This week I have found some of the most beautiful roses of the season … or could it be that because the season is quickly coming to an end and there are so few of them …. they just seem more precious and beautiful. Monday and Tuesday our temp dipped down near freezing which sent me out with a bucket of water on a rescue mission. My hands were actually freezing! A prelude of things to come!
The weatherman has a more pleasant prediction for the end of the week with temps climbing back to near 70. And this means that I must get in the garden and stay there to begin the fall clean up. I have been traveling so much that I fear I am way behind on garden chores.
I am more than ready to roll up my sleeves and get to gardening!
Here are the pretties I rescued this week. Hopefully some of the buds that got a bit frosty will thaw and bloom on!
What’s going on in your neck of the woods this week?
For years I have had a love/hate relationship with Fall. Yes, I know the changing of the leaves are pretty and who doesn’t love going on a hayride or to a pumpkin patch. BUT, I can very easily get hung up on the fact that Fall means the growing season is over and the l o n g … l o n g … L O N G Indiana winter is soon to come.
So, today I have decided to change the name of this season to Autumn. A U T U M N … has a much richer and more pleasing ring to it. Almost poetic… The more I think of the word Autumn, the more I think that I can embrace the season that is just around the corner.
No spring nor summer’s beauty hath such grace
As I have seen in one Autumnal face….
What do you think? Can a change in the name make a difference? I’m sure gonna try because I am surrounded by people who L O V E fall and I don’t want to be a party pooper.
I gotta tell you the whole truth, there really is another reason why I feel differently about this season … You’ve probably guessed it …. Mr. H has a birthday! So, how can you not LOVE the season when you received one of your very richest blessings.
Yes, Mr. H will soon be 1 and by the way things are going now, he is just about ready to take on the world. And, we just might let him!
THIS WEEK IN THE GARDEN
Our weather continues to be almost perfect— a tad hot but with plenty of rain, so we are are still getting some amazing blooms.
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Pink Flower Carpet
Heavenly Blue Morning Glory
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Now I need to work on my love/hate relationship with Mums! Am I alone???
It’s time for me to admit that fall is here and winter is coming and it’s time to prepare the garden for it’s long winter’s nap. In my Zone 5b garden that could mean most anything as I’ve seen winters with more days than I care to count below 0 and then there are the mild midwest winters like last year.
Regardless, good fall care makes spring all the sweeter.
STOP FERTILIZING & DEADHEADING
About 6 weeks before expected frost, it is time to stop fertilizing and deadheading the roses. Since in my neck of the woods, the first frost date can be anywhere from October 5 – October 28, I start the “stopping process” the first of September.
Stopping the deadheading process tells the roses it’s okay to begin to go to sleep and start producing seeds in the form of rose hips (Read more about rose hips here.). Don’t trim those off either–the birds find them particularly yummy.
Remove all diseased leaves from around your roses. Black spot and other fungal diseases are not discouraged by cold temperatures and will just over winter and be there next spring– so they must go! Don’t add any of your diseased leaves to your compost pile … they will overwinter there too!
I don’t do much pruning in the fall (Read about spring care here.), unless there are rose canes that have gotten extra tall or spindly. Those I trim back to prevent them from flapping in those cold winter winds as there is a danger of loosening around the roots and making the roses more susceptible to damage from the cold.
I think it is very important to add an extra layer of mulch to protect the roses through the winter. And, for roses that are more tender, I will mound the mulch much higher on them–to about 1/2 the height of the shrub.
Now it’s time to sit back, relax and pour through those beautiful catalogs and websites and get to dreaming, plotting and planning. Spring will be here in about 169 days. 🙂