Posts Tagged ‘growing roses’
I have a big variety of roses and of course I have favorites. I tend to like the pastel colors rather than the vibrant ones. The Brandy Rose is a beautiful, soft colored rose that is really pretty in all stages. When it’s fully open it is just as gorgeous as in the bud stage.
This morning I was strolling through the garden and just enjoying, when I noticed a bee nestled in one of the roses. I couldn’t rouse him and thought he might have expired. I moved on but came back and he was still there, tucked down in his beautiful bed. I ruffled him a little just to make sure he was really alive and sure enough he was. But he refused to be run off. I left him there, enjoying his rest. Curious creatures, bees.
It has been a nice, warm summer so the flowers are thriving this year.
The arbor built over the south gate a couple of years ago has finally been covered in roses this year.
All of the Clematis are finally maturing enough to really begin to put on a show. Most of them are 3 years old, some are 4 years old.
Here are some shots of the garden that include roses, clematis, hollyhocks, catmint, salvia, peonies, irises, feverfew, centranthus, lavender, daylilies, oriental lilies, snapdragons, hostas, dogwood, delphiniums, larkspur and many others. (Click on picture to enlarge)
After being inundated with a couple of feet of snow (which has been on the ground now about 2 weeks), and being house bound
because of the ice storm yesterday that left a quarter inch of solid ice on driveways, sidewalks and roads (the interstate was closed, as well as all the runways at the airport) I am SO ready for spring and summer.
It’s times like this that I’m so glad that I’ve taken lots and lots of pictures of our garden so I can, not only enjoy looking at them during the cold days of cabin fever, but to also evaluate the garden to see what’s working and what might need some tweaking.
Here are a few shots of warmer times in our garden.
This post is not for the squeamish, so be forewarned.
I’ve done things this past 2 weeks that I never, ever, thought I’d do. Actually it had never even occurred to me to do before.
Since we’ve been having such a beautiful, warm (sort of) and dry spring, I thought that we would escape the plague of the aphids that we suffered through last spring. Not so. Well, they aren’t nearly as bad as they were last year, but they are bad enough, and besides, I have a lot more roses to worry about this year.
My usual tried and true method for combating aphids is to spray them with a mixture of Ivory liquid in water, wait 10-15 minutes and hose them off really well to wash away the soap and the dead aphids.
This year the roses are maturing and setting hundreds of buds. As I worked in the garden I began to notice that some of the buds looked like they were wrapped in brown velvet. Since I was very busy and didn’t really have time to stop and mix my aphid-killer potion, then wait to rinse them off, and I didn’t want the little buggers sucking juice from the rose buds for another day or so, I just reached up (with gloves on) and started squishing the aphids. That was gross and I couldn’t believe I was doing it, but, hey, it really worked…except that the leather gloves I was wearing made it hard to do and I wound up actually pulling off some of the buds.
So, the next step was (you guessed it) to remove the gloves. I did hesitate, for about 3 seconds, and then I reasoned that I could go and scrub my hands and the aphids would be gone in a fraction of the time it would take to do the civilized method.
After doing this a few times, I realized that some were falling off (only to crawl back up later) and I needed to catch them some way. So, since the aphids were always concentrated on the bud and about an inch down the stem, I found that I could grasp lower on the stem with my left hand, keeping the bud over my palm and use my right hand to smash the aphids. I was surprised to find how many dropped off as soon as I took the stem in my left hand. It must be an instinct for their survival, which explains why there are a bazzillion of them.
Now, not only do I have to kill the ones on the bud and stem but also the ones that drop into my palm.
I know that it’s Yucky! I know that it’s Disgusting! But it works. I go on patrol each day to see if any new colonies have been established. I’ve pretty much obliterated them at this point.
The things we will do for our roses.
I was surprised that when I revealed my revolting aphid-control method to other gardeners, I found that they’d been doing it for years.
See this mornings post for the “before” pictures of these flower beds.
Underneath all of that old, dead debris from the winter, green life is pushing its way up. It’s amazing how much growth has taken place. It won’t be long before everything is getting big and setting buds for spring and summer blooms.
I cleared the asparagus bed and was amazed to see asparagus spears already appearing. It must be this mild season we’re having. Bad timing for us since we’re about to leave on vacation, I guess I can get someone to harvest the spears for me so they will keep coming. Since this is the fourth year on the plants, maybe we can get a few weeks of cuttings when we return home.
The peonies are coming up and the roses and many other perennials are leafing out. The apricot, peach and aprium trees are in bloom. Even though I have only a few hyacinths, they are in full bloom, as are the daffodils.
I lost a lot of tulip blooms to the deer last year and so this year I’m trying to protect them with some mesh. I noticed today that they have chomped down the tulips in the front flower bed that I hadn’t covered, but the covered ones are still looking good.
Once I’ve finished with all this not-so-fun clean up, then maybe I’ll get to sit back and enjoy watching the garden come to life.
This is an unusual spring for two reasons. First of all, because I was away all last fall and winter, I wasn’t able to clean out the flower beds and prepare them for winter. This means more work this spring. Second, thankfully, we had a very mild winter and the spring seems to be early and mild.
So the weather is bidding me to come into the garden and clean up the mess I should have cleaned up last fall. It’s amazing that everything can appear to be so dead, but as I pull away the piled up leaves and debris, there is already life stirring underneath.
These are “before” pictures of a small portion of our garden. I will post more pictures later on to show progress and to show all the growth taking place “down under”.
Soon it will be time to think about pruning the rose bushes.
Well, not here in zone 6, but somewhere, it is almost time.
Most roses really benefit from pruning in the early spring, just as the leaf buds begin to swell. There are a lot of reasons to prune rose bushes, so it’s well worth the effort. Some of the reasons are:
- To rejuvenate the plant and encourage new growth
- To create a better shape to the plant
- To remove dead or diseased stems
- To encourage more blooms
- To thin out the stems to allow for better air circulation
Because pruning encourages new growth, it’s best not to prune too late in the fall. The new growth would be likely to be damaged by the cold temperatures of winter. Also, by waiting until after the winter, you’ll be able to see any damaged stems that need to be removed.
Using the right equipment and tools is important. Long sleeves and really good gloves are a must. I highly recommend deerskin gloves. Deerskin are the only leather gloves I know of that prevent thorns from stabbing your hands. See http://wp.me/p1OXDF-7V
Using sharp (to make clean cuts), clean (to prevent disease) tools is also a must. Use pruners and loppers (for the thicker stems) to make the cuts. The long handles of the loppers allow you to reach without getting your arms in the thorns.
Make 45′ cuts, just above a bud that is facing away from the center of the plant. Make the cut about 1/4″ from the bud, as shown in the picture.
First, remove any of the dead leaves that are left. Then remove any dead wood (usually dark brown or black). Then remove stems that are damaged, broken or diseased. Also remove any suckers that are coming up. (Suckers are stems that grow from the root stock, below the graft)
Second, evaluate the shape of the bush. Remove the very small branches and enough stems to open up the center so light can reach it and to allow for better air circulation. This will help to prevent many diseases caused by moisture on the leaves. The stems that are remaining should be cut back to about half their height.
Some roses don’t need pruning. Shrub roses, such as Rugosas for instance, are fine left on their own. Climbing or rambling roses only need pruning to thin or to control the growth.
Don’t be intimidated by all the hoopla about pruning roses. Pruning really helps the plants and a healthy rose bush isn’t easily killed by incorrect pruning. Besides…it will grow out.
So give it a try.
The quick answer to that is…not much. Or so it seems.
Many plants, especially fruit trees and some perennials, need these cold temperatures. They have a cycle they must go through, that’s why refrigerating bulbs can force them to bloom early. Some fruits trees need a minimum of 1,000 hours of freezing temperatures to bear fruit. So a lot is going on with the plants, just not in the leafy, green, growing sort of way.
The rose bushes look so pitiful and almost dead. They will be pruned back just as the buds begin to swell in early spring.
The raspberry bed looks so empty without all that lush foliage. They will be back bigger, thicker and better than last year. The rhubarb plants that share that bed seem to have
disappeared, but they will also be back, bigger than before.
The raised vegetable bed is empty, the corn, green beans and squash long gone. Next year we will add more compost to rejuvenate the soil for the next vegetables to grow there.
The asparagus has gone to sleep, with the plants all collapsed down with a covering of snow to insulate them. They will be some of the first to make their appearance next spring. Can’t wait.
So much to look forward to in the spring. The dormant time in the garden is a really good time to learn about some of the things that need to be done when spring finally gets here…like pruning fruit trees and rose bushes, dividing and transplanting perennials that have outgrown their space, starting and maintaining a compost pile, deciding on what vegetables to grow this year…..and on and on.
That’s why gardening is so interesting and so much fun. There is always more to learn, always something to do and always so much to enjoy in a garden.
The Fairy is a small rose that puts on a big show. Once it gets established, it will bloom its little heart out. It can have blooms summer and fall. Even though the rose blossoms are only about 1 inch across, they are borne in clusters and usually cover the whole plant.
The Fairy is a miniature rose (polyanthus) that is great for the front of the flower bed or planted in groupings make a good ground cover. They grow to be about 2 feet high and wide.
To thrive they need full sunlight, moderate moisture and room to grow. They grow in Hardiness Zones 5 – 9. Find out which Zone you’re in by going to the Zone Map at: http://wp.me/P1OXDF-oK
I have them in my garden at the front of the perennial border, but this year I’m going to put some in beautiful pots to grow in on the deck.
They’ve earned their fabulous reputation.
For more rose information, check out these pages
If you like to spend at least part of the winter planning what you’re going to do in your garden next spring and summer, then having a little information can be helpful.
Have you checked out the “Tabs” at the top of the page? Under the “Flowers” tab there are list of annuals, and perennials with their growing habits and needs.
The “Birds” tab will give some information about feeding the birds to keep them coming to your yard to gobble up all those “bad bugs’ eating your garden.
The more information you have, the more successful your garden will be.
When it’s freezing cold outside and the snow is blowing and I know there is still 4 long months until I can really “garden” again, I start looking through pictures of last years garden. It’s really fun to compare them with the pictures of our garden the year before, to see how things have progressed. The grape vines had made it to the top of the arbor the previous year, and this past summer they had began to fill in the top. This coming summer I’m hoping the arbor will be shaded, at least for part of the summer.
It’s also fun to compare the early spring pictures with the late summer pictures. The transformation is amazing.
My “above all the other” pictures I love to look at are the ones of my roses. It is so wonderful to live in a climate that roses thrive in (hot and dry on summer days with cool nights). I’ve used all different kinds of roses around the garden. The tall, shrub roses will help to divide the “garden rooms” and the climbing roses will cover the arbor at the south gate of the picket fence and also grow along the fence along the driveway. The miniature roses are being used as a sort of ground cover out on the corner, outside the picket fence, and the hybrid teas are mixed and mingled among all the flower beds throughout the garden, back yard and front.
Share some of my Winter Cheer and dream of the spring and summer to come.
The following pictures are from an amazing rose garden near us. I wouldn’t mind my garden looking like it one day.
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When we begin landscaping our yard with gardens instead of lawns, I didn’t think to take before pictures. It wasn’t until we had rolled up the sod and removed 3 of our 8 large trees that I even thought about it. So our before pictures aren’t really from the beginning, because in the beginning there were beautiful lawns, mature Viburnum and Forsythia shrubs and huge trees with spreading canopies in our yard.
So in the spirit of learning from my mistakes, remember to take photos of your projects in the planning stage, the before stage and all through the work stages. It is so interesting to look back and remember the way it was.
These are some photos of our yard as we planned our deck and designed the gardens around it. By marking where the deck would go, we could go ahead and plant the rose bushes, perennials and herbs around it.
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is a plant that was growing in our back yard, around a little water feature that had seen better days. Besides, it was located in the center f where our deck was going to be built and so I had to move it. When we designed our garden, we didn’t know what to do with it so I moved it to the area around the garden spigot, since I assumed it liked the moisture. It has gotten a lot bigger since I moved it and this year it bloomed, but the blooms were insignificant and not too attractive. The foliage is the pretty part of this plant. It has grown to about 18″-24″ tall and the texture of the leaves are sort of like a succulent.
I’ve asked quite a few people if they recognized it and so far no one has. I don’t think anyone has seen one quite like it.I’ve looked online and poured through my gardening books, but so far it remains a mystery plant in our garden.
If you have any information about this plant, will you please let us know about it?
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Roses have been stuck with a bad (undeserved) reputation for being difficult or hard to grow. I think that’s a bunch of hooey!
Now, in some climates (too humid or too hot) they can be a challenge, but even in those areas there are roses that can take the heat and/or the humidity. If you give them what they need, lots of sunshine, well drained soil, good air circulation, plenty of food and water, you’ll be rewarded a 100 times over with beautiful plants that give you gorgeous, sweet smelling flowers. Flowers to enjoy in the yard or in bouquets inside, or to share with friends and family.
I know I’m partial to roses, but I’m not blind to their little faults, like thorns and the need to be pruned occasionally. If you use the right gloves (deerskin) the thorns are not a problem. Pruning basics are easy and unless you cut the plant down to the ground, it’s hard to really do much damage.
Like other perennials, roses can be planted now, whether bare-root (see planting guide at: http://ezinearticles.com/?5-Mistakes-Homeowners-Usually-Make-When-Planting-Bare-Root-Roses-and-Fruit-Trees&id=6546666) or potted, they will need protection with a little mulch this winter. Then in the spring they’ll have a head start and will be beautiful, flower producing plants that first spring and summer.
When buying roses, potted or bare-root, just know that the potted ones were bare-root earlier in the year and some of the roots were probably removed so that it could fit into the pot. So the potted ones may look better but it doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll perform better in the ground. The main advantage of the potted roses is being able to see the foliage ad possibly the blooms. Look for sturdy plants with 3 good (1/2″-3/4″) stems.
Do a little research to know what kind of rose you’re looking for, hybrid teas – one bloom per stem, floribunda or grandiflora – multiple blooms per stem, or climbing roses to go up over an arbor or column, just to name a few. There’s so many to choose from and that is a lot of the fun, looking at all the different roses and picturing where you’ll put them in your yard.
I have favorites, some because of their color, some their perfume and some because of the way they grow. You’ll want to consider all of these traits when choosing your roses.
Don’t be intimidated by what you may have heard about growing roses. At least give them a try and see if you don’t fall in love with them too.
Since it’s such a good time to plant roses I thought I’d share this picture taken in the amazing rose garden we found. Pictures just don’t do them justice and the smell was heavenly.
I have to admit that I have an addiction to roses and it’s really hard to pass one up at the nursery. I planted 5 new ones recently (yes, I was able to find a little room). I planted 4 Sally Holmes and 1 Lunar Mist. I’m familiar with the Sally Holmes but not the other. If anyone knows anything about Lunar Mist would you please educate me? I couldn’t find much online either.
As you learn how to garden and when to plant, you can enjoy these beautiful flowers easily in your landscape gardens.
So, get out and plant roses to enjoy next spring and summer. Isn’t it wonderful to have something to look forward to?