If you are familiar with the movie A GOOD YEAR you might remember this quote… “all she needs is a fresh coat of paint and a good scrub.” This a family favorite movie so I have enjoyed that quote many, many times.
This summer marks 20 years that my dream of a potting shed/office became reality. Mr. G out of love for me and the secret desire to reclaim some of our home from all the garden stuff, built this tiny bit of heaven for me.
A couple of weeks ago, I thought of the movie quote while standing in my potting shed. Summers are a time of gathering things in the potting shed and little time to tidy things up. So, as I stood in the middle of all the stuff, I thought YIKES I think she “needs a fresh coat of paint and a good shrub.” So it began … moving stuff —lots and lots of stuff.
While moving things around I unearthed so many memories!
Catalogs from the 80s and 90s…
Receipts from Jackson and Perkins test panel roses (Anyone remember those?) I had high hopes that one of my test panel roses would “take off” and I would be able to officially name one for my daughter.
Picture from the early 90s… (Sorry for the blurry picture of a picture.)
And, while digging in the garden last week I also unearthed a plant tag from Jackson and Perkins, Medford Oregon…. Not sure of the date, but I haven’t grown roses in the place I found this tag since the late early 90s. Note the AARS trademark.
It was a lot of fun to see old things again and walk down memory lane. Many of the roses in the pictures I no longer have.
Garden conditions change.
Little trees grew.
Large trees were hit by lightening.
A few pests showed up.
Sustainable growing practices became more important.
Some things hold true. I was over the moon about roses and all their companions then and I continue to be today. The garden has always been a balm for my soul; the place where my creativity soars; a place where I have the closest connection to the Creator.
Before we get to the blooms, let’s talk about my current little obsession … bottle brushes. I will never know why it has taken me this long to buy a set of bottle brushes but it did. Since I have a thing about glass, and glass comes to me from a variety of places, I am always removing labels and cleaning bottles and jars. These new brushes have simply changed my life — for the better. #happydance #iloveglass You can find more about my obsession with glass here.
There’s plenty blooming in the garden although not too many roses as I trimmed them back to discourage the Japanese Beetles. It has worked, they are fewer in number at this time. Perhaps there is another reason for fewer of them in the garden since Mr. G found and hung the Japanese Beetle Traps — one of his obsessions. Once the beetles were here, the traps few off the shelves. Note to: Tell Santa about Mr. G’s obsession with Japanese Beetle traps. #stockingstuffer I know there are conflicting reports and thoughts on the beetle traps BUT, I live with and love Mr. G and we go with his thoughts on this one — he has done plenty of research. And puts them way out to the edge of our property!
Now for the hydrangeas! (Maybe another obsession, but we are NOT going there.)
One hydrangea is threatening to block my way into the potting shed. I don’t mind at all, it is a beautiful welcome!
Cost for the public to attend the educational sessions is $10.Wehave some of the best of the best speakers coming from around the country and these sessions have been approved for Master Gardener Educational Credit. Click here to see the list of speakers! We would love to see you there! I guarantee you will have fun, learn a ton and see some of the prettiest roses on the planet!! There is even a lunch option too! ALL THE DETAILS HERE!
HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE! Send me any questions you might have!
In gardens and in life it’s best when life gives you lemons, to make lemonade.
If you have been gardening for even a short time you know that gardens are ever changing. One of the strongest agents of change in my garden is winter. While I am a huge fan of spring. Sometimes the changes that winter pushes through while we are all comfy and cozy by the fireplace with our loves—are “chilling.” Such was the case this year. Our winter came late, was harsh, warmed up early and then really hit us hard. A few of my roses were not fans and gave up or decided to take their sweet time showing up again.
But it was not the roses that took the biggest hit. It was our Winter Gem Boxwood Hedge. Many of the plants in this hedge had been here 10 years, some only 6. Ironically, we loved them especially in the winter when the snow would fall on them. They are gone now … all of them. I cried. As I looked at the blank canvas, Mr G says he saw that gleam in my eyes. I will add a few things this year but will do more in 2019 as it evolves and I live with our new open space. No question, I will miss my hedge and may even plant another one. But, I’m gonna take some time.
One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 43:19. He’s always got a plan!
LEMONS TO LEMONADE…
Hope your week is filled with beauty and a tall glass of homemade lemonade, if you need a recipe to try, my recipe is here. Sure love making lemonade with my boys!
When spring comes it’s time for gardeners to roll up their sleeves and get busy and I can’t wait!
Here are some tips that I follow for getting my roses off to a good start in my Zone 5b garden.
For early April planting, I buy bare root roses from online vendors (my preferred list here). When they arrive they are “bare roots” wrapped in wet newspaper. Very humble beginnings for a plant that will be so lovely later!
I immediately unpack them and soak them in a bucket of Moo Poo tea for 24 hours before planting.
Planting decisions are dependent on the type of rose…
Grafted Roses: Many hybrid teas, floribunda and grandifloras are grafted roses.
This means that a rose is created by being grafted onto strong, hardy rootstock, creating a “bud union.” Plant the bud union (knobby part just above the roots) 3” below the soil line to protect it from harsh winters we often have.
Own Root Roses: These roses were started from cuttings and are on their own root, so there is no bud union to protect. I plant them as I would any other shrub.
Soil: We ask roses to bloom for us all summer, year after year, so it is best to give them a good start by planting them in good, rich soil. Our neck of the woods has horrible gray clay soil so we dig BIG holes–holes much deeper and wider than the root system to allow for soil amendments and deep enough to protect the bud union. (At least 18″ by 18″.) To the soil removed, we add compost and a quality grade of top soil. Your roses will appreciate your gifts of more nutrients and better drainage and will reward you handsomely! You will never regret giving your roses a good foundation.
Roses Already in Leaf and Bloom…
If you purchased something from a garden center that is already leafed out and perhaps has buds or blooms, wait until the frost date has passed to plant them in the garden. In my zone that date is May 10. I will confess to occassionally planting a little earlier than May 10, but you have to be prepared to cover them if frosty nights come!! #notpatient
First tip: DON’T BE AFRAID TO PRUNE. I’ve made countless “mistakes” through the years and the roses always forgive and come back!
Here in the midwest, it is difficult to know when winter is really over and it is time to prune. For many years, I have let the forsythia tell me. When the forsythia is blooming, I start pruning. This year the temps have been up and down and there has been a lot of pressure on the forsythia. So use your best judgement! 😬
Once our roses are starting to grow, it’s time for fertilizer. Most any fertilizer will do—but do read labels carefully–too much of a good thing can be harmful! I use a combination of Moo Poo Tea,Mills Magic Mix and inorganic fertilizer on my roses. Fertilizer applications are about 6 weeks apart for most of my roses. Old Garden Roses and Rugosas are fertilized in the spring. Shrubs and Knockouts are only fertilized twice a season–spring and summer.
Once the fertilizer has been applied, you will want to give your roses a deep watering to get those nutrients down to where they can do some good.
A good rule of thumb is to water at the base of the plant especially if you are watering in the evening, as wet rose leaves are more susceptible to fungal diseases (e.g. Black Spot & Powdery Mildew). Although, if I am watering in the morning I give them a good all-over shower. This is great way to remove dirt and any insects that have shown up for the tasty and tender buds! I think roses appreciate a refreshing shower just as we do, just don’t put them to bed wet.
This is one of my favorite parts. Mulch is so good for your roses … retains moisture, helps to keep down weeds and gives the garden that fresh, finished look!
One thing to remember when applying mulch … when mulch breaks down, it uses nitrogen in the process, so add a layer of compost on top of the soil before you add the mulch layer then the nitrogen in the soil can be used by the rose. If you are working in an established bed and last year’s mulch is still there, leave it… it becomes a “compost layer.” Win. Win.
I can’t wait to see these early bloomers!
MY FAVORITE TIP…
My favorite tip is to visit your roses daily or as often as you can to enjoy their beauty and to get to know them. Getting to know them can be key in early detection of any pest or disease.
And, when you have beautiful roses outside, who can stay in!