Thanks for the Extra Time, Mother Nature!

December 2, 2009 0 Comments

Every year I try to get my roses taken care of during Thanksgiving.  And every year I either don’t get it done or I freeze my fingers off doing it.  Not this year!  I managed to get all of the last minute stuff done in a couple of hours on Saturday, when “Mom” Nature provided us with a most beautiful holiday weekend!

We bring our pots into the garage each year, with or without plants in them.  We (really I) wrap them up in old blankets and towels and give them a drink of water every so often during the winter… usually once a month if I remember!

Happy springtime pot...

Happy springtime pot...

New pot from late summer....

New pot from late summer....

Dwayne's old work boots with some happy plants from the summer...

Dwayne's old work boots with some happy plants from the summer...

The winter look.

The winter look.

 

Everything is wrapped with a towel and then covered in a blanket... if it fits!

Everything is wrapped with a towel and then covered in a blanket... if it fits! The boots are wrapped individually in the brown towels.

There is one pot that is too heavy and awkward to move inside.  We just got it this year, so we are hoping that it doesn’t crack!  As long as moisture doesn’t get in and freeze, putting outward pressure on the pot, it should be okay.  We have had an old heated (even though it doesn’t heat now) birdbath sitting upside down on the top with a brick on it for a couple of months now.

This helped dry out the dirt inside the pot.

This helped dry out the dirt inside the pot.

The soil appeared to be pretty dry.  I then put some insulation around the pot. 

Insulation... check.... Duct Tape... check... Utility knife... check.

Insulation... check.... Duct Tape... check... Utility knife... check.

This is just stuff I got at the home hardware type store.  It doesn’t really look pretty, but it should keep the pot warm.  Sort of.

It doesn't look exactly like I was envisioning, but it should do the trick.

It doesn't look exactly like I was envisioning, but it should do the trick.

Then I moved onto the roses.  I have all sorts of roses in several areas of the backyard.  We had a maple tree that succumbed to all the rain in 2008.  I got a couple of the really cheap bare root roses at a discount store at the beginning of the season and we just plopped them into the hole left by the tree.  It was an experiment to see if the cheap roses would grow (and last) like the more expensive ones that I keep killing off.  Actually the Iowa winters keep killing them off.

 

We jammed two reallly cheap roses into the hole left by the two-year-old maple tree.

We jammed two really cheap roses into the hole left by the two-year-old maple tree.

One of them grew pretty large, the other one didn’t do as well, but both had a great fragrance. 

  

As the rose bush grew Dwayne made the hole wider.

As the rose bush grew Dwayne made the hole wider.

We decided that we would put a raised bed in the spot and plant more roses there next year.

 

This will be very nice next year for more roses.

This will be very nice next year for more roses.

It ends up burying the cheap rose, but it needed to be buried a foot anyway for the winter.  I wrapped the canes together with twine and put some more dirt around the base. 

 

Wrapped with twine to keep the canes from whipping around on winter winds.

Wrapped with twine to keep the canes from whipping around on winter winds.

I have a Pink Knock Out rose that I got on clearance and stuck it in the ground in the main garden.  It isn’t in the greatest spot, but it was cheap, available and needed to be put into the ground. 

The Knock-Out rose bush crammed in by the snapdragons.

The Knock-Out rose bush crammed in by the snapdragons.

I put a lot of mulch around the knockout.  It should be a bit more hardy than my previous roses.

The Knock-Out is buried for the winter.

The Knock-Out is buried for the winter.

The one I have had great success with is Sven.  (His siblings are Ole and Lena)

 

Sven came back without any problems.

Sven came back without any problems.

He was developed by the University of Minnesota’s hardy rose-breeding program. With that in mind I didn’t cover it at all last year.  He had no trouble coming back to life last spring.  So… I didn’t do anything with him again this year.

Sven at the end of the season.  He should be okay for the winter without a wrap.

Sven at the end of the season. He should be okay for the winter without a wrap.

The rose nearest to Sven is one that I got several years ago at a nursery that no longer exists in Coralville. (There is a strip mall there now).  It is a World War II rose and has a nice smell and good form.  I haven’t covered it for a couple of years and it keeps coming back, too, but I think it may be sheltered by the spruce tree. 

This is the World War II rose among the strawberries.

This is the World War II rose among the strawberries.

In my end of the season shopping spree I wound up with a miniature Chinese Rose. 

The Miniature Chinese Rose

The Miniature Chinese Rose

It was only two dollars and I don’t know anything about them.  The tag says it is hardy to zone 4, so I only put some mulch around it.  Of course, it is only about five inches high right now, so the mound of mulch just looks like a little mound of mulch.  I put a stick in to make sure I know there is something under that mulch.  Or, really, to make sure that Dwayne knows!

 

Now if I can only remember why I put the marker here!

Now if I can only remember why I put the marker here!

Hopefully all of the roses will come back.  And I ordered a Strike It Rich Rose (again) from Peck’s for the spring to put in my “Rose Bed”.  It is a beautiful orange with a fabulous fragrance and I can’t wait to experience it again!

 

Dig it!

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