Bookcases, Butterflies, and Roses

Thursday, Aug. 28, 2003 – 11:12 p.m.

2003-08-28 11:12

I finally made it out into the garden this week. I should have done it over the weekend but putting the camping stuff from Pennsic back in the barn was a higher priority.

Swapping Bookcases

As the result of the flood in April, I had moved the ruined bookcase from the kitchen out into the barn. However, on my to-do list since then had been to put the bookcase that was in the utility room (it’s really a closet) into the barn and put the bookcase from the kitchen in the utility room. The pesticides and other garden stuff would be in the utility room and the paint/stain/polyurethane would go in the barn. Of course, there would also be some reorganization/clean up in the process (something that was greatly needed). This was my chance!! The weather was good (no rain and the humidity was relatively low) so I proceeded to talk a bunch of stuff out of the barn and spread it around the yard, then did much the same with the utility closet. In the process, I pitched a whole trash can full of stuff including a bunch of mail-order bulbs from 5 years ago. They were so dried out they just crumbled in my fingers. I consolidated all the paint supplies into two places: a milk crate for the paint rollers (I have four roller handles!) and on the low bookshelf I put in the barn. All the pesticide/fertilizer (except the big bags of lawn fertilizer)/weed-killer went on the taller bookcase that I put in the utility closet. After THAT, I actually started putting the stuff from the front porch back in the barn. The most interesting thing was that in the end, I seemed to have a lot more room both in the barn and in the utility room. I didn’t think I threw away THAT much. [grin]

Butterflies and the Mailbox

I don’t know if I have mentioned it before but I have several lantana bushes planted around the mailbox. It dies back to ground level every winter but generally is what one might consider indestructible. We used to mow over the one at my parents’ house and it came back year after year. This spring I thought it had in fact died completely because it had not sprouted anything by the end of April. I don’t know why I was worried… Look at it now. Yes, that is my mailbox in the middle. On Saturday, I was standing in the yard talking to a neighbor when the postman drove up. He didn’t even TRY to put the mail in the box but handed to me with a statement of “Uh, can you cut that back??” Neither sleet nor snow nor dark of night will deter him from making his rounds but don’t ask him to reach into a lantana bush!

So one of the pruning tasks was to cut it back, at least from the street side. It does seem a shame because it was just covered with butterflies and bees. Here are a few pictures:

Status of the Roses

Ok, I am finally getting to the roses…. While I was out on Tuesday morning pruning back the lantana, I went through and dead-headed the roses and generally took a look at how thing were going in the garden. All things considered, not too bad… Oh, the black spot is back with a vengeance but not as bad as it has been in the past. All the bushes came through though the Francis Dubriel was suffering some heat stress because it is in a pot and was not in the watering system I had configured. I watered it by hand and also mixed up some liquid food and gave it some of that. In my cleaning up, I also found that I had a liquid food sprayer that could be hooked up inline in the hose so I went ahead and connected it so that I could feed through the soaker hoses. A couple of things I noticed:

  • Voodoo bloomed like gangbusters while I was gone! I deadheaded over THIRTY buds from the bush.

  • Mr Lincoln has a cane that is about the thickness of my thumb and it went up to over my head and had four beautiful booms on it. Here is a picture. The blooms were so lovely, I ended up cutting them for in the house.

  • “Reilly” is one of the roses that I rescued from some SCA friends who were planning to get rid of them (see Rose Rescue). I don’t really know what each one is but since there are two roses, I call the tall one Reilly and the shorter one Liz. Well, Reilly has a some blooms and here is a picture of one. You can also see some of the ubiquitous blackspot on the left side of the picture.

An Experiment

Along the way, I realized that I am going to be teaching my “Rose: then and Now” class at University in October. That is about 5 weeks away. Yikes! I need to get on the ball and update my bibliography! I want to have some nice blooms for the class so I am trying something a little different. While deadheading some of the bushes (Queen Elizabeth, Mr Lincoln, Fragrant Cloud, Perfect Moment, French Lace, and Europeana), I also pinched off all the buds as well.What I am hoping is that it will start a new cycle of blooms now which will all be ready just in time for my class. Of course, that will also be the right time for several of the fall rose shows as well. I am pretty sure the Charlotte show is the second week of October. Speaking of shows, I realized tonight that the Fall National ARS convention is the last weekend in September…. in D.C.! Ok, I skipped the nation mini show in June, I am GOING to the Fall convention… not that I am going to exhibit but I want to see what the vendors have and attend some of the classes.

It’s going to be another busy fall. [sigh][grin]

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