Master Gardeners Remember Marvin Dietel with Memorial Stone in Earth-Kind® Rose Garden
On May 7, 2012 before their regular business meeting Kaufman County Master Gardeners placed an inscribed stone in the memory of Master Gardener and Greenhouse Specialist Marvin Dietel, who passed away on December 29, 2011. Marvin, with his wife Master Gardener Wanda Dietel, came to Kaufman County from Collin County in 2006. The memorial stone is located in the Earth-Kind® Rose Trial garden at the Kaufman County Extension Office, 2471 N. State Highway 34 in Kaufman. Marvin was instrumental in the planning, construction and monitoring of this garden from its inception.
A registered trademark of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, Texas A & M System, Earth-Kind® is a special designation given to select rose cultivars that roses demonstrate superior pest tolerance combined with outstanding landscape performance. Rose trials are the mechanism by which the needed data is gathered. The Kaufman County Rose trial began in 2007 and continued for three years. It consisted of a set of 3 beds, each containing one bush of six varieties of roses. During the trial, the roses got no additional water or fertilizer, and no pesticide was applied. TNothing more than mulching, weeding and light pruning could be done to the plants. Marvin monitored the roses and reported the results to the Earth-Kind® Rose trial group at Texas A & M. His data, along with data from simultaneous trial all around the state, was analyzed by Texas A & M and AgriLife Extension horticulturists to determine which ones qualified for the Earth-Kind® designation. At the end of the trial, the successful varieties were left in place, while the one variety that did not receive Earth-Kind® designation was replaced with another Earth-Kind® variety. The Earth-Kind® roses survived last year’s brutal summer and drought with only heavy mulch applied in the spring of 2011. This April and into May, the roses were in full bloom. Every bush was covered in gorgeous blossoms, proving that these varieties do, indeed, deserve the Earth-Kind® designation.
In spite of his illness, Marvin remained an active member of Kaufman County Master Gardeners until the last three months of his life, volunteering more than three times the required 12 hours during 2011. He served the organization as Treasurer from 2008 until his illness forced him to resign in October of 2011. His constant cheer and courage in the face of adversity remains an inspiration to all who knew him. We will sincerely miss his strong, yet gentle, influence.