Lee Sherman

Lee Sherman

Dean L.S. School of Gardening


I think that I am qualified to talk on this topic, as Lee Sherman and I were born in the same state.   Lee Sherman comes from an old and dignified American family, active in the DAR, and rosarians from day one.   I believe it was one of her ancestors who introduced Phillippe Noisette to John Champney, at a little known but wild party in South Carolina in the 1820s -- Brent Dickerson might be able to give us more info on this.   There were Lee Sherman's on the Mayflower, the Titanic, and I think even the Bismarck.   Alas, history does not record the cursewords uttered by these ancestors as the latter two ships went down.  However, the cursewords uttered by present day Lee Sherman can be found in her two seminal treatises: The Profane Old Roses and Lee Sherman's Lazy Slut School of Gardening Basics. These are little hard to come by, but you should be able to get them through Amazon.com.  Lee's expertise in rose growing is surpassed only by the humanitarian assistance she offers fellow rosarians. Genius, noble, erudite, and quick with the loppers...that's Lee Sherman!

Biography by Emily Moorefield, noted biographer, historian and raconteur extraordinaire.


Jocelyn Moroney, noted rosarian and journalist, conducted the following interview with Lee Sherman, Dean of the L.S. School of Gardening in February, 1999.

Joss: Happy Groundhogs Day!
Lee: Spring started today...the beginning of gardening season. Celebrate it every year. Ground Hogs Day.
Joss: What do you do?
Lee: nothing...

Joss Are you using clematis on your ramblers?
Lee: You've snapped to more LS Gardening... clematis at the feet of once bloomers... it works... clem roots get shade and have a nice host.

Joss How did you get your soil amendments into what must have been really poor soil?
Lee: I had tons of manure in bags delivered... garden gate was too small to let a truck into the main garden in back.. all heavy bags had to be carried... when ever my sons would come to visit, I would make them each carry a certain number of bags of manure before I would let them have their beer.

Joss: Did Mike Lowe like your garden when he saw it?
Lee: When Mike and Irene visted here, there were hugs and kisses... then out to the garden for drinks... Mike and I walked around... finally we sit under the willow tree, he looks about and says "it's pretty Lee, but it's not a rose garden." I reply "Not a rose garden! What in hell do you mean, it's not a rose garden. There are more than 500 roses out here. What do you mean?" Mike replied "It's a garden with roses."

Joss: Do you ever winter over roses in cans?
Lee: Yes... I shove'em up against the house and tell them to live."

Joss: How do you decide what to prune?
Lee: Walk around the garden in your bathrobe and anything that grabs you gets whacked off."

Joss: What overall design method do you use?
Lee: The Stick Method. Stick'em wherever there is an open spot.

Joss: What do you do when you get new baby roses?
Lee: I put them in cans. I plant the cans . If they don't do too well in that spot, I move'em. Put sticks in the cans so you can remember to get them OUT of the cans eventually.

Joss: How long do you leave the roses in their cans?
Lee: I leave them in their cans until Fall. Then take the rose out of its can, hold it up and tell it what a great looking rose it is. Put it in the hole the can has been resting in.

Joss: How do you protect your babies once they are planted?
Lee: Tomato cages. Cut the cages with your loppers.

Joss: Do you use a watering system?
Lee: Overhead. They say it is not good but it works for me. That way you don't have to dig around under mulch checking to see if every emitter is working.

Joss: Do you use any other methods for watering?
Lee: The hose. My husband says I'll be buried with a hose in my hand. I don't know if it is for the roses or where I am going.

Joss: When do you water?
Lee: When it is time to do housekeeping.

Joss: Some people recommend cleaning up blackspot leaves from under the roses. Do you do this?
Lee: Jeez, NO! don't people know how short life is?

Joss: I want to plant some tender teas in my area. Should I use rose cones?
Lee: Cones! Jeez...LS School tried that one year and said to hell with it... NEVER.

Joss: What do you do about those high desert winds you get?
Lee: Supposed to have gusts today up to 60 mph...those roses are going to learn to handle it.

Joss: What repeat blooming old roses do you recommend?
Lee: Paul Neyron. He's as welcome as a whore at a picnic. You gotta get him.

Joss: Do you grow any other shrubs?
Lee: Lilacs. I love them. I want to roll in the petals.

Joss: How do you propagate roses?
Lee: A friend in Brazil said he learned more from Malcolm Manner's site than any book ...go to it. And go to your Rose Society...find the Magic Fingers...make friends...

Joss: I understand you have branched out into other areas of LS Schools?
Lee: The LS School of Cooking.

Joss: Your son, Mark, claims that you have a recipe for Parrot for Thanksgiving Dinner?
Lee: The boys left their birds with me and they can imitate the car alarm going off... the boys also taught them to swear... I tell the parrots I'll write a book... 25 Simple Recipes to Serve Your Talkative, Feathered friends...

Joss: Anything else quick for dinner?
Lee: Hors d'oeuvres. Salami slices wrapped around brie.

Joss: Sounds wonderful! Any other treats?
Lee: Toast with poached eggs on top of poached fresh asparagus...For brekkie, for dinner.

Joss: Anything to go with the main course?
Lee: Salad with Caesar dressing - 5 cloves of garlic, 5 anchovies, 1 1/2 T lemon juice, 1/4t Dijon, 1/4t Worchestshire sauce, spit or two of pepper, 1 C good olive oil. Whizzle this up in a blender...nummah!