More snow today. This angel stands in my front flower bed. She keeps watch over the kale and pansies I planted last fall, which reminds me that I still need to plant the spring bulbs taking up what may become permanent residence in my garage. Because our fall weather was so warm, I didn’t want to plant them too soon, only to have them rot or heave out of the soil.
We have a lot of leeway on bulb planting, but they should go in now. I waited for cooler weather, but snow every week is ridiculous. My goal is to plant them tomorrow. I’ll let you know how I did.
Santa was exceptionally good to me this year. I got my new camera for Christmas, a Nikon D40x with a second lens. I am so happy. Tell me if you think my pictures reflect my new camera’s abilities. I won’t say anything for the photographer. I take a class from Nikon in January, and I’m looking forward to it. It was hard to choose between the Canon Rebel and the Nikon, but finally, I liked the Nikon best for all of its features. I bought my camera at Epperson’s Photo in Oklahoma City. They have been in the same location since I was in high school (and that was a very long time ago.) They have great service, and I always try to buy locally if I can, whether it’s vegetables, cameras or books. Other things too, but that’s what immediately came to mind. Edmond has a fabulous farmer’s market (as does Oklahoma City,) and I love our little book store, Best of Books, owned by my friends, Kathy and Julie.
Okay, back to gardening and garden pictures. This is one of four arbors in my back garden. It is covered with two plants of the China rose, ‘Cl. Old Blush.’ She was one of the first roses I bought for the back garden and part of the original entrance. Since then, the garden tripled in size. Old Blush still thrives, although the Bourbon rose ‘Zepherine Droughin’ displaced her as gatekeeper.
You may not believe this, but I pruned ‘Old Blush’ down to three canes on each side of the arbor after she bloomed in the spring. With climbers, you want to prune them after spring bloom because, even if they are remontant (repeat blooming,) in our hot climate, they usually only have two large bloom cycles in the spring and fall. If you prune in February or early March like you should with your regular roses, you will cut off much of the spring bloom. Also, they have a huge growth spurt after they bloom in the spring. It is during this time that you want to prune them.
At first, this was such a surprise to me. I read all the gardening magazines, and in those national publications, all roses looked like they bloomed all the time. If you are are also confused, bear in mind two things:
- Most pictures are taken at the height of the season; and
- Look for where the featured garden is located. Often it is in California or Washington. Roses thrive in these locations.
During our summers, roses are in survival mode (even with adequate food and water.) The climbers aren’t even thinking about blooming.
Many antique roses, including some climbers, only bloom once a season. I have the most beautiful apricot mystery rose that only blooms once in the spring, but it flowers for nearly a month. At first, I was reluctant to grow once-blooming roses, but now, I think of them like I do Lilacs and Crape myrtles. I anticipate their bloom because I know it is the one time I’ll see it. I enjoy them during their season, and for the rest of the year, they blend in with the scenery. You can’t ask much more of a plant than that.