In the middle of a busy, industrial area of North Hollywood lies an unexpected little oasis of beauty — a secret garden. This once empty plot of land is where dedicated Ohio native Lynne Vinkovic chose to sow the seeds that would in time become a beautifully abundant rose garden. From a small rural area outside Akron, to the Wild West of Los Angeles, Lynne has stayed true to the strong foundation of her natural upbringing and continued to hone an intuitive connection to the hidden language of roses.
How did your love affair with roses begin?
My grandmother showed me how important flowers are in our lives. She was the most influential person in my life — she taught me how to garden.
Were roses your favorite from the beginning?
Roses always! They are the queen of the garden and the most fragrant, too. That’s why people are drawn to them.
When did you realize you wanted to become a rose farmer and how did that process begin?
I started growing rose bushes at my home and couldn’t understand why this particular type of rose wasn’t being used in bundles — that’s how it all began. In the early 1990s I started my research and it all just came together. I kept wondering, “Why are we constantly shipping and importing roses from other countries? I should simply grow garden roses here, and reduce this unnecessary carbon footprint.”
How did an empty industrial lot in North Hollywood become the location for Roselane Farms?
I could see it before it happened, it was the perfect location — a full sun, industrial area that would make it easy for studios and art directors to find me.
“I just get lost in my roses, I’m very present with them and nothing else matters. I usually have no idea what’s happening around me.”
That makes sense, but you’re still in the middle of buzzing electric towers, an airport, a railroad track, and so many other bustling city noises and circumstances. It’s amazing how you handle all of this!
I just get lost in my roses, I’m very present with them and nothing else matters. I usually have no idea what’s happening around me.
You also mentioned that you operate this business with no electricity, how does that work?
It works fine — 26 years and it’s all good!
“I can look at them and know what’s going on immediately. They love to show off for me and they actually know if I’m not myself or feeling sad.”
And no pesticides? Is this part of your philosophy and approach?
Yes, I keep it very natural here. I have a real connection to my roses, I can look at them and know what’s going on immediately. They love to show off for me and they actually know if I’m not myself or feeling sad. I think it’s important to keep them natural and pure.
Do you have a favorite or does that change each season?
Madame Paul Massad roses are my favorite. Dominique Massad is my favorite breeder — his roses are heavenly!
Lynne clipping her favorite Madame Paul Massad Rose, her favorite variety.
You have a very long growing cycle due to the heat and extended California sun, customers must love that. What does that mean for their dominant season?
My season runs from the end of March until the beginning to middle of December. Around October they start to get super long canes — it’s amazing. Due to my weather circumstances, I have to work sometimes to get my roses to even become dominant.
Lynne standing under the once tiny “Mermaid Rose” bush she planted 22 years ago
You mentioned that roses require a lot of energy and food to grow, can you explain?
Food equals energy to roses — I have to constantly give them different foods, high nitrogen, Epsom salt, compost worm tea, etc. and this happens all the time.
Can you tell us about your “Mermaid” Rose bush? It’s gigantic, is that normal?
For this rose variety, yes. It’s a single-petaled climber — it can grow to 25 feet tall and 20 feet wide and the prickles or thorns on this bush are quite unforgiving!
I noticed that you cleaned your clippers with hydrogen peroxide before cutting another rose. What are some of your other main tips for cultivating and caring for roses?
During the growing or producing season, roses should always be in a stage of either having lots of blooms or getting ready to have lots of blooms. They should never be just sitting there with leaves. I like to keep things clean to prevent spreading disease — that’s why I keep my secateurs clean.
Are you fully immersed in roses outside of the farm?
Yes, I use my rose blooms to bathe in! I recommend damask roses as they have the most oils of all the rose species.
How do you honor Mother Earth?
By being kind to her and never just taking — it must be reciprocal. I always give back by adding nutrients that are good for the soil and the Earth.