I didn’t make it on time to Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day this month because we had a graduation for one child on May 15, and a banquet for another on Sunday The Diva, Megan, graduated with her Masters Degree in Social Work and Bear, Claire, who is now seventeen–can you believe it–had her choral banquet. If we’re friends on Facebook, you saw way too much of my family last weekend. May is pretty much the graduation parade on Facebook though isn’t it? Fun to see all these “kids” grow up and move on into their lives. Makes me a bit melancholy too.
A chilly May with gray skies doesn’t help my mood either. I need the warmth of the sun. In August, please don’t remind me that I wrote this. I will be way tired of Mr. Sun by then.
In other news, yesterday it rained so hard I couldn’t get out to take photos. Today is really chilly out there–52F when I last checked. I’m truly grateful for the moisture, but I don’t like this cloudy and cool weather day-after-day. The garden and the roses especially sure like the rain. The beds are lush and crowded. I don’t normally space everything according to Hoyle because most plants don’t grow to their full potential in my climate. This year, however, they’re all muscling each other aside. It’s topsy and turvy, and I keep pulling up the worst offending perennials, not the whole plant, but whole sections.
The roses are blooming happily and fingers crossed, I don’t see any Rose Rosette. I do see this virus all over the town of Edmond though. Ugly, ugly. One of my roses, a trial from Star Roses doesn’t like the chilly weather and the resultant thrips, so it is giving me mummy blooms. These things happen, but it’s a strong bloomer throughout much of summer, so I’ll just cut these off and enjoy my other roses for now.
Are you surprised I still have roses? I am too, but roses are tough. I still have twenty or so out of the 100 I once grew. Many have come and gone, but some like ‘Abraham Darby’ bloom on. I also planted nine new roses this year. I’m giving some a try in beds where I had no Rose Rosette Disease, and I’m now planting them near the house where I can really enjoy them. I decided that my garden without roses was sad indeed, and I have a new attitude. If one gets sick, out it goes. Roses aren’t that pricey unless you buy them at a specialty nursery, although there’s good reason to do that. If I get a few years out of one before Rose Rosette takes it, I’m okay with that. There’s always the possibility that RRD is finished with my garden.
I said possibility.
My new roses this year are: The Lady Gardener™ and Claire Austin™ both David Austin or English roses, Sultry Sangria™, a Floribunda, St. Patrick™ a Hybrid Tea, that buds out green and turns to yellow, Anna’s Promise®, a Grandiflora and Pretty Lady™ a Hybrid Tea. The last two are part of the Downton Abbey series. There was a time when I wouldn’t plant Hybrid Teas or Grandifloras, but hybridizers have improved many of these for disease resistance and increased bloom. South Africa™ is a great Grandiflora that is a proven performer in my garden. I love that rose. If you want more information about growing roses, here are a few of my secrets. Along with the roses I love, here’s the rose gardening gear I use all the time.
Today is the last day I have Kari to help me in the garden. Since last spring, she’s been helping me every two weeks. This spring, she’s come, starting in March, almost every week except when I was out of town speaking. She is moving to Grove, Oklahoma, with her beautiful family. Her help and friendship are immeasurable, and I will miss her dearly. We took this photo today before we said goodbye. She’s promised to return with her family to see the daylilies bloom in June. I hope she does.
As with all things in life, some things end as others are just beginning. Children graduate, marry and have children of their own. Friends move away. Time passes, and the garden grows. I hope your gardens are full of new beginnings this year too.