Tuesday, May 4, 2010


May 3, 2010


I have had ants in my pants waiting to be able to dig in my yard.
It was finally warm and windless enough to trim my rose bushes.

I am not a genius gardener.
I'm not even a great gardener but I do know how to take care of the plants in my yard and keep them alive and beautiful.
With Mother Natures help, of course.

This rose is named Eden and it's a tea cup climbing rose.
The roses are shaped like tea cups (they are flat on top) and they have a super high petal count.
When it starts blooming at the end of the month you will pee your pants because it is so incredibly magnificent.

There are two Eden roses planted side by side.
They were a birthday gift from my dear friend Judy in June 2001.
Along with these Judy gave me four other rose bushes.
It was one of my best birthday surprises every opening the back of her SUV and it full of roses for me!

I cut my roses back in the spring to promote growth and trim out what Mother Nature killed during the winter.
(I cut my entire yard back in the spring. I don't do much winterizing).
I am a generous and instinct trimmer.
If it looks like a branch maybe should go, it goes.
While trimming I step back often making sure the bush still has a nice shape.
Basically I don't fuss or fret when I cut.
I just jump into it and start cutting away.

First to go is the new growth at the base of the bush.
It looks so healthy and that it is making your roses grow bigger but they are 'sucker' branches.
They suck nutrients from the healthy old growth, so get rid of them.

Notice that the sucker branches are really long with very few leaves.
They use a lot of the plants energy to reach for the sun light.

Next I trim out all the 'woody' branches which means if there is a bunch of wood and not much green cut it out.

Much of the right side didn't weather so it all came off.

It's difficult to cut large chunks of my bush away but it's not going to nurse back to life even if it does still have a bit of green on it.

The pile of cut branches are very 'woody' indeed.

The right side is missing a fourth of its branches now.
You can't tell unless you look closely at the before and after photos.

This weekend I am going to plant red geraniums and white alyssum ground cover underneath the Eden.

Today I cleaned up the rose and ivy corner of my backyard.
The four rose bushes are of the six from sweet Judy.
The tall bush is a Queen Mary and I don't know the name of the three shrub roses.
Queen Mary is a traditional rose with deep pink flowers and a rich sent.
The shrubbery blooms tiny, tiny pink roses in a cluster.

Ivy grows so fast and I don't like it touching the cement because the ends scorch and look ratty.
To trim the ivy quickly I grab a hand full and cut it short.

Ivy under the shrubs.
It looks messy and it collects debris.

Rose/ ivy corner ready for the season.
This corner is very low maintenance.
The ivy chokes out all of the weeds.
I fertilize the roses once a week but that's fun.

The large, cumbersome architectural piece that Chris won't let me bring into the house gets tucked into the garden.
I love the surprise of finding something of beauty that usually wouldn't be in the garden.
This porch railing will make a nice trellis one day but for now it rests on the fence.

A while back I hung these old window screen on the back gate to add privacy and disguise the chain link. (And I think they are cool.)
Two years ago Creeping Jenny just started growing.
What a nice gift from the neighborhood birds.

Freya and I found a snail.

Once it came out of its shell I couldn't stop taking photos of it.
It was a very patient subject and held its poses for a long time.

I love the antenna shadows.
Freya and I would take turns touching the snails antani and watching it slowly retract into it body.
Fun times.

We put the snail into the ivy when we were finished exploring it.
I know snails are bad for plants but I wasn't going to throw it in the street or step on it.
'That's mean to bugs with families.' - Freya

One more yard surprise... a gopher.
I know these pesky little pest are bad for a yard.
What can I do to get rid of it beside placing Bill Murray figurines all over my backyard?
Maybe try to suck it out of one of its holes with a super suck power vacuum?

I still found a tiny bit of time to finish a 'Paul'.
If I don't get a little sewing each day, I am a wreck.

How are your yards coming along?
I would love to see and hear.


  1. Whew! That's quite a bit of work that you did in your yard! I on the other hand, with my apartment balcony, have been meaning to plant containers and have done NOTHING!

  2. great shots of the snails ! i don't have a green thumb so nothing to share from my yard