Adventures in watering…

This year I have talked a lot about water in the garden. Mainly because we have had so much rain. Seriously,  in my area we set a record for rain in July … breaking a record that was set in 1835. That’s a lot of rain.

When you have as many plants as I do, water is very important. Not only is it needed for plants to survive–roses just happen to really like it! I will tell you that I love hand watering my roses. I like to be up close and personal with them and watering is a great time for that. I even find it very relaxing! However, when you have as many as I do, that is not always possible, so a couple of years ago I began to dream of a “system” of water. One that would provide water to some of my garden areas … not all … just some. Water that came at just the right time, in just the right amount and was programmable with a timer!!!

My engineer, Mr. G, started researching some simple solutions. One of the main criteria for the solution was that it could be easily moved. He knows me very well and how I love to move plants around!! If  you are a gardener you totally get that! 🙂

Believe it or not, we decided that this would be the year we would take the “plunge” and add a “system” of water to some of the garden areas. Dream come true … pushing some buttons, setting a timer. The roses were going to love it. I was going to love it.

But it just kept raining. And raining. And raining. No need to push any buttons. And, the roses loved it.

While it rained, Mr. G brought home pieces and parts of water systems for me to choose from! I learned about different sprinkler heads, shrublers and timing systems.

I’ve been excited to get things set up and geek out over water flow direction, water amounts, etc.

Finally we have a dry week and then another dry week. And scorching temps! The time had come! This week was our driest week of the summer and I was ready  to set that timer, push a few buttons and watch water come at just the right time, in just the right amount. Big week! Great right?

Well last night was the ultimate in the water adventure so far …  at 10 :30 pm, I jumped up out of my chair and in somewhat of a panic I asked Mr. G if I could have his biggest flash light. He looked at me with a look that said “what are you up to now!” I exclaimed, “I need to turn off my timer!!!  It had been pouring rain all day and I feared my great new “system” was about to drown my babies!

Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for the rain–so much more nourishing than what will come from my “system,” but know this … when the rain stops and the drought comes, I am prepared! I am already! I am eager!  …to push the buttons on my timer and smile! Especially on those extremely busy days when there is just not enough time to give each one of them my attention. 🙂

More Rain….

Roses and Water

  • Roses love water; however, they do not like wet feet so provide them with good drainage. Something of grand importance in my area where we have so much clay in our soil.
  • Water when the top 2-3″ of soil is dry. As you observe your roses, you will begin to recognize the signs.
  • Water deeply. The roots of your roses go down to about 18″ … that’s where the water is needed. Less frequent but deep watering is ideal.
  • The best time to water roses is in the early morning. Giving them plenty of time to dry before nightfall.
  • Keeping the leaves as dry as possible especially at night can help deter the fungus that loves your roses too.
  • Mulch! Not only does mulch give our garden beds that finished look, it is extremely helpful in retaining moisture!

Here are some pictures from this week in the garden…

The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild (DA) taking center stage
The Ingenious Mr. Fairchild (DA) taking center stage
Beverly Hybrid Tea … lovely, fragrant, easy care
Getting kind on jungley ... time to move things around!
Getting kind of jungley … time to move things around!
The Grand Dame Hybrid Tea ... old fashioned form and fragrance
The Grand Dame Hybrid Tea … old fashioned form and fragrance

Has it been dry or rainy where you garden?