The mulch came this week. A mountain of mulch! It’s almost like Christmas! #happydance 💃💃
We use fine hardwood mulch … it retains moisture, helps to keep down weeds and gives the garden that fresh, finished look! Icing on the cake!
I have to tell you my favorite “mulch” story. When my daughter was in college, one day she and her girlfriends walked past an area that had been freshly mulched and they began to cry … WHAT IS THAT SMELL!!!! My daughter smiled and said, Oh I love that smell, it reminds me of my momma. From the shrieks and the looks on their faces, we don’t think they came from gardening families! 😳😱😂
Other Things Making Me Happy
Rosa Mundi is making her 2017 debut.
Powdery mildew is coming with her but we won’t talk about that right now. Seems to be a mild case. #rainyspring
Francis E. Lester is huge. More pics of him to come and his neighbor Peggy Martin who is showing a tiny bit of color today! Did you read the article in Southern Living about the Peggy Martin Rose? You can read it online here. Great article!
Celsiana is making the herb garden sing.
Morning doves made a nest on one of the beams of our pergola over the swings. We love them.
Sweet William (Dianthus) is so sweet!
Iris and Peonies…
A new coffee from my friends, Ed and Sue, in Louisiana — Mello Joy.
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. 🙂