LETART FALLS, Ohio — The wafting fragrance of almost 8,000 roses welcomes visitors to the greenhouses of Hubbard’s Roses.
Kati Cummins Hubbard grew up on the family farm in Letart Falls, Ohio where her greenhouses are located, and said she was interested in continuing the tradition. Her father, Todd Cummins, had transitioned from vegetable farming to greenhouses, and suggested that she grow roses.
“Dad gave me the idea to grow roses,” Hubbard said. “He had grown a few along with other flowers, but suggested I just concentrate on roses.”
She said the first year she planted 700 pots, and sold out. Each year she has increased the number, and each year she has sold out.
“Most of the roses go to area wholesalers, we keep very busy delivering to customers as far away as Kentucky,” she said. “But we welcome customers who come to buy directly from us.”
Hubbard said many returning customers stop by to check out the new varieties.
“We have 128 varieties of roses this year, so there is definitely a large selection to choose from.”
Customers stroll through row after row of blooming plants, and one asks Hubbard for a particular variety. Without hesitation she directs them to its location. In a sea of roses, this is no small feat.
By Mother’s Day, most of the roses will be gone, and Hubbard will begin planning for next year.
Hubbard said she places the order for bare root roses in June for the following year.
The term bare root means the plant is dormant, without foliage or flowers, and can be shipped without soil around the roots. This has been the traditional way of starting roses in greenhouses, and continues to be a successful method with growers.
“When they arrive in January, and I start the process of planting. Then it is just a matter of keeping the proper temperature and watering the young plants.”
As greenhouse owners know, maintaining the inside environment is a 24/7 job, and without proper attention the plants do not survive.
Hubbard said husband Chad is very supportive of her endeavor. Together they have a produce stand in Racine, Ohio that features local vegetables from July through October.
“Chad works full time at his job, but he is here to help out any time he can, just like today,” Hubbard said, as she and Chad loaded roses onto a truck for delivery.
Her father, who encouraged her to grow roses was also there, along with her nephew Carson Cummins.
“Carson is my best helper,” Hubbard said. “It’s never to early to learn how to grow roses.”
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