BLOOM THYME FRIDAY: Summer Care and Summer Blooms

In many areas extreme heat is the order of the day and our roses are showing the signs — curled leaves, slow growth and smaller than normal blooms that sometimes look distorted. All these are normal under these conditions. While I was away in May the temps soared to the 90s and haven’t come down much since.

WHAT I’M DOING…

WATER
Do keep watering if you can. A good deep soaking once a week should be sufficient except for your containers — mine need water everyday unless we get rain. Resist the temptation to overwater!

FERTILIZER
I fertilized them when I cut them back in June. And I’m usually on a every 6 weeks schedule. I’ll see how the weather is then. If it’s too hot still, I’ll be careful about doing much. When they are under stress, I find that too much of anything just contributes to the problem.

Maybe we will get lucky and July or August will be the May we missed! I just received a notification from the Weather Channel that Tropical Storm Beryl has formed in the Lesser Antilles – who knows what that will bring! Don’t you just love real time notifications!!!

Back to today–managing all this heat is tricky as it is a first for my neck of the woods – so time will tell.

Several years ago we had a severe drought and had no measureable rain for 7 weeks. I was in a panic as we could only water very minimally. I assure you the roses looked horrible at the end the drought. However, it was amazing how quickly they bounced back once regular weather returned. Praying the same thing happens this year when “regular” weather returns.

JAPANESE BEETLES
We are also dealing with Japanese Beetles — who came very early to my garden. They usually show up around the first week of July. This year I saw them the second week of June. I made my decision that day to cut back all the roses (blooms & buds) to make them less appealing. I was leaving for California so it seemed the perfect time. The result has been fewer JBs! WIN. The roses are now starting their second flush of bloom now and we’ll see how the “population” of beetles go!

To control JPs simply have a bucket of soapy water to drop them in. If you bend the cane down, their tendency is to drop and the soapy “bath” will be waiting! I received another tip this year from good friend, Dr. Mark Windham … trim off the damaged leaves! It seems it is the “damage” that encourages other JPs to come. Resist the urge to squish. I hear that process sends out a signal to others JPs to come visit via pheromones released. Yuk!

BLOOM THYME THIS WEEK

There are some lovely blooms coming this week and the butterflies are loving them!

Watch the butterfly run through the coneflowers and daylilies in the video below…

 

As much as i want to be in the garden, I am limiting my time and you should too.

Grab some ice tea or lemonade to help you beat the heat and have a lovely

Bloom Thyme Friday.

Rose Buzz: Bathsheba

One rose that is creating a ROSE BUZZ in my garden this year is a new introduction from David Austin Roses … BATHSHEBA.

Bathsheba is said to be a well-behaved climber (to 9′ or so) with beauty, fragrance and disease resistance. All the things I want to hear.

Right from the start my new small plant began to take off and start growing strong — even  though I didn’t plant it in the most perfect of locations. (I feared it would not get enough sun.) I have been rewarded with adorable buds and breathtaking blooms. Only 4-5 blooms so far but enough to know that this one captures my attention and heart.

LISTEN FOR MORE INFORMATION…

To hear the charming Michael Marriott with the lovely voice and incredible rose knowledge talk about this rose and the other new introductions, listen to the Rose Chat Podcast here…

https://rosechat.podbean.com/e/david-austin-roses-new-intros-for-2018/

If you are growing this rose, let me know what you think and if you have questions, I’m happy to help! Leave me a note in the comment section below.

SPEAKING OF BUZZ….

Did you see the acrobatic bee in my herb garden that I posted on Instagram? He’s my inspiration. I want to have as much fun as he is having as I work in the garden. And I DO have some work to do–all the roses need dead heading! LOL

As I write this morning, my view from my potting shed is one that makes me happy all the time but especially today as we are getting a MOST and I mean MOST needed rain. No one fulfills the needs of the garden OR the gardener like the Creator…

 

LEMONS TO LEMONADE…

There’s been a lot going on in the garden the past two weeks–some good and some bad. 😳 I’ll have a report on Bloom Thyme Friday!

 Keep creating a buzz in the garden! 🐝

 

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!

 

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!