"Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands........" 1 Thessalonians 4:11

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Purchasing, Planting, & Growing........"Cheap Roses"

If you have looked around your local store that has a garden center, 

you have probably noticed that most of them have packaged roses ( in January) and
are selling them fairly "cheap".
As I was happily going through them and picking out the ones I  wanted,
a lady passing by me ,remarked that " cheap roses are a waste of money"

I paid her no mind and continued to gather up an arm full.
In the photo above.......are roses......from my garden last year.
These were "cheap roses" from the same store that I purchased and brought home 3 years ago.
However, do know.........whether you pay a few buck for a rose or way up in the price range.......
roses can die if not planted in the right spot........or right climate and things can happen .........and they 
can die.( I will get  to that.....at the end of this post)

Here, the climate is harsh in winter and in summer.  A nursery friend of mine told me to 
first plant the roses into large containers.........which I did.  Larger ones than these in
the photo above would actually be better.......but this is what I had on hand.
I used purchased garden soil instead of potting mix..........because I like garden soil better.
I  labeled each with a tie tag.  

I then placed the potted roses in my greenhouse to wait the winter through.
Although our days have been sunny..........we are still due frigid temperatures 
and freezing nights.  The roses will not survive outside in low temps. 
Hopefully they will grow strong enough to be planted out in the grounds at a later date

you might remember that I posted about this miniature rose in this tiny planter a few
posts back.  The container this rose was in was only about 2 inches.  It has started putting on 
new growth and looking tired, 

so I transplanted it into a 4 inch terra cotta pot.  It is happy.
Hopefully I can keep it healthy and growing. 

Now ........back to the part about "roses dying"  This is my "rose garden" from 
cheap roses.  They have flourished for 3 years. I have never pruned them.........just 
pretty much let them grow as they pleased and gave them a little water and plant food from
time to time.  I read where they should be pruned ...........which I did............
They all died.   
You can imagine how heartsick I  was about it all.  Which is the reason I was
purchasing more cheap roses.  I was able to find the same  kind as I had planted here........
some are different.  Now I just hope I can get them to all grow again.
So just a few tips:

1. No matter the price........if it looks healthy and  you like  the way it looks.......
purchase it! Don't be afraid to experiment!

2. Even if roses are on sale in January............it is still winter.  Purchase your roses and place them out of the weather until the danger of freeze is gone.  

3. You do not have to have a greenhouse to keep your roses safe.  Any place that is sealed off from the weather and has light will do great.
4. Plant your roses in good soil, water and feed carefully.
5. Know your climate before you prune or fertilize.  

If you have doubts about when to plant.........when to purchase.........when to prune......
always call your local nursery...........they will gladly give you sound advice.
Here's wishing you many beautiful blossoms to come!

Monday, January 14, 2019

If I could have one wish granted.......

I would wish for a big machine with a shovel........or even just the use of one
If I had the use of one, my hands and ankles would not ache as much as they do
and I could get what I want done...........in a day.......instead of months.....or years.
However, since I do not have a "fairy Godmother" for wish granting.........
I continue my work..............slowly.
I have decided to focus much of my attention on this center
space between our drive.  This will be (I hope) my main dry garden for succulents and
certain cactus types.

I have already piddled out in this space, placing a decorative  cement paver floor and a bench
underneath the wire archway and I have planted a small garden
of "devil's claw cactus" or pincushion cactus. 
But there is much more to be done.  Large paddle cactus and sharp spike yucca is 
over- running the area and needs to be removed , along with 
weeds that need to be cleared.  Ground squirrels , who keep pushing up the earth is a troublesome problem.   It will look sparse this year, but
hopefully, if I keep working on it, it will be beautiful in 
a couple of years. 
Right now , everything looks so drab and dry.......doesn't it?

But just a few yards away............a lovely  yellow
is cheering up a space.  With  wild tousled branches that are covered in blossoms.
 The Italian Jasmine
is awake and blooming. 

How much I look forward to seeing this cheery plant in the cold days of January!

So tell me...........are you underneath a blanket of snow...........
or is something blooming in your back yard?
by the way..........do you have a big machine I can borrow??  or a fairy Godmother to grant wishes?? 
I would love to hear!

Thursday, January 3, 2019

No words...........

just a pretty photograph, a memory to share,
a moment to just slow down, to savour, to enjoy!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019


"January is the quietest month in the garden.  ...  But just because it looks quiet doesn't mean that nothing is happening.  The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants.  The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come."
Rosalie Muller Wright
How true Ms. Wright's words ring in the statement above.....
January is also the time for planning.....getting inspiration from seed catalogs that 
will soon come in and from garden books full of wonderful ideas.  
I have always loved miniature roses.........
Although nothing is blooming outside.........on my 
inside windowsill, this small pot of miniature roses
is still blooming and growing taller.

This was purchased in this whimsical container before Thanksgiving.
I am thrilled that it is doing so well. I need to transplant it to a larger 
container, but it seems to be happy at the moment.......so I will wait .
One of my "plans" is to somehow, create a miniature rose garden.
But where?..... is a the biggest question......as these little roses do not
seem to grow well when the Texas heat comes along. 
Any suggestions?  I will try anything that you tell me works! 

I was also able to find a few small colorful succulents for 
my garden collection.  I hope to keep these growing successfully......
and I hope, as they grow, that they keep their colorful appearance. 
I  am starting to plan more (dry climate)gardens with heat tolerating plants like cactus and succulents.
These plants seems to do well in the summer.........but seem to have 
difficulty in the winter.  Another thing to ponder.
January is also a great time to take inventory of your tools, fertilizers and 
other garden helps. 
Now is the time to till up your soil, (if not frozen) and to expose it to 
the helpful freezing to eliminate eggs of many insect pests.
I think this year I am not going to work on garden spaces for flowers,
instead I want to focus on the natural landscape plants that are growing here 
on the land.  I plan to make garden spaces and paths among them.
This will reduce the time of dragging a water hose everywhere, since the 
plants that are growing here naturally only rely on the rain that comes.
And it might reduce my frustration with pests like insects and rodents.......
since it seems, they only like to eat flowers and pumpkin plants and seem
to leave the natural plants alone.
Not sure if I can resist not planting pumpkin............this is yet to be seen.  
So tell me..........are you already pouring over garden and seed catalogs?
What do you hope to grow?  
I would love to hear!