Showing posts with label MN roses in winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MN roses in winter. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving Gratitude and feasting

Happy Thanksgiving to all my blog pals and FB where this link will appear.  Mother nature may not cooperate with my plans to join the annual Lacrosse Turkey Trot tomorrow AM.  Our weather has been frigid, too early this year to suit me and predictions for tomorrow 8:00AM appear to be  15 to 20 degrees. We  had picked up our bibs with our participant numbers and t shirts today...but we shall see.  I will be disappointed if not but at this stage, nothing to be proven only to challenge our boundaries....  There seems to be an abnormal amount, excessive clap trap, chattering going on against Thanksgiving day shopping, protests abound on Facebook from friends and acquaintances.  Frankly, I don't understand why everyone has to object; I would not be interested in shopping tomorrow but to each his or her own.  Some do not have  big families around so they are not gathering with others; some workers relish the overtime; some people just like to shop and so be it.  Why does everyone have to condemn others for their choices?  It sure seems like we are more and more becoming too condemning of others and for something as minor as when they  shop and spend money.  Why don't people just chill out and mind their own business?  Wouldn't we be better off instead of trying to impose our choices onto others?  

2008 November Jerry & Me in Colorado, visiting his sister.
We had not a clue then how our trip would be diverted
It was quite funny to find this old country store, with our name. 
It's a bit of wistful time here with just the two of us on Thanksgiving day, thinking about those we have lost on this earth and past Thanksgivings.  Life holds no promises of the future, but plenty of time to look back....we will miss Steve all the rest of our lives, sometimes we look at each other when the moment clouds with darkness, we know what the other is thinking and we hug.  It was only five years ago that downward spiral started although it seems like another lifetime away. That's one reason and likely the major why today we are starting different traditions for us empty nesters. We thought we would already be snow birded south  by now, but again those best laid plans go astray.... some final medical appointments in December have curtailed us until January departure, so here we are.  Eating out does not appeal, no left overs, no  wonderful smells of the roasting in the oven and just too crowded, so we will enjoy a turkey breast at home with plenty of accompaniments.  Jerry does not eat stuffing nor cranberry sauce and I do; so I will have a small amount of stuffing that will last me for some time.  As I was chopping the  celery, onions, and carrot this week to mix with the bread that I have curing in a bowl, I thought, "why am I doing this for myself?"  Well why not, who else will do it for me?  The fixings are on a much diminished scale to accompany our feast tomorrow, but the preparation is the same and really compared to years back in California when I worked through the week and then still put on the family feasts, this is nothing.  It really is a blessing to enjoy good health and be able to do it all.   

Well while I have been assuring myself that winter came earlier this year, Jerry suggested not so.  Found some photos from November 2006 that recall an early snow as this of the front roses,  hmmmm.  At least there is no white stuff here on the grounds, that is one more reason for thankfulness this Thanksgiving.  
Roses in the snow, here November 2006


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Springtime Outside Chores

Another great balmy spring day when I've  spent another  three hours clearing the rose beds of overwintering mulch and clipping the dark wintry branches  already spouting buds from the winter weary  roses. I did all this and filled three big cart loads which I run up and down the hill to dump,  increasing my caloric burning. This was the third day of my activity in the roses and I have nearly completed the project.  The front hosta beds are cleared and the front flower box cleaned awaiting its spring plants, will it be geraniums, pansies or some other  spring combination this year? 

Most of my  roses are now ready for the final  a more careful close up trim,  and removing all vestiges of the mulch we pile on them for winter protection;  here in Minnesota many people do not grow roses because they do not  know how to prepare them for winter.  Many, include me in this group, do not want to be bothered with the  preparatory Minnesota "winter dip" which involves digging a trench, tying, bending and binding down the rose bushes for the winter, burying them to protect from the snows.  Remember I was a California Rosarian and when we moved and when I heard that technique, I  knew there had to be a better way.  So I have dealt with this in two ways, first by foregoing the fussy  hybrid teas for hearty floribundas and grandifloras and over all changing the type of roses that I grow preferring those that have been hybridized right here across the river in Wisconsin by Bill Adler, father of the Knock Outs and the hearty old time rugosas which are naturalized on the wintry bluffs, old garden roses in general and those by Canadian hybridizers, as well as the Buck Roses being resurrected right down the border in Iowa. My winterization technique involves heavy  mulch which Jerry makes from all the fallen leaves that he shreds. This works well for us. 

 Now with spring  the mulch has already started to decompose and the earth worms are  very plentiful working their way up from the ground  into the damp decaying mess.  However, I scrape most of this off and work some into the ground as a ready made compost.  This is my  California approach to winterizing roses.  Any bush that does not survive does not get to keep its place in the rose garden and can be replaced by something else later in spring or summer.  After the careful barbering,  I apply a hearty dose of Epsom Salts and sit back and wait for  another couple weeks  until I apply a systemic fertilizer in anticipation of  blooms. 

I love my outside exercise and used to work longer hours at one time but now have to respect the arthritis in my hands, that demands pacing my activity despite early enthusiasm.  I still have shrubs and  perennials along the side of the house to prune and trim and then down the backyard.  Little by little progress is apparent.  I found I needed a sweatshirt today because the wind was just a touch chilly for a t shirt; it was a good thing because those thorns on the wintered  branches are quite dried and quite sharp so the long sleeves protected my arms from  massacre.  

This will be my first blog in a long time sans photos.  When I started this blog I did not routinely add photos but I do believe they add a lot.   I did not know the computer would call me this evening or I might have taken a couple photos of my massively laden cart, a big plastic thing that holds more than a wheel barrow is is one of my favorite sidekicks, today I commented that I wished it had a trailer then I could haul twice as much down the hill in a trip.  Jerry  reminded me that it was just the size for me to maneuver and besides, that gave my fingers a break from the tedium and kept the knuckles appeased. Maybe tomorrow I can add photos.