Spring explodes, and so do the roses

rosefollyMarch 30, 2014

While my garden is two or three weeks short of the full flush, many roses are blooming now, and clematis, geraniums, and peonies as well. Earlier today I posted a group of photos on Facebook, but I wanted to share here, as well. Many of you are friends of mine on FB as well as here, so I did not duplicate except for this picture.

The rose below is Sunset, an heirloom tea. I rooted it from a cutting sent by Paparoseman. It didn't do much for several years. This year due to the drought I removed a number of roses. Given the unexpected sunshine, Sunset exploded. I am looking forward to seeing how it does from now on.


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That's a beautiful coloring, Rosefolly. I'm glad it's doing well and that you've had sun.

Here, the crocus are almost finished blooming and the small daffodils planted with them will open soon. Tulips are starting to form heads, to the great delight of the rabbits who regularly chew them. One white hyacinth has had its bloom propped up on a bamboo skewer as it's falling down from all the rain. Roses are starting to leaf out. I did notice a bud on Mutabilis, which was just planted a few weeks ago, but that's all. I am so ready for some rose blooms - have fun with yours ... Gean

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 1:24AM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Rosefolly, what a pretty little rose!

My roses are just beginning.

I want to live in California.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 5:45AM
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Mendocino_Rose(z8 N CA.)

What a lovely rarity Paula. There is only a tiny smattering of rose blooms here except for the Banksias, white, yellow, Purezza, and Fortuniana.The white Banksia over the front entrance is mingling with cherry and pear blooms to make frothy clouds.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 9:47AM
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seil zone 6b MI

Beautiful! So glad to hear your garden is thriving!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 11:35AM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

It is so exciting to see them start. I would love to see more photos.

Our garden is going nuts now, but will be really blooming in a couple of weeks.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 11:55AM
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Sammy, if you want to come to California, bring water with you! We have a ton of land, but much of it is too arid to do much with unless you add imported water. The rose is beautiful, Rosefolly. Kim

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:36PM
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seil zone 6b MI

Yeah, the grass is always greener and so on...every place has it's good and bad points. We envy you your warmth and long growing season and you envy us our water. Just remember a lot of that water shows up in the form of SNOW! Over 90 inches this year!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:47PM
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Thanks, Sharon, I do NOT envy anyone snow. I lived with that for two years in grade school in Indiana and hated it even then. I DO envy the amount of actual moisture when you consider we've received less than 40% of our already miniscule "average annual rainfall" for the past three (going on four) years. It's going to show up in grocery stores as higher prices and more money leaving the country due to imports replacing "home grown". I WOULD trade the recent earth movements for some of the snow, though. I hate those even worse than cold. Kim

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:54PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

The rain missed us last night, I am making use of March in the garden to plant the veggies etc......only on even more drip system to squeeze the most out of every drop of rain. It is rather amazing to see just how wet the layers are that we added in the past year. The layer of horse manure is still soaking wet a couple of weeks after the rain, it seems the layer of wood chips has protected it from drying out.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 12:55PM
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Rosefolly, gorgeous rose! Very appropriately named, too. Ahhh, tea roses....

Rain: we were devastatingly behind this winter but have been hit with deluges this spring. My small but central back dog lawn is full of the heavy clay version of quicksand!

Watering those gorgeous teas like Sunset: does Rosefolly or anyone have recommendations for a rain barrel irrigation system? I'd like to store some of our winter and spring wetness for drought summer use. Perhaps I should start a new posting since this is off topic from your tea rose, Rosefolly, but I am just curious how you tackle the drought and successfully grow all those lovely roses that you post.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 3:30PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

Carol, rain barrels are pretty popular, not so sure why here...lol But it is pretty easy to put one on your down spouts and they usually have a hose bib at the bottom so you can attach a hose. One thing is to make sure you filter the water well going in (we would have an issue with this due to the wind blowing jacadranda litter every where) and make sure it does not become a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

I am almost done putting everything on a drip system, added about 500 feet in the last week or so. When I do water, it is only what I want to get water. I still have some mature trees that are not on the system, but everything else is

    Bookmark   March 30, 2014 at 10:30PM
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That's fantastic, Kippy! I'll keep in mind that I need to filter incoming water. I'd love to see a photo or two of your system. I hope to follow in your footsteps within the year. Carol

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 2:32AM
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About water: I have a high water bill. It is a large garden.

That is why we are in the process from converting from spray irrigation to drip. I also make generous use of woodchip mulches and compost. No compost this year due to the low rainfall. I use well composted horse manure and without a good rain to flush out salts I skip it on dry years.

I have mixed feelings about graywater systems. I know of gardens using graywater in which the plants are not thriving. Perhaps there is some excess mineral content in the water that is not beneficial. I'm sure it is not a universal problem.

On the other hand, I think roof water should be fine. I've never done anything more ambitious than read about it.


    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 2:07PM
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Thank you for your thoughts on graywater, Rosefolly. Your roses are gorgeous and it's always a treat to see them on the forum! You grow many that are much happier in your region than mine. Teas, for example. It soothes my cravings when I take your photo tours. I can understand why you are downsizing roses but know your garden will be as glorious as ever. I can hardly wait to watch all your beauties unfold! Carol

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 3:31PM
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The permaculture people have some really good ideas about ways to "harvest" rainwater. Rain barrels and grey water are only a couple ways to do it. More commonly they use berms, micro basins, and other landscape designs to keep rainwater on your property rather than having it run down the drain sewers, or off your property. If you google permaculture, there are a lot of great ideas out there.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 5:18PM
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I try to incorporate modest berms and basins when I plant, especially given that I have a hillside garden. However the soil is a sandy clay and gophers abound. The shaping I do does not persist. Still it is worth doing while it does.

I think a good rule of thumb is to keep as much of the water than lands on your property, on your property, not running off it. Permeable paving is one way to do this. (Part, but not all, of ours is permeable).


    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 6:12PM
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Kippy(SoCal zone 10. Sunset Zone 24)

There is not much for me to take pictures of in my garden for what we do to save as much water as we can. I can tell you that before creating several of the beds I ran the black corrugated perf pipe to put rain water back in to the beds from the downspouts. I don't even have gutters a couple of places, but my pipe is ready when I get there! We use gray water on one of the Austin beds, but there is also fresh water from the drip system too. The other Austin bed is over a leech field and also has drip.

The patio cheap 12 x12 pavers are all spaced so rain can flow between them and are leveled so that should rain run off it goes in to our planters and not off the property (Golden Celebration seems rather happy with this system so far)

Today I finished with the last section of the main garden that was on old soaker hoses converting to drip. This should save a bit of water. Looking at the garden today, you would think water was no issue by all the green happy plants, but that will not last long.

I am still amazed at just how well all that horse manure did in soaking up the rain we had a month ago. It is still wet and the soil under it is good and damp full of worms. It has a fairly thick coat of wood chips on top of it so that has helped too. Only thing that looks bad is the lawn, but we only watered it once or twice last month and have not repaired what the sunks tore up.

The other thing I did a season ago was was to create levels (terraces) using the "cheap" smaller sized stacking block so water does not just run down the hillside but gets trapped and directed toward the next level. The bottom of the lot is where I harvested a lot of the soil used up top, in a massive downpour it should look more like a swamp but will reach a point it will drain off away from the neighbors houses and on to the other neighbors lawn/drain toward the street. In the last rain the bottom and the layers of compost etc soaked everything up and it nothing seemed to run off at all. I heard a couple of the neighbors on the other side of the hill had some issues with run off (our properties are on the same street but different sides of the hill), so we are pretty happy so far.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2014 at 11:10PM
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sammy zone 7 Tulsa

Kippy, you are describing what I need, but I am having difficulty understanding those terms. I would love to see a picture of what you are writing.

In the hot hot summer, I spend way too much time trying to water. I move sprinklers all over the yard, and waste so much time and water.

We really need to invest in water rather than wasting it each year.

If it is at all possible, I would love to see pictures of what you are describing.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 5:44AM
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What a pretty, feminine rose, Rose Folly. I am so glad she is getting her chance to shine in your garden.

    Bookmark   April 1, 2014 at 8:56AM
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