Posts Tagged ‘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)
Several years ago I had found a bare-root Blaze climbing rose on sale for about $3. I didn’t really want a red rose in my mostly pink, blue, purple and white garden, but the price was right so I decided to find a place for it. There is a 10′ section of fence on the outside of our yard along the public sidewalk that gets good morning sun so I thought I’d try it there.
It didn’t do much that first year but the second year it put on quite a show. Nothing like this year though. Since climbing roses bloom on the vertical shoots that come off the horizontal stems, I trained the rose into horizontal planes and secured them to the fence. This spring it sent up so many shoots, all loaded with buds.
When I saw all those buds I knew I would need to feed that rose well. I put a lot of compost around the base of it. Now every time it gets watered, it gets fed. Also the compost helps to hold down the weeds and keep the roots moist. A win, win, win situation. I got our compost from the city landfill, but bags of composted steer or cow manure will work well too.
Too bad this rose doesn’t bloom all summer. It will have it’s glory days now in the late spring and then will have smaller bloom times off and on through the summer.
I like that it fills up a big, blank spot and doesn’t take up much room since it’s attached to the fence so securely. Right now it is a show stopper though.
Last fall I wrote a post about finding so many bumble bees sleeping on my Zinnias in the mornings. I would check on them for a few hours, sometimes till 11:00 A.M. before they would wake up and take off.
I only saw bumble bees and only on the Zinnias, not on any of the many other kinds of flowers nearby.
This week I’ve been finding honey bees (at least that’s what they looked like) sleeping in the roses. Even though the Zinnias aren’t blooming yet, I’ve not seen any bumble bees sleeping in the roses.
In my opinion, honey bees must have the better taste.
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.
If you like a lot of different kinds of plants…
If you like a lot of flowers blooming…
If you don’t want to worry about strict, formal lines and forms…
If you want your garden to feel natural, like it all happened on its own…
If you like using vintage pieces in your garden…
If you like the idea of plants seeding themselves or multiplying on their own…
If you want a garden that make you want to just hang out and relax in…
Maybe a Cottage Garden is just for you.
A cottage garden is loosely planned, and heavily planted. I think that most gardeners are a lot like me when it comes to plants. It seems that I’m a plant-aholic. I can’t seem to ever have too many. Even when I’m sure that I’ve maxed out the space available, I can always squeeze in one more specimen I’ve found.
Plants that bloom, smell good and re-seed or spread will eventually find a way into my garden. The great thing about having such a variety of plants is that most of them bloom, but not at the same time. So I have something blooming somewhere all during the growing season. If you have all the same plants then the blooms are all done with at the same time.
I did lay out a plan of the yard but only loosely designated a certain area for “flower bed” or “berry patch”. I paid attention to the height of the plants, so they would all fit together nicely, and to the sun and water requirements. It’s also a good idea to pay attention to the bloom time but I didn’t really do that, and most of the time I was lucky. The blooms for any season, spring through fall, are spread around the whole yard pretty evenly.
If you follow the planting guides on most seed packets or plant instructions, your garden will look good eventually. While the plants are growing and reaching their full potential, there can be a lot of empty space to fill. It can either be filled with annuals for a year or two…or three, or with mulch. I like to plant things much closer than the instructions say because I like a very full garden. If the plants get a little crowded, it’s okay. If they ever get too crowded, I divide and move some or share with friends.
I like blooms. I love having flowers in the house, so I plant plenty so that I can cut plenty to use and to share. Try some of the cottage garden favorites like hollyhocks, foxglove, phlox, daisies, roses (of course), peonies or lilies.
It doesn’t take a lot of room to have a cottage garden either. A tiny plot by the back door will do. How about a 3′ border down the side of your lawn? I’d rather have the 3′ lawn and the rest in flowers, but that’s just me.
Mix in some vegetable plants along the way. Tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, squash and many other beautiful vegetable plants will fit right into a cottage garden.
Formal gardens are pretty but they don’t draw me in and make me feel as happy as I feel when I’m in my (slightly messy) cottage garden.
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I’m trying to decide whether to began at the end or the beginning. Maybe I’ll just jump back and forth.
I mentioned in “About Us” that in 2009 we’d bought a very old home in the Rocky Mountains (zone 5b-6a) and had taken up most of our lawn. I didn’t mention that we also took down four huge trees and many large, old shrubs. You can imagine what a mess our yard looked. But…we had a plan.
Here is a picture of our yard when we began laying it out. The big crater is where a large stump was ground out and where the Queen Elizabeth roses now stand beside the deck. You can see 2 of the 5 little peach trees planted early that spring. The small one on the end is stunted because deer ate the top out of it when it first put on leaves.
I think the neighbors were a little worried about the nut jobs that had moved in next door. It did look pretty bad but we did put up a privacy fence to protect their eyes. Of course the picket fence in the front yard didn’t hide very much and the front yard looked this bad too.
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.
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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Isn’t it too bad that cut flowers are so expensive?
Wouldn’t it be nice to have vases of color all over the house?
Well, actually, you can. If you have a few packets of seeds, and a little plot of ground that gets plenty of sunshine, then you can grow your own flowers for cutting.
This winter, when you’re looking through all those catalogs (see post “Have You Ordered Your Gardening Catalogs?” http://wp.me/p1OXDF-Ub) and planning your garden, be sure to carve out a space for your cutting garden. I use my whole garden as a cutting garden, but some gardeners like to have a patch set aside just for cutting.
Clear the ground of grass and weeds. Dig and turn the soil to a depth of at least 8 inches. If your soil doesn’t drain well or isn’t fertile enough, add some composted manure (available in bags at Lowe’s: http://www.lowes.com/pd_252970-82589-WGM03204_0__?productId=3083255&Ntt=manure&pl=1¤tURL=%2Fpl__0__s%3FNtt%3Dmanure&facetInfo=) and mix in well. Level out the top of the soil and plant the seeds. You can plant in rows, with the taller plants at the back so they won’t shade the shorter plants, or you can plant in squares or groupings of each kind of flower. To plant annuals, I put the seeds down and sprinkle more soil on top. Tamp down the soil with a hoe to make sure the seeds make good contact with the soil. Keep the area moist (not wet) until the seeds germinate and have a couple of leaves. Then water deeply every 3-4 days. As the plants mature and the roots go deeper, water deeply weekly. Soon you’ll have plenty of flowers to cut for your own use and to share with family and friends. Most annuals improve with cutting because it encourages more blooms.
Some of the flowers listed below are perennials (plants that come up year after year), and can be planted from seeds but many are planted as seedlings, which give them a head start in the garden. Some of the flowers listed below are from bulbs that will come up year after year.
Some Of My Favorite Cutting Flowers
- Centranthus (Jupiter’s Beard)
- Companula (Canterbury Bells)
- Bachelor Buttons (Corn Flower)
- Scabiosa (Pin Cushion Flower)
- Nicotiana (Flowering Tobacco)
- Rudbekia (Black-eyed Susan)
- Gypsophilia (Babies’ Breath)
- Japanese Anemones
- Bee Balm
- Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower)
- Roses (a shrub, but great for cut flowers)
- Hydrangeas (a shrub, but great for cut flowers)
For more information and pictures of these blooming plants check out these posts:
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Long before there was an Internet or Super Highway of Information, there were books; gardening books written on any subject you could imagine. Sometimes, even though we can just Google any subject we are curious about, it is nice to be able to refer to a book. Books are not all created equal, of course, and some are chock full of information and get referred to over and over again. Some of my books are interesting and filled with pretty pictures, but I don’t often open them. It’s easy to tell which of the books in my garden library are of most use to me, by the worn look of some of them.
Some of my books have been given to me as gifts, some I’ve bought new, but the majority have come from second hand book stores, thrift stores and garage sales. If I had paid retail for all of my books, my library would be worth a small fortune. I would suggest to start your own garden library, even if you start with only one book. Become familiar with all the information in that book. You’ll be surprised at how little nuggets of knowledge can come to you when you need them.
Look for books on the topics that interest you the most and you won’t be able to put the book down until you’ve devoured all the information in it. I’m partial to roses, herbs and perennials so I look for books on those subjects. My interest has gradually spread, so I had to look for a wider variety of books. Now I not only have books on gardening (roses, perennials, growing herbs, raised bed gardening, organic gardening, growing fruits and vegetables and annuals) but I also have books on garden design, how to landscape, how to deal with problems in the garden like pests and disease, container
gardening and all about birds and how to attract them to my garden. I even have books about decks and arbors etc. and potting sheds. Since my gardening books are used as reference books, I keep them accessible and always at my fingertips.
Thank goodness for smart people who write books and share what they know.
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Now is the time of year to build the hardscapes of your garden, when lumber prices are down and plants are dying back for the winter.
Get creative and give your yard and garden some dimension. To check out the earlier Post on this subject just click on the search button to the right and type in “Hardscapes”. Check out this video on Hardscapes in the Garden.
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The leaves are coming down and the snow is on its way. Actually we had snow this morning, lots of it, but thankfully it didn’t stick. Well, up in the mountains it covered pretty well but down here on the valley floor not so much. There is so much to do in the yard right now it is almost mind boggling. I hate to rake up the beautiful golden leaves, I just love the way they look covering everything. The trees still have so many leaves in them that it almost seems like wasted effort to rake now, since the first wind will bury us again in the golden leaves of autumn.
Can’t do anything with them today anyway since they are all wet from this mornings snow, but tomorrow I plan to spend the entire day having fun in the garden. I’ll be gathering the rest of the seeds for next year, pruning back andpulling up. It’s time to dig out the dahlias and store them away and prepare all the beds for next spring. It’s hard to know what to do with some of the plants that are still blooming, but I know the real snow will be here soon. I really want to have the beds tidied up before then, to make life a lot easier next spring when we can finally get back out into the garden to start planting and watching closely each day for the first signs that something is living.
We had such a short summer, it’s hard to believe that it’s really over. Before long it will be Thanksgiving, then Christmas and then just 5 more months till spring. Did I mention that winters are long here? Oh well, more time for other things. If I could garden year round, I’d never get anything else done.
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