TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Mark Chamblee, owner of Chamblee Rose Nursery, practically grew up with roses.
"Grew up in roses, that is true."
Chamblee's grandparents were in agriculture and his dad opened Chamblee Rose Nursery in 1953, only a year after the Tyler Rose Garden officially opened.
"Now the industry as far as developing began prior to the turn of the century, the late 1800s."
In the early 1900s, when the East Texas Peach crop failed, farmers turned to growing roses. The industry grew to reach its peak in the early 1980s but began to decline after a hard freeze devastated the rose fields.
Much of the field growing operations moved to California and Arizona, while rose processing, production, shipping and packaging still centered in East Texas.
"We are still very important and really I would say close to number one in the amount that area processes and shipped and distributed from a single area."
Tyler is still the undisputed Rose Capitol of the world and the city of Tyler Rose Garden is the largest public collection of roses in the U.S. The beautiful Rose Garden is the setting for Chamblee's Walk and Talk during this week's Rose Festival.
"The main thing we say to consumers is learning how to water and prepare the soil before they plant and how to place the roses so they are going to have their optimum performance."
Overwatering seems to be the main mistake homeowners make with their roses.
"One two two inches a week in summer, one inch a week the rest of the year."
Chamblee also points out that roses love sunshine, not shade, and that a good application of hardwood mulch helps keep the weeds down and protects the roots. He also cautions not to plant the rose buses too close.
Chamblee says he's always asked what his favorite rose is and for that he has a ready answer.
"I always tell everyone that asks that question that my favorite rose is the one I'm selling the most of at the time."
Mark Chamblee has spent a life time with the world's favorite flower and the people who love it.
"The best thing and I absolutely can say this, is the people I have met.