Gardener's Grapevine 2014.05.14

Has anyone noticed the trees all blooming? What a beautiful show it is this year. We have crabapple trees up and down both boulevards on our property. The blooms are just gorgeous and I snapped more than a few pictures. I wonder how many moms got flowers for mother’s day this year?

Our daughter brought me a beautiful   John F. Kennedy rose bush. It is supposed to have white flowers. If the blooms match the picture, it should be gorgeous. I love roses and have a lot of bushes. To be honest, most of my  bushes have come from my daughter Jacquie and my husband Art. They both know I love rosebushes and how different each one is.

I was so happy to see that the rosebushes my dog Kisses planted with me the day before she passed made it through our tough winter. The roses  seem to be really slow this year in waking up. Some years they are blooming very early and some take forever. Weather plays a big part in this process.

I don’t see too many wild roses anymore like I used to. I think they left with all the fence rows. Art’s grandmother, Sylvia Essex, had wild yellow roses growing on her property and they were so beautiful. A lot of the rootstock for our hybrids came from wild roses.

I had a horrible time when I started growing roses getting my climbing roses to bloom each year. I was asking other people for advice instead of doing my own homework and researching how to raise them. The people I asked for advice told me to cut all the canes off every spring. That is completely the wrong thing to do. If you cut all the canes off, the plant spends the whole growing season growing new canes. So hands off the canes if you have climbers. Also, if you need to move a rosebush, now is the time.

Most of us have hostas. I have tons of hostas all over our property from miniatures to giant leaf hostas. I even have a white hosta. They are also a bit of a passion with me. I did a quick walk around this afternoon and noticed that the hostas are prime right now for splitting. It is so easy to split hostas when the plant sends its leaves up and they are still tight and not unfurled.

There are two ways to split hostas. You can spade down through it and take out the part you want or take the whole plant out of the ground and split off what you want and replant the part you are saving. I prefer the second way as I’m a bit OCD and like to keep the plants somewhat symmetrical. 

Splitting hostas is the easiest and cheapest way to get additional plants to add to your garden. They also make great gifts for fellow gardeners.  Potted, they will fill out and be great in presentation as a gift.

Look around your garden and remember that the plants will only get bigger so now is the time to move and remove.