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8 JUL 06
It's very cold here at night. Some nights are getting close to zero degrees. A lot of the roses are still in bloom and others are heavily in bud. 'Moonstone' must think it's summer. And 'Shreveport' is always at it's best in cold weather and is heavily in flower. Today amongst over things I pruned out some older canes on the half a dozen roses that were here when I bought the house. I took one on each out last year and they all sent up a new cane from the bottom. They are still heavily in leaf and some are at various stages of being in flowwer. I also notice that there are about fifty fair sized buds on the 'Royal Highness' which is in a very large pot in the driveway. Another 'Royal Highness' is in the garden bed on the second level of the garden. It has just finished flowering so may be some weeks before the flowers are back.
1 JUL 06
I really shouldn't leave it a month between journal posts here but I probably have a reasonably good excuse as I was pruning my bush of 'Fred Hollows Vision' on the top of the front steps and forgot where I was and fell backwards head over heels and sprained my ankle. So their was no jumping into raised rose beds half the way up the mountain for me for a while. The rosebush was fine. Fortunately I fell the other way. Perhaps it would have been less painful falling into the bush. It's in flower again now. It's very cold here now. Much colder than normal winters. Some of my rosebushes are dropping their leaves. Others are in bud with flowers but no leaves. Others have all buds, blooms and leaves. It's about 4 degrees colder than normal. I'll have to decide whether to prune them down now like the 'Cold Climate' gardener's or leave them a bit taller like I did last year. I'll need to decide soon or I may still be doing them when the warm weather arrives and I don't want to be treading over tulips and daffodils to get to the the bushes. I think that my husband may want me to move the 'Iceberg' standard on the side driveway bed. He keeps mentioning it. He's not allowed to be in charge of planning. Not since I saw him having trouble telling a rosebush apart from an azalea and he's definitely not allowed to have pruners. He's in charge of tulips and daffodils this year. They should be safe enough. The 'Iceberg' standard is too settled and I don't think right now that I will have anywhere else to put it. So for now it stays where it is. I've joined the 'Cold Climate' group on my Rose Forum. They won't want me there as I live in Zone 10. Not to worry. I have had the worst outbreak of the good old 'Aphids' and as they were destroying every good bloom I had I eventually succummed to spraying with a 'Pyrethrum' spray last week.
6 MAY 06
Well. Today I fertilized the roses with Fish Emulsion. It was a leftover job from the day before. It's quite windy here today and a lot of leaves have been blown from some bushes so there has been a lot of sweeping up to do particularly around the pool area in the backyard. At times the wind was so strong it eventually blew my standard of 'Friesia' over level with the ground. Broke the stake off clean near the soil level. I'm becoming less keen on wooden stakes. They eventually break off when you least want them too. At least the rose was okay. No apparent damage.I was hoping to take some photos of some roses today but it is far too windy. I get very uncomfortable in this mid season as I can feel that Winter is not far away. My roses never really wind down for Winter but the cold mornings and nights certainly slow them down a fraction but there are no more rose shows until the Spring and I miss them. I've got to start planning for the Garden Show which will be in late September. I've yet to finalise the annuals list although all the bulbs are in the refrigerator so I'm not too far behind. I'm back at work tomorrow. I'm hoping to come home early a couple of afternoons this week as I need to go and get alfalfa and cottonseed meal. I'm probably out of kelp meal so I'll add that to the list. I've still got some time tonight so I might go back to my rose forum and see how the American's are getting on.
4 MAY 06
It's Autumn here and the rose garden is just over a year old. This first year I have learnt a lot about fertilizing, about keeping the water up to the beds and pots but most of all that most roses are rather hardy and that most mistakes you make are not usually fatal to the rose. It has been a busy year and I would have liked to have double the time to invest in the garden. But work commitments as they are have made that a little difficult. But now that much cooler weather has arrived the roses are starting to show the benefits of the passing of the hot summer months. There have been some very good outcomes in this year. Using the preditory spider mite was a booming success and at the first sign of a return by these nifty little critters I would undertake that course again. I am also trialling 'Eco Rose' for black spot. It's too early to tell how successful that will be but I like the safety aspect as opposed to a more 'chemical' version. Tomorrow I will spray for Black Spot. Later in the day I will fertilize all the roses again.