World record rose bush in Morristown
Robert Bendel believes the rose bush he planted next to his Center Avenue home 15 years ago has record-setting potential.
Bendel, 73, is assembling the documents required to certify that his rose bush is, in fact, officially the world's tallest.
According to Guinness World Records, the record for the tallest self-supported rose bush currently is held by a San Diego family whose rose bush measures 13 feet 3 inches tall. But the rose bush at Bendel's home stands at 18 feet 6 inches - apparently blowing away the Guinness record-holders.
A representative of Great Swamp Greenhouses - where Bendel bought the bush 15 years ago - was on hand Wednesday to certify the height of Bendel's rose bush for the Guinness application. Once the application is filed, Bendel expects to find out whether he is the new world record-holder in about three weeks.
What's his secret?
"My philosophy is that Mother Nature will take care of things," said Bendel, a Jefferson native who moved to Morristown 53 years ago after marrying his wife, Marilyn. "I don't give them anything special. I don't use any fertilizer." No pesticides, either.
"I just planted it there and it kept growing and growing and growing."
Next up: Bendel says a cherry tomato plant next to his record rose bush is 7 feet tall and 14 feet across. He's researching the record books now.