Gardener's Grapevine 2012.05.23

Written by David Green.

It is an absolutely beautiful Sunday and what a weekend weather-wise. We were blessed with sunny, beautiful days. The climbing roses are in full bloom.

My three most prominent climbers came from those roses you can buy at the discount stores in bags for less than five dollars. They climb gently over the fence and are a huge jumble of blooms. These roses are the old heritage roses that bloom once a year and when they do, it is beautiful.

I bought the rootstock at least ten years ago and have earned back my money many times over enjoying the beauty of their blooms. They are red, single-leaved with yellow centers. I have another rose bush that climbs and produces variegated pink blooms.

The thing that most distinguishes this rose bush from the others is that it sends out shoots that are 12 feet high. My dad and I wrangled this thing down in the spring and tied it to the fence. Now I noticed the darn thing has thrown out branches at least three feet high. It has thorns like a knife’s blade and you won’t soon forget it if you get one in your finger. 

Yesterday I had Hoadleys bring me mulch. I had not seen their new nursery on North Street yet and was pleasantly surprised. It is beautiful and their prices are very fair and they have some extremely nice mulch. I was given a choice of color and free delivery. I started using it in my beds out back and it is superb; very easy to handle and spread. I am a big fan of utilizing our local businesses. It helps them stay in business, they are friendlier than big box stores and you might actually save a little money by not having to drive to another town.

Wow, have the peonies opened up beautifully this week. They are so full and lush this year, due I’m sure to the fact that spring came so early. The flags, as my great-grandmother called irises, are in full swing and loaded with blooms. I have a variegated variety that I purchased four years ago, because I loved the variegated foliage and every year I wait to see if it will set more than one bloom. This thing is so slow in it’s growth that I will be dead before it reaches any sort of maturity.

My husband Art loves tomatoes. He buys all kinds of varieties every year. While he was putting in our vegetable garden he yelled over to me, “We only have 44 tomato plants, do you think we’ll need more?” Who does he think is going to can all those tomatoes?

The first planting of corn is four inches tall. The peas are going gangbusters and blooming like mad. The potatoes are coming in nicely. Don’t fresh peas and new potatoes sound good?

The green beans, cucumbers and squash go in today. We are planting in hills again. It worked so well last year and we had a very nice harvest. We started putting in a watering system using drip irrigation to make sure everything gets enough.

It is an awesome watering system and conserves water by putting it directly on the plant. It is also very cost effective in that it lowers our water bill and the initial cost for the system was very minimal. It is not terribly environmentally friendly in that it is made from plastics and I do not like that aspect. Hopefully it does not break down fast and we can use it for many years. Come to think of it, what’s it going to do, spring a leak? Well darn, we’ll just have to plant one more tomato start where the leak is. That should make Art happy. 

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