Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Summer of My Discontent


Summer continues on at warp speed, as usual, and I think we're done with the spring chores now. Seriously. I don't know why I even label them "Spring Chores" because spring is well on its way before we can even begin them and it's but a misty memory by the time they're done. But that's just the way it is in the garden.

So we're enjoying the fruits and vegetables of our labors, having stripped the strawberry bed of every last bit of its yummy goodness (we just finished eating the jam, too), eaten the minimal spinach harvest (need more sun next time), gathered enough blueberries to top a couple of bowls of cereal, eaten enough beans to last us until next year (but they're still coming on), pickled several quarts of beets (m-m-m...beets!), and pulled the first of the cute round carrots and the garlic. Still to come: sweet corn, okra, Brussels sprouts, Bolero carrots, onions and tomatoes. Goodness, the tomato plants look like they're on steroids.

The flower gardens are giving us plenty of eye candy, too. Daylilies, coneflowers, Gaillardia, and Rudbeckias provide the biggest share of color at the moment. And then there are the roses...

The roses are the current source of my discontent. None of them are dying, there's no black spot or powdery mildew, and the aphids haven't yet made an appearance. There's minimal evidence of Japanese Beetle action, and of the 74 Japanese Beetles caught (and 31 that got away), just one was found on a rose. So why am I disappointed in the roses?

They aren't blooming much, and it's my fault. I know they need at least six hours of direct sunlight to perform well and many of them just don't get it. It was wishful thinking on my part when I planted them in part shade that there would be enough sun, but they're pouting - telling me I was wrong.

Now I've got a problem. Where do I put them so they'll be happy and do what they're born to do? I could make a new bed just for the roses, but Romie won't be happy about tearing up more grass. He isn't a big rose fan in the first place. Now if I wanted to make a new bed and plant Black-eyed Susans, that would be a different story, but that isn't going to happen. We've got enough of those already. And I never really wanted a rose garden anyway.

I could make room in some of the other gardens for them, but that means I'd have to move something else. Max's Garden, where I'd need to put them, has the ratio of sun to shade shifting more to the shady side all the time, so that limits my possibilities there.

Then I worry about the actual moving of said roses. Some of them are quite large and established, although still movable, I think. But when is the best time to do that? Fall? Spring, before they start growing again? Even though they've now got diminished bloomage, some blooms are better than no blooms due to dead plants.

So I'll ponder my dilemma and in the meantime, the roses will continue pouting and withholding the best of what they have to give until I give them what they need. I thought I was doing well this year by remembering to fertilize them. One of these days I'll get my rose act together and I can move on to correct some other mistake I've made.

For as disappointed as I am about the roses, it's still part of what makes gardening appealing to me. The challenges and the learning processes that are continually a part of growing green things stimulates my senses in ways that nothing else can. The rewards of "getting it right" make each and every trial and error worth it.


3 comments:

misti said...

I've been enjoying your posts because it isn't good gardening time here...or rather it is for non-veggies. I am ready for fall when we can veggie garden again!!! Those carrots are adorable!

Connie said...

I moved one of my English roses and it subsequently died... so I can understand your dilemma.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

Gosh Kylee, I don't grow roses so I can't help you. My sister does grow roses and she does all her planting in the spring.

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