gabriola garden

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Five New Roses, the First Tulips, Hyacinths Galore

Sara’s flower garden is bursting with Tulips and the hardier Daffodils are still sticking around. We’re totally intoxicated by the scent of the Hyacinths, which come in blue, pink, and white. One of these blooms on your table will fill your whole house with the scent of Spring.

Hedgehog and Sara went Rose hunting at the garden shop the other day and returned with five new varieties. The climbing rose All Ablaze grows to be 8 to 12 feet tall and will be planted next to our tallest fence. The floribunda Sun Flair is a medium, upright bush rose offering a cluster of brightly-colored blooms.

Gentle Giant is a Hybrid Tea Rose that produces unusually large, pinkish blossoms with an inner yellow glow. The tag says it will grow from three to four feet tall, but an American website gives its potential dimensions as 5’ x 5’. We’ll see which source is right.

Hedgehog chose Stainless Steel because of its cool name, but I must admit that the metallic white bloom on the tag does look attractive. Had she known that her next choice, Cecile Brunner, used to be known as the Sweetheart Rose, she probably would have put it back on the shelf. As it is, this China Rose has been gracing North American gardens for over 100 years.

Cecile Brunner also comes as a climber, but my wife and daughter bought the bush type, which will hopefully flower from June to October, contributing double or cluster blooms of smallish pink to our garden.

Our other roses, such as Purple Passion and Black Magic are starting to burst with shoots, as well. I did very gentle pruning while the roses were still dormant, since Sara trusts me to take care of the roses. Three weeks ago I sprayed them with a solution of baking soda and horticultural oil, then yesterday it was time to use Scorpion Juice as a foliar spray on all the Roses.

The salicylic acid in Scorpion Juice stimulates the plants’ immune systems, tricking them into thinking that some kind of an invasion is about to take place. By triggering the immune mechanism of the roses, Scorpion Juice actually helps to immunize each plant against many pathogens and pests.

Provided this spraying is repeated once every three weeks during the growing season, our Roses will have a fighting chance to ward off black spot, rust, spider mites, and fungal infestations. This way they can repeatedly bloom and bring beauty and fragrance into our lives uninterrupted by bothersome intruders.

Each newly planted Rose is watered by our pre-mixed nutrient solution, which includes Iguana Juice Grow as our basic fertilizer. Sara and I can’t rave enough about Iguana Juice, both Grow and Bloom. This fish based 100% organic fertilizer perks up any garden within a matter of days. The expert blend of macro and micronutrients in Iguana provide our plants each time with a first class meal.

What the newly transplanted rose plants need are the root colonizers in our nutrient mix. The live beneficial fungi in Piranha will colonize the roots of our new Roses and help the plants resist harmful fungal infestations. The helpful bacteria in Tarantula do much the same thing against invasive bacterial infections.

Voodoo Juice contains microbes which also reside in the root system. These three root colonizers, along with SensiZym, will enable our roses to absorb nutrients through larger, more elaborate roots and root hairs. The live enzymes in SensiZym munch on plant debris in the soil and turn this debris into easily absorbable nutrients for our flowers.

I mentioned that I only did light pruning on our existing Roses, even though some gardening books recommend cutting hybrid tea roses to within a foot off the ground. With some of the smaller bushes I did exactly that, but with three climbers I didn’t have the heart so I only trimmed some of the blackened branches.

It’s a good thing I had this foresight, since with the warmer weather we’ve been having these Roses have started to shoot leaves like crazy and are climbing up the trellis with renewed vigor.

The drastic pruning recommended by some gardening books is probably aimed at Roses that grow in colder climates, where the bottom foot of the stem is protected by a mound of mulch or soil for the winter, allowing bud formation on the lower part of the stem. The other parts of the rose are injured by the cold in these climates, so it’s best to prune the plant drastically in early spring, before the growth spurt caused by the arrival of warmer days.

Severe pruning can be risky. I urged Sara to severely prune her Butterfly Bush last Fall, since it was starting to overshadow its corner of the garden. The bush started to shoot during some warm days in January, but then the cold spell in February killed all new growth on the plant.

Sara and I just transplanted it into a bigger container, but to be perfectly honest, I doubt the poor plant will make it. It hasn’t started any Spring growth, it’s just a bunch of three-foot long woody branches.

Other ingredients in our nutrient mix are Grandma Enggy’s Humic Acid and Fulvic Acid. Coupled with all the horse manure and kitchen compost that Sara has worked into our garden soil, these two Advanced Nutrient products help establish a rich, black humus-like growing medium.

A layer of organic, calcified “leonardite” can be found on top of coal beds. It has to be mined from deep within the earth. Humic Acid and Fulvic Acid are derived from this substance, and these very effective products used together have a synergistic effect in providing essential minerals to our roses and other flowers.

Humic Substances have been proven to increase total protein levels in the leaves of our plants, and Grandma Enggy’s Humic Acid is a rich source of chelating molecules called humates. These in turn have a tonic effect on the nutrient uptake of all our garden flowers and vegetables.

Advanced Nutrients has a very convenient online store, just in case you can’t find some of their products in your local garden shop. A visit to their website, and especially the Advancedpedia, is warranted before you undertake your gardening plans in this wonderfully inspiring season.

posted by Tim at 9:56 PM


  • Lovely post!! My garden is full of sweet flowers... Pink and red roses are my favorite one!!

    By Anonymous jenna, at 5:45 AM  

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