Bloom Thyme Friday: The Good. The Bad. The Bugly

Yes, it is still 90+ degrees but many of my blooms are beating the heat! Now the roses are doing their best to bloom in spite of the Japanese Beetles but you can decide for yourself as you see the pictures below how successful they are. UGH.

THE GOOD…

Up first are the ORIENTAL LILIES… they are spectacular and filling the garden with fragrance. For those of you (and I know they are many) who are sensitive to their fragrance, so sorry, but you can enjoy the pictures!
ROSES
THE FAWN (Faun)
This beauty was the first thing I saw this morning — practically took my  mind completely off my morning coffee. Not easy to do. Luckily Mr. G did not forget my coffee and brought me some yummy coffee in a pretty rose cup. (He really is the very best and knows very well how the garden can steal me completely away from the real world. LOL)
The Fawn is a ground cover rose that has her roots in French soil. Simply gorgeous and it looks like it would have amazing fragrance but I hate to tell you, it doesn’t. It does, however, have super disease resistance and an abundance of blooms all summer long. Mine came from Heirloom Roses. I just checked and they still have it in stock. Take a look here.
CHERRY PARFAIT
Another French beauty from the esteemed House of Meilland is Cherry Parfait. My plant is smaller than normal in the heat but giving some incredible blooms. And, there was not one Japanese Beetle on her! She has a light fragrance.

SWEET DRIFT & PETIT PINK

Both of these shrub roses are doing so well as they do most every year and are not very popular with the Japanese Beetles.

SWEET DRIFT

PETIT PINK

 

POPCORN DRIFT

This is a new rose to me and I love it! Absolutely love it. However, I can already tell I planted them tooooo close together! #bloomingmachine  More info to come on this one as the season continues.

 

 

SUMMER FLOWERS

Stokes Aster

This is a great performer in my garden and makes me happy every time I see it. It is just easy breezy and pretty. The only extra care I give this plant is sometimes a “ring” to keep it from “flopping,” especially if is too close to a rose I want to feature. It is so easy to divide so there is plenty for you and plenty to share. Oh, and it does well in arrangements and compliments the roses!

Phlox

The phlox has been the very best this year! I guess we can say they like  hot, dry conditions!

Coneflowers

There are many reasons to plant this hardy workhorse — it’s place as a herbal remedy, beautiful summer color, pollinator attractor and tasty seeds for the birds (in particular gold finches) to name a few. Breeders have been having fun with this plant the last few years and we have moved way beyond the original pinkish purple — although I love it still!

 

THE BAD…

UH OH…

Who planted the Lemon Grass too close to the Zinnias — ME!

 

Who nestled up a little too close to the Lilies — ME!

Yes, it stains. One trick– don’t rub … lightly brush off!

THE BUGLY

The Japanese Beetles just keep coming and coming and coming. Warning ugliness below…

Look what they did to my lovely Gemini…😡

 

And, they are soooooo attracted to my Golden Fairy Tale because it is yellow.  Can you believe this!  😩😡😭 More — a lot more — soapy water.

 

Well, we don’t want to end on a bad “bugly” note!!!! So here are two bokays from the week. One I made to take to the propagation workshop at our rose society meeting on Tuesday and one for our table — it is in an antique pitcher from Mr. G’s momma. Isn’t the pitcher lovely!

 

Bugs or no bugs, so glad you stopped by. I am loving my day in the garden and hope your day is wonderful too.

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!