Garden Design Diva

simple planning brings great rewards

   Sep 01

Rose Care

It appears from the comments I am receiving on the previous post:  Pruning Roses is a rather hot topic.  So, this follow up post on rose care, will hopefully, provide as much interest and needed information to you as Pruning Roses did.  The roses at Fairview are mostly all Knockouts, with some carpet roses tossed in for good measure.  To keep these beauties in perpetual bloom I feed them for the first time as they break bud in the spring.  Bud break is when the new growth first emerges in early spring, you will notice small red buds, this is the perfect time to give your roses the first feeding, feed again after the first flush, and lastly here in western Connecticut I give the final application in early August (you want to feed your roses for the last time about two months before the first frost).  There are countless rose fertilizers, I have found after many years of trying different types, that the ones that works best for the conditions at Fairview are fertilizers with the composition of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium in a ratio of 8-12-4.  I wont bore you with what does what, but suffice it to say the middle number provides nutrients for increased flower production.  Therefore, if you have a heavy feeder, such as roses and dahlias, you want a plant food with a higher middle number apposed to a balanced 10-10-10, okay enough said on that topic.

Even though the Knockout series boasts no need for deadheading (removing spent flowers to the next leaf node) I continually deadhead them.  If you do not want to deadhead, DON’T, you will still have flushes of roses throughout the growing season.  However, if you deadhead, the Knockout series will provide you with almost nonstop roses from spring through fall.  If you decide not to continually deadhead your roses, you can prune mid-season and end of season to provide the ever important hygiene that will provide you with healthy roses for years to come.  One of the most important things you can do for your roses is to remove any diseased or unattractive foliage from the plants AS WELL AS raking up any foliage or flower petals that have fallen from the shrubs to the ground below.  I make sure to do this garden task each time I feed my roses at the very least.  Usually after heavy rains I deadhead and give a quick rake under the roses to keep the pests and disease at a minimum.  The below pictures, show the before and after pruning and clean up.  The first picture shows leaves and flower petals on the ground, the second shows a closeup of yellow leaves and finally the third picture shows what you want your roses to look like when your done.

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Most importantly, have fun in your garden!!!

   May 22

Getting ready for planting

The beds are weeded and edged,  mulch is in place and tulips are in full bloom.  The annual planting season is fast approaching.   As a matter of fact, I began annual planting yesterday, containers and hangers were planted last week.  At Fairview, I like to edge the beds around the clubhouse with begonias, currently with the late arrival of spring here in the Northeast, the tulips are residing in the begonia location (usually the tulips have past by Mother’s Day with the exception of the Northwest side of the Clubhouse).  Luckily, in the fall I planted the tulip clumps a bit farther apart than I usually do, leaving enough room to sneak the begonia between the tulips.  Yes, I plant new tulips annually around the clubhouse in the fall.   Each year I can’t wait to get planting, and each year I can’t wait to be DONE PLANTING.   I’ts a love/hate relationship I have with planting.  I LOVE that the weather is warm enough for these tender beauties, however, I can’t wait to be done planting flat after flat of annuals.  The ever changing aspect of gardening keeps me engaged and challenges both my mind and body. HAPPY PLANTING!!!

I have added a few ‘how to videos’ I took earlier in the season and a photo gallery tab,  so look for the new pages up next to my contact page.

Fairview Terrace

Tulips Fairview Terrace

Fairview Clubhouse

Tulips Fairview Clubhouse