Saturday, June 20, 2009

Look Who's Coming To Town

Due to an incredible set of circumstances and all the tumblers of Fate falling into place, a one-in-a-million chance is about to come in. My sister and her family are going to become my new next door neighbors. It's only for a year but I'll take whatever I can get.

Because of our age difference, we've only lived in the same house five years of our lives. After that we lived in the same town only a couple of years. We talk on the phone several times a week and visit back and forth a few times a year, but it's just not the same as being right there day to day.

Now we'll be able to do neighborly things like borrow sugar, check mail, and dog sit for each other. But my favorite part about this whole deal is having my six nieces and nephews right next door so I can spoil them on a daily basis instead of just on Aunt H visits.
I'm sure my sister won't mind if I ruin their appetites with goodies and let them play Wii whenever they want to. There's lots of catching up to do with random gift giving and baseball games. They'll probably want to go to Busch Gardens and Adventure Island at least once a week, too. Think of all the cute clothes I can buy! This is going to be fun.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

English Roses

Can you blame me for loving the name of this rose? It's Teasing Georgia and besides having a fun name it has gorgeous color, bold fragrance, and can be grown as a climber or tea rose.

Abraham Darby is a brave little rose. For a smaller plant it works hard to impress with a fully double, deep-cupped bloom. It doesn't settle for one color, either, going from apricot with pink edges to yellow as it opens. On top of all that it has bold fragrance and can be a short climber or prune for a more compact plant.

This feminine little lady is Tamara. Another compact plant that would be perfect in a container or as a mass planting with morning exposure. The apricot double bloom has a shallow cup and pink tips. It's fragrance is a very unusual lilac and mimosa blend.

Don't let the name"English roses" throw you...all of these do well in the US. The three that I featured here can even thrive in zones 9-10. Generally, afternoon sun will be too strong for them in these zones and they will need daily watering if it's not raining. Try these beauties and you'll be rewarded for your labor of love.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Cure for the brown thumb

Who hasn't seen those beautiful rose gardens and wished they could have just a small part of one? Think of roses and visions of spraying, pruning, dead-heading, and spraying some more come to mind, right? In some states the results are just not worth the trouble. If you've wished of having roses without all the bother you've got to try the Knockout rose. This amazing performer loves heat and humidity. It laughs at fungus and red spider mites. It's self-cleaning(not like an oven) which means no dead-heading. No pruning necessary, either. You can stick one right in the middle of a flower border or a pot on the deck. I love them massed in front of evergreen shrubs with thyme planted in front. Along a fence would be nice. If you plant one today you'll have blooms in a week if not sooner. Just be sure to give them a good soak the day you plant and everyday it doesn't rain for about a month. A good trick is to fill the planting hole with moisture retentive soil mix (in bags at Home Depot)then you can skip some of the watering. Just don't let them go completely dry. Clusters of cherry red blooms are your reward for a little bit of time grubbing in the garden. You can't beat the Knockout Rose!