end of January.

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