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?



Bloom Thyme Friday: Beating the Heat

This is a week of record high temps (99 – 103), so I find myself extremely grateful for the plants that are “beating the heat.”

Just when I was about to panic about the lack of water and intense heat, David Strickland of Witherspoon Rose Culture, our guest on Blog Talk Radio today told the story of his roses going without water for 6 weeks last year and once the rains came–the roses came back too.

So presently we are beating the heat with iced tea, fighting the Japanese Beetles and waiting for rain … and watering as much as we can! As CWO (Chief Watering Officer) the garden hose is in my hand most days!)

These are the troopers beating the heat and taking the sunny center stage in our garden… Click on the first picture and the gallery feature will open so the pictures won’t look so tiny.

So hot and dry we need a CWO…

Around here it is HOT & DRY! One week of 95 – 100 degrees and one week of 70 degrees and now back to 90 degrees with no rain has made for some interesting gardening! Since I am the CWO of our clan… CHIEF WATERING OFFICER, me and my garden hose have been up close and personal with as many plants as possible. If the map on my iPhone weather app is correct, there is rain in the forecast for this week. FINGERS CROSSED!

In almost every picture I’ve taken this week, I see a garden hose! See…

While we wait for rain, here are some tips on watering your roses…

  • Roses need about 1″ of water per week or about 2 – 5 gallons depending of the size of your rose. You want to water deeply to send down deep roots!
  • Water at the base of the plant and early in the day. Putting your roses to bed wet sets the stage for black spot, mildew and other diseases.
  • Roses need water but don’t like “WET FEET,” so be sure you provide them with good drainage.
  • Occasionally your roses will appreciate an all over, gentle spray to wash away dirt and insects. Many times while I’m working in the garden I wish for a “gentle spray” of water too! Don’t you?

How is your garden doing so far? Are you the resident CWO?