Sunday, May 19, 2019

Spring is in the Air

Springtime in the gardens is a busy time for both the plants and the gardeners - though sometimes it seems the plants work harder than we do.  We started working in the gardens in earnest  at the end of April.

Most of the gardens are still asleep during the month of April, but the Muscari/Grape Hyacinth always put on a great show!  

Borage and Calendula put in an early appearance this year.  

And my personal favorite - Narcissus Poeticus greeted us that morning with her nodding blooms on elegant stems. 

Red flowering Currant and Forget-me-not brighten the shady corners of the garden. 

And the roses are gearing up for the first blooms to come in just a few short weeks.  

By May we are ready to plant some veggies.  Seedlings find their way to the garden thanks to Karen, via her greenhouse. 

Sugar Peas are sprouting, and there is much digging and planting in the sunshine. 

You don't have to go far to find the first flowers of May blooming.  Pink Columbine, Purple Bachelor's Button's and Lupine join the first rose blooming - our Harison's Yellow.  

Just last week we had to thin the radishes - but didn't let the sweet tangy morsels go to waste as we each too a sample.  There are more seedlings to plant too.  

The mid-spring blooms make a colorful display - purple and pink and blues blend with the hues of the roses beginning their annual show.  

Leaning in close to the pink Rosa Centifolia, the fragrance is sweet and citrusy.  The lovely yellow tones of the Harison's Yellow seem to shout that  it's finally spring in the garden! 

Prolific bloomer Old Cardinal has blooms of shades from dark red to pinks, with that green button eye.  

Columbine and Calendula bloom around the garden.  We love the lacy stalks of the pink blooms gently swaying in the breeze. 

The season is just beginning ... I will check in with you again soon. 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

Late winter - it's time to prepare the garden for the coming season. The first chore for us is pruning the roses.   

Our heirloom roses are very vigorous growers, so we need to match that with vigorous pruning. Since they bloom on old wood, we need to make sure to leave plenty of the long canes on the climbers to insure plenty of blooms this year.  Modern roses bloom on the wood from this season, making pruning very different. The plant will begin to fill in once the weather begins to warm up.  

Usually we would have done the pruning in February, between Valentines Day and Presidents Day.  But we enjoyed a very wet and cold February this year - pushing our pruning day to the first week in March.  I am sure it won't make that much difference to the bloom cycle.  The main thing you don't want to do is prune too early.  Once you prune a rose it begins to grow, and if we get a hard freeze after pruning you can get some cane dieback, delaying your May/June blooms.  

Another difference with heirloom roses is the practice of a hard pruning after the plants bloom, in the spring/summer.  Generally, we cut back most of the plants at that time, leaving the arbor, the Centifolia roses, and the China Rose until late winter. 

I will let the photos tell the rest of the story - 

Rose arbor, before we began.  We have two roses growing on this arbor -  
Carnea (Rosa multiflora) and Silver Moon. 

Rose arbor, after. In the foreground are rose hips on the Rosa Mundi hedge.  

Before - what a tangle of canes! 

Before - lots of hips from last years Multiflora rose blooms. 

After - you can see the sky!  The sunshine was nice, but it was still a chilly day. 

We managed to fit all the debris into two yard debris bins!  

The rest of the garden is still asleep - 
stay tuned as we begin to wake her up later on this month.