Bloom Thyme Friday: Lemons to Lemonade


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.

ABOUT CHANGE…

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!

 

BLOOMING THIS WEEK…

HAPPY BLOOM THYME FRIDAY!

 

SPRING ROSE CARE

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.

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1. PLANTING

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!

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A good moo poo start...
Bare roots soaking in Moo Poo Tea…

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


2. PRUNING

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! 😬

MOST of the time, the forsythia plan works.

Tools of the trade…

You will need protective gloves and a sharp pair of pruners. My choices are Bionic Gloves and Barnel Pruners from Wendy Tilley, owner of The Rose Gardener Garden Shop and Harlane Garden Labels.

Different types of roses have different pruning needs. Read more about pruning here.

The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild from last summer. Amazing David Austin!


3. FERTILIZE

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.


4. WATERING

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.


5. MULCHING

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!

Let’s grab our wagons and go gather some blooms!

 

Indianapols Rose Society…

FROM THE PRESIDENT:

Glad you stopped by to see what’s going on this year!

We are looking forward to a full schedule for 2018 as we learn TIPS, TRICKS & HACKS FOR GROWING ROSES.

Our group is made up of people of all ages and stages of growing roses. Some have a few roses and some have hundreds. Some are just getting started and some have been growing roses for 40 years or more. A perfect place to learn and grow. And, you’ll meet the best people!

We meet on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 6:30 in the evening at the Sullivan Munce Cultural Center in charming downtown Zionsville! That is except for special events and they are usually on the weekend. (Schedule below.) Our meetings are open to the public, so invite a friend to join you!

Our time together includes friends, fun, food and loads of ROSE TALK! Door Prizes Too!

Teresa Byington
President

2018 PROGRAMS . . .

TUES, MARCH 13, 6:30 pm
GETTING OUR GARDEN OFF TO A GOOD START
Location: Sullivan Munce / Zionsville
Special Guest: Diane Sommers, ARS District 5 Director, Master Rosarian and VP Candidate for ARS
Program: Let’s Grow Together
Diane will share her tips for getting our gardens off to a good start and her vision for the American Rose Society.
 For more about Diane, read on here.

TUES, APRIL 10, 6:30 pm: SOIL HEALTH
Location: Sullivan Munce / Zionsville
Speaker:  Kevin Allison, Marion County  Soil Health Specialist
Kevin Allison, Marion County SWCD Soil Health Specialist, will lead a discussion on using the principles of soil health to organically improve soil: Minimizing soil disturbance, maximizing diversity, keeping the soil covered, and providing a continuous living root.
Kevin will explore how amendments, diverse mulching and cover crops can be integrated into flower production and preparing new beds.
**Q & A with Kevin

TUES, MAY 8, 6:30 pm: EARTH-KIND ROSES
Location: Sullivan Munce / Zionsville
Speaker: Carol Tumbas, Rose Expert & Former President of Indianapolis Rose Society
The Earth-Kind testing program is responsible for so many sustainable plants for our gardens.
**Round-Table Discussion: What pests are bugging you?
**Panel: Carol Tumbas, Linda Kimmel, John Hefner

SAT, MAY 26, 9 – 3: ROSEFEST: ROSES OLD AND NEW
Hamilton Co. 4-H Fairgrounds, Noblesville
Focus on Early Bloomers: Old Garden Roses, Rugosas, as well as the new modern roses etc.
Speaker: Mike Shoup / Author and Owner Antique Rose Emporium
In addition:  There will be Garden Tour, Rose Show, Educational Displays, Workshops, Roses and Rose Products for sale
FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBIC!

THURS – SAT, JUNE 7 – 9
STATE MASTER GARDENER CONFERENCE

4-H Fairground in Danville, IN
Carol Tumbas, rose expert and former President of Indianapolis Rose Society, will give a program entitled The Incredible Edible Rose
**The Indianapolis Rose Society will have an information booth and will sell roses.

TUES, JUNE 12, 6:00 pm: ICE CREAM SOCIAL & GARDEN PARTY
Location: Marilyn and Dick Ferguson’s  beautiful garden
**More details to come.

TUES, JULY 10: PROPAGATION WORKSHOP / CUTTINGS
Location: Sullivan Munce / Zionsville
Humberto DeLuca: Will show us techniques of taking rose cuttings
**Round Table Discussion: How to care for roses in extreme heat.
**Panel: Mark Nolen, Teresa Downham, John Hefner

SAT, JULY 21, 5 pm: PROPAGATION / BUDDING WORKSHOP
Location: Mark & Cathy Nolen’s amazing rose garden
Mark Nolen and John Hefner will show us techniques for bud grafting roses.
**Bring a salad, dessert or appetizer to share
**RSVP to Mark at Markbnolen@comcast.net.

TUES, AUGUST 14, 6:30 pm: CLIMBING ROSES
Location: Sullivan Munce / Zionsville
Linda Kimmel, immediate past president of the Indianapolis Rose Society, will share with us the charm and grace of climbing roses—which ones to grow and how to care for them!
**Round Table Discussion: Overwintering roses in pots
**Panel: John Hefner, Linda Kimmel, Teresa Byington

SAT, SEPT 8: DISTRICT MEETING & ROSE SHOW
Hosted by Indianapolis Rose Society
Boone Co. 4-H Fairgrounds
KEYNOTE: Bob Martin, American Rose Society Vice President
**Details are coming together and will be available soon.

OCTOBER TBD: FALL GARDEN PARTY
Teresa Downham’s garden
Costume party (dress as a rose name) and Chili Cookoff.

SAT, DEC 1, 6 pm: HOLIDAY PARTY  / AWARDS BANQUET
Join us for a holiday party in the Hefners’ holiday wonderland.
We will also give out 2018 awards and install our 2019 board.
A ‘not to miss’ event — Food, Fun, Outstanding Decor, Awards!
**RSVP to John and Donna at jdhefner63@gmail.com
**More details to come.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS! There is so much to learn and do and it will be more fun if you are there. We are open to the public so invite a friend! 

And, please share this post on your social media accounts or email to a friend.

If you have any questions, contact us HERE.

Bloom Thyme Friday: A quick look back

This week as I was putting the finishing touches on some upcoming presentations for local garden clubs, I found myself going back and forth through all my pictures to find just the right ones to use. Currently I have over 13,000 on my iPhone! 😳 Going through pictures is not an easy task but very rewarding!

I saw so many garden pictures that I fell in love with all over again and thought you might like to take a look back with me. Maybe remembering warmer days will make these bitter cold days we are having a little warmer too!

A rainy May gave way to some beautiful, if soggy, blooms of Francis E. Lester Rose. I love how when you look through this arbor you see the open gate across the garden. Sometimes it just works and this time it did.

 

The reblooming Bloomerang Lilac had a stellar spring and as advertised, bloomed off and on throughout the season. A reblooming lilac has been something gardeners dreamed off. Thanks Proven Winners!

 

Then there was rose pruning season. Time to get started in the garden. GRATEFUL for a large cart that hooks up to the tractor.

 

Saying goodbye to the boots. #jobwelldone

 

I had forgotten about the sweet little cosmos germinating! FAV!

 

Then there was the Mar/Apr American Rose Magazine that featured my garden–A Gardener and Her Tidy Mess. THANK YOU ARS!

 

And, oh yea, the boot “situation”. #drama 😱  but I LOVE my new boots. You can read about that here

 

This daylily though. I have to look up the name. It was spectacular.

Way to go wind, rugosas and birds  — creating a special moment in the garden!

A bokay to share. #myfavforsure

Yes, I loved looking back, but am totally excited that spring will be here in 59 days. I just bet you are excited about that too! If you had to choose one favorite garden memory of 2017, what would it be? I’d love to hear!

Happy Bloom Thyme Friday!