We’re off….

What a glorious weekend!

Clear skies –  warm sunshine – a little breezy – couldn’t be better.

So…out to the garden I went. 

It’s hard to know where to start at this time of year – there is so much I have been wanting to do.

It used to be that I made a list of what I wanted to accomplish in my garden each weekend.

I let my weekends be an extension of my week – making list – crossing things off – getting “the work” done.

But last year I tried to let go of that.

I would simply walk into my garden and do what I wanted – what spoke to me.

Now…I’m not saying I’m totally cured of the drive to “get it done”, but I’m getting better.

This is fun after all!  Play if you will!

So what spoke to me first were my dreadful looking Belinda’s Dream roses.

I gathered my pruners, lopers, long rose gloves into my wheel barrow and headed out to the

fence to cut away all the dead. 

Well, the wheel barrow was a dream.

 I quickly returned to get the big poly cart that we have from the city. 

They pick them up and compost everything in them. 

So, I put things into these carts that I don’t want to compost at home. 

Thorny things, sticks and weeds for the most part.

I’m proud of this little city on the prairie for composting our yard trash.

Anyway, I cut away all of the dead. 

Winter kill on Belinda’s Dream                                                                                                                                              Belinda after cutting away the dead canes.

You have to be careful when you do this making sure that you are not cutting away anything that is still alive.  

But you can’t be timid, either. 

Getting the dead off plants is a basic tenet of gardening.

Don’t ask the roots and plant to support non-productive grown – it will be, well, non-productive!

The whole weekend reminded me of the radio interview I heard last spring with author Elizabeth Murray.

Elizabeth was the first woman to garden at Giverney – Monet’s home, garden and inspiration for much of his painting.

She was entrusted with cutting back the roses that spring and if I remember correctly it hadn’t been done in a while.

She described the process ending in mountains of dead rose canes.

What courage!

A young woman – a foreigner no less – and we aren’t talking about just anyone’s backyard.

She’s at Monet’s house!

Well, my afternoon wasn’t quite that exciting but I did remove lots of dead wood.

Next I pulled back the winter protection of leaves and manure.

Then came the much awaited drink of Epsom salt water. 

Add about a fistful to a gallon of water and pour it slowly over the crown – that’s the center of the plant.

The good news is that the new growth all seems to be coming from above the graph.

So it looks like I’ll still have pink roses rather than the red I feared.

Sorry Daddy.

It’s also tulip time around here.

So here’s a little photo journey around the neighborhood.

Beginning with the beginning….

Nov. 2010 Megandigging holes                                                                                                                          for this week’s delight!

This would be the week to drop by if you’re in town, Megan.

I’ve also included a picture of a field of canola in full bloom.

Though this is still wheat country more and more farmers are trying canola.

It supplies us with fields of “sunshine” this time of year. 

Quarter sections of land daffodil yellow…..ah spring!

One last word. 

It’s warm today and makes you want to plant annuals.

Try to restrain yourself.

Remember not only does the air have to warm up, but also the soil.

So if you must plant something plant things that love cold – not heat.

Things like more pansies or violas or alyssum.

Wait another week or so for the other annuals.

A little housekeeping.

Some have asked how to subscribe.

There’s a place at the top of this post to subscribe by filling in your email address.

You’ll then receive and email with a link to click on to confirm the subscription.

That should do it.

Also, I’m aware that the captions under the pictures are at best goofy.

I’m trying to figure that out – obviously with little success so far.

Enjoy the week and the wisdom that nature is waiting to give you.



Filed under Gardening, roses, spring, tulips

3 responses to “We’re off….

  1. Linda

    Thank-you for sharing the tip on pruning. I am always timid in that department, but I will work a little more intense in that department this year. I am enjoying the Jonquils and Daffodils in my garden and quite thrilled to see some of my bulbs from last year peeking out. So glad I haven’t killed anything yet.

  2. Kayle Costello

    Epsom salt for rose bushes…that’s a new tip for me. Gail, are you feeding your hydrangeas? If so, what is your secret to lots of blossoms? The new growth on mine is showing through…hope we don’t get any more cold weather.
    P. S. Love my new pants.

  3. Linda Record

    Hi Gail! Enjoyed your last few entries, just discovered your blog thru Allison. Boy did I identify with so much… the frenzy to get it all done, the sandpaper hands… I had been wondering what those blooming fields were… canola!! Still working hard on my landscaping project…. many many many hours (years?) to go… Took your tip on hellebore, bought a few. Your pic at the top of the page is beautiful. Would love to come by and check out your irrigation more closely. I’ve been on their website and studied the videos… ready to order and add that installation to my to do list… Linda

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