Showing posts with label Rose garden preparation for spring. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Rose garden preparation for spring. Show all posts

Monday, April 18, 2016

Warm weather abounds

Front shrubs, snowball tree, barberries trimmed thanks to Lucas 
We have turned the corner into a lovely spring, it's been in the 80's all weekend, perfect for me although some days it  felt a bit too warm too fast, but I am not complaining.  The sun's rays here in unfiltered clean skies of MN do tend to scorch me a little,  despite sunblock, then again I prefer a  little coloring to pale winter white skin.  It's time for shorts, tanks, sandals, my kind of weather. 

   I  spent most of Friday, Saturday working outside, clearing the rose beds of winter mulch and  trimming and clipping. We were able to hire someone from a Landscaping service to trim some of the shrubs and I was very pleased with Lucas'  work which saved me a couple days, well worth the $$ spent.  With his power equipment he was done in less than an hour, I was in awe.  
Apple Jack Rose bush is already filling out with leaves
As I do each year once I start, I cannot quit, so I overdid it and by Sunday I decided my bones needed a break that they were demanding.  Despite weight toning that I do twice weekly at the Y,  those long  hours of gardening labor had my body protesting with vehemence.  Cartloads of mulch, at 50 some gallons a load up and down the hill to our side  dumping ground, back and forth in addition to the trimming and pulling are a way to add a nice few miles and  over 6000 steps to my GearFit measuring watch.  

One small pile of limbs to drag up the hill to shredder
On Thursday  I spent a good hour and half dragging huge downed tree limbs to where Jerry was operating the shredder,  making wood chips for the garden beds. He had done some serious pole trimming but left  the big limbs laying there.  No one took them over night, so, that was another project the next day.    It was easy to give in to my body and bones that yelled out, "would you  puleeze stop for a day" by Sunday morning  

 I love this outside physical work, the smells and the ground and am thankful I can do it, but I suppose I could learn the art of pacing myself. Still one of my cousin's reminded me that as her mom, my aunt said, "If you do your own housework and yard work, you will be strong, healthy and never need to go to a gym."  I do though maintain my Y membership and  spend my quality time there, zumba, weights, toning, yoga, then I come home and hit the grounds for free workouts.  

Clear blue MN skies  above our tall pines out back
It's the most wonderful time of the year and love especially the grilling that is underway on the back deck.It keeps  Jerry busy too making good use of that gas grill.  .    As always more detail as it happens on Facebook, look for me there. 
Grill Master at it, side table hold his Busch,
 which is not for pouring on the burgers these were the first this year, winners.

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.