Thursday, January 9, 2014

Dead of Winter Dreams

The cold weather this week has kept me inside reading the seed catalogs and thinking of what worked and what I probably won't do again. I took a short hiatus from updating this blog as I worked through the nits and grits of being a caregiver. It was mostly time management issues and though I never thought of myself as being highly structured I did need to have structure now just to get everything done. So I'm back to blogging and intend to update midweek.

On weekdays I have an aide help care for wife while I run errands and this also gives me a couple of hours to work in the church garden. This is my 'dirt therapy'. It helps keep me centered and I get a physical workout too. I struggle with garden design so I've spent the last couple of months moving plants and roses to new spots trying to achieve balance. I can tell when it looks good, it just takes me a while to get it right. In my home garden I'm gradually transitioning to mostly flowering shrubs and moving the perennials to the church garden.

I've lost the following roses to the rose rosette virus in the church garden; Erfurt, Cornelia, Buff Beauty, American Beauty,  Felicite Perpetue , Chrysler Imperial, and Francis Dubreuil. I've cut branches back to the graft or root on the following; St Patrick, The Dark Lady, Teasing Georgia, St Swithen, and Zephirine Drouhin. I'm not sure this will be successful and if I see more strange growth I'll remove them too. I'm going to look into using a miticide this year. I'm not looking forward to spraying but it's hard not to fight back with whatever might work. This may turn into a battle of attrition…can I add roses as fast as they get diseases.  Thus far this fall I've added 12 and I've got 22 in pots for planting in Feb/March. None of the roses in my home garden have been infected.

Come spring I'll know if the cold snap which froze the ground this week killed any of the dahlia, gladiola, calla lily, and trumpet lilly tubers. I had a bucket of water on the patio and as you can see in the picture it looks like the water froze about 3" deep. Now I don't think the soil froze down 3" but it may have penetrated 2" which could get the dahlias.

 The only thing blooming right now in the garden this week is Mahonia.

I know it's considered an invasive but I really like Nandina. It is just a bright spot in the winter garden.
I'll get back to posting an arrangement from church in the following weeks.

1 comment:

  1. There can be no better therapy than the garden.