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:


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. 🙂


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…


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!


10 thoughts on “Spring Assessment…

  1. wow some of your roses did good some not so much, I am surprised my red blaze (called improved blaze) made it through without protection and in the wind too. when I first got it it would die back even in semi mild winters then we had some mild winters it got bigger and this winter being the coldest ever experienced by my roses, they all lived (not sure about the golden gate just yet) I don’t prune much of my new dawn it is hardy into Canada, I just did a light pruning today, I pruned my rosa regosa to open them up and give good air circulation and keep it from become a shrubbery mess, they looked nice when I got done, I pruned some of my semi wilds and my davies. they looked better too, I did my fairy too the branches were all directions running over each other, and plan on building a rose bed as soon as weather permits to put many of my roses except new dawn and semi wilds, and rugosas, so I plan on putting the fairy, my minis, davies, the another new dawn I bought last year, it will be a stepped raised bed. and I did manage to do some cleaning of the corner bed scrapping off the old mulch, I am going to try something different, an alternative to mulch, now I have to wait until may to see if the tops of my crape myrtles made it I only buried it about half way. the tops hang out since they are too tall to cover. so are you getting antsy?

      1. yea I just seen some beautiful pictures on here from arizone highways? I almost busted my brain becaue they stirred up in me spring fever galore, yikes, lets hope brains don’t blow up lol

  2. I love your comment about the OGR’s! I hope your climbers are just slow to wake up, but if you need to take out some canes, do not despair, more will take thier place. Enjoy!

  3. I just finished pruning. We may have a couple of cold days next week. I am so ready for Spring and enjoying the daffodils.

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