Spring Assessment…

The Polar Vortex has come and gone, although I did see that there is a bit of snow in the forecast for next week. So, those of us who thought the weather might be stuck in winter mode can now relax and begin to enjoy spring and breathe!

This morning I was out early assessing the damage and trimming back some very black rose canes.

Here’s what I can tell you so far:

THE ROSES….

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Roseraie de la Hay

The old roses wintered the horrible weather just fine. I’m not sure they even knew we had a Polar Vortex. There are bud eyes (Bud eyes are swellings on the cane where the growth will start.) right to the very tips. Roseraie de la Hay, Harison’s Yellow, Rosa Mundi, Celsiana, Hansa, Madam Hardy and the others look amazing! No die back at all.

Peach Drift
Peach Drift

Drift Roses have had a little die back, as they normally do.

Knockouts will need to be cut back severely, but I always do that anyway!

Hybrid Teas and Floribundas will be cut back to around 4”. That is a few inches lower than I normally would prune them. Most years I prune them down to 12”.

David Austin roses did very well and just have normal die back.

The new roses on the amazing trellis Mr. G built, Francis E Lester and Peggy Martin, have had quite a bit of die back but they are out in the open and susceptible to wind, so it is not surprising.

Dr. Buck’s Quietness rose has no die back at all.

Carefree Wonder
Carefree Wonder

The Meilland shrub rose Carefree Wonder was another rose with very little die back.

I’m still not sure about my New Dawn and Zepherine Drouhin climbers but the Golden Gate climbers will be cut back to about 12”.

Fall plantings…

I completely covered the roses that I planted or transplanted last fall in mulch, and to my surprise when I pulled back the mulch to check on what was going on under the mulch, the roses were green to the point of leafing out. :)

THE COMPANIONS…

Daylilies, yarrow, daffodils and iris are all up and doing fine.

Perennial herbs are right on schedule.

Annabelle and Pinky Winky hydrangeas look amazing.

For lavender and many other companions, it’s too early to tell.

Bloomerang lilacs  look ready to rock and roll.

Dogwood trees, minus a few limbs that we lost in the heaviest of the snows, are loaded with buds.

To say I am pleased is a huge understatement. There were many bitterly cold, windy days that I feared the worst for the garden. So grateful for the blanket of snow!

And, if Rose Midge was eliminated in all that cold and ice… well, that will be something to celebrate too.

As more cold weather is coming this week, I’ll keep you posted. Fingers crossed that the temps don’t dip toooo low. But, I think I can safely say that the Polar Vortex was kinder to my garden that I ever dreamed!

My garden last spring…

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I hope spring is shaping up nicely in your neck of the woods and you are able to enjoy God’s handiwork! Is there anything more wonderful for a gardener to experience than the rebirth of spring!

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Merry Christmas!

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We wish you and your family and friends a very Merry Christmas and an amazing 2014!

THE COUNTDOWN…

The day after Christmas I will start the official countdown to spring. But, just to get you started—it’s 85 days! :)

I am just crazy about spring and here are two of the reasons why—ROSES & LILACS…

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Spring’s gonna be so much fun!

New and Improved

I love lilacs but they bloom early and then we are left with a big leafy bush that is susceptible to powdery mildew.

Proven Winners says you can have healthy lilacs all summer with their Bloomerang Purple

Enjoy classic lilac fragrance for months instead of weeks!  Bloomerang blooms in spring and then again throughout the summer. It does go through a rest period in the heat of the summer …  then fragrant flowers continue until frost.

Requires well-drained soil and full sun. Remove spent blooms promptly to encourage reblooming. Prune to shape after blooming. Flower production may decline during extremely hot summers but will resume when temperatures cool in fall. Apply a controlled release fertilizer in the spring. This variety has good powdery mildew resistance.

Reblooming AND powdery mildew resistant!
SOLD! I just purchased 5. I’ll keep you posted…

Have you ever grown this variety?

Beautiful!

Garden Makeover 2011

Yesterday I met with Brad to see “the plan” and today we officially started the “garden makeover.”

TODAY… was that rare February day that felt like April–sunny and the temp topped out at 58 degrees.

We wasted no time…

  • Took down the deck railing
  • Moved brick paths
  • Created new brick paths
  • Raked leaves and  winter debris
  • Moved some existing shrubs and plants
  • And, smiled a lot!!!

THE PLAN…
The biggest change in the over all scheme is the new patio and new pathways. Brad did a great job mapping out the flow in and around the plants. The plan includes so many of my favorites (like roses and hydrangeas) but also some new things like Fine Line Buckthorn, Wichita Blue Juniper and Winterberry Holly. I love it!

TOMORROW…
Brad is coming first thing to take a look at the progress, then we meet with the “rock experts” to pick out the flag stone for our new patio which we will work on in the next couple of weeks. I just can’t believe it is FINALLY time to work outside! I am so excited that I am sure I won’t be able to sleep tonight! Here’s a slideshow from today…

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