Oh, how I wish you could visit this spring. We could stroll through my garden with clippers in hand, and I would cut you a bouquet. You would smell roses, peonies and iris, along with the heady, clove scent of the dianthus because I grow several kinds.
Never have the roses been lovelier. Even a little blackspot can’t mar the view. Because the spring temperatures have been so cooperative without too much heat, I’ve sprayed a bit of EcoSmart Organic fungicide I bought somewhere. It has rosemary oil as the fungicide with insecticidal soap as the sticking agent, and I’m not sure it will be effective, but I’m willing to give it a try. I could also spray some Neem oil which might help as a bit of fungicide and a natural miticide for those nasty beasties. I rarely spray because horticultural oils are generally a problem in our hot climate. They burn leaves, and burned leaves are not much prettier than blackspotted ones. Plus, they don’t always work, and I won’t spray chemical fungicides.
The roses pretty much make it on their own. The garden is huge, especially in spring when it needs the most maintenance. For the most part, I choose disease resistant rose cultivars and pluck off any leaves with blackspot or powdery mildew making sure I dispose of them in the trash, not the compost. I do make exceptions and plant the occasional David Austin or a prized heirloom I simply must have. I cover any legginess due to blackspot with understory plants.
Everything is very crowded in the cottage garden to prevent weeds–you thought it was just because I’m a girl who can’t say no, didn’t you?
I also go out at least once a day and pluck a few weeds. Bermuda and Johnson grasses with their roots to forever are my nemeses. However, after 20+ years of amending the soil here, I’ve dug most of them into a sort of submission. I will dig to China if I must.
I wish I could lengthen the days of this lovely weather. The cool nights and warms days with plenty of rain make Oklahoma look like a prairie paradise.
Forget the recent tornadoes and hail. Let’s gaze instead upon the flowers, and the trees with their fresh green leaves. No dust to be seen for miles around.
I know this time will soon end so I hang onto every precious minute. Transplanting small plants from the gravel walkways. Sowing seeds. I’m trying a new sunflower, ‘Strawberry Blonde,’ in the lower wilder, part of the garden. I hope she looks like her picture, but I’m realistic. One should never fall for a pretty face. I also replaced the pump in the deck fountain and set up the red one at the center of the potager. I’m planting herbs and Salvia ‘Rhea’ around it to disguise how crooked the base is this year because I don’t want to dump all the water and start over. Green camo is the new thing don’t you know?
I hope you get out into the garden too for spring won’t last very long. Enjoy it while you can.
Also, don’t forget my contest to win five, different Fiskars garden tools. That’s right . . . five. You can enter by leaving a comment. If you also tweet or facebook share it, leave another comment for another entry. Thanks!