gabriola garden

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Rewards of Growing Roses, Tomatoes in Flower

Our Japanese Snowbell tree (Styrax japonica), that grows next to Sara’s favorite flowerbed, has grown much larger this year. It bloomed in late Spring and the garden was covered with its delicate, white blossoms. It truly spoke of the wonders of creation and the magnificence of the Creator, as do all blossom trees in Spring.

This tree is casting quite a shadow on part of the flowerbed from noon to five, just when a blooming garden needs sunshine the most. So Sara noticed that her Hybrid Tea Rose “Intrigue” wasn’t doing too well. Roses need at least five hours of continuous sunhsine each day, and the Snowbell tree stopped the sunlight from reaching the Rose.

So she thought about moving this Rose plant, but first she sent me to the Internet to see if this was a good idea. Here’s what I found. The best time to transplant a Rose is when it’s dormant. This is usually early Spring or late Fall. Never dig up a Rose in winter. If it escapes the cold, the shock will kill it for sure.

“If you must transplant a Rose in summer,” and here is where Sara started to pay close attention, “you must take off all its leaves and send it into temporary dormancy. Then you can move it, but be very careful.”

The reason that transplanting Roses in full growth is not recommended is that the fragile feeder roots are usually damaged by careless handling and the plant dies. Also, transplanting any plant can send it into shock.

Sara took all the leaves off “Intrigue” and allowed it to go to sleep. That’s exactly what dormancy means, the plant goes to sleep. Then she dug it up ever so carefully and dipped the roots in a solution of No Shock, which is a great Advanced Nutrients product designed just for such a purpose.

She planted the Hybrid Tea in a new, much sunnier location, and now we can wait and pray that it will renew itself and start producing new leaves and blooms.

The Blue Girl Rose has outdone itself this week. I counted five blooms and four buds on this bush, which I thought has had it on account of all the rain. Even the generic Pink Rose bush still offers the odd richly fragrant bloom, just to belie my statements in the blog last week that our Roses were not producing.

Remember Sara’s Butterfly Bush that we butchered through ignorance? Sara asked me how much she should prune it last year (since it was dominating its corner of the garden) and I told her to be brutal, to cut it back drastically.

All this Spring, the plant struggled to come back to life. I asked Sara to give it extra special portions of our base nutrient, Iguana Juice Grow. Two tiny leaves appeared, but were destroyed by the first cold spell of the season. Nothing after that through May.

Then in late June, a small shoot started to come up between its woody, seemingly dead branches. Only one shoot, and Sara was sad that a once beautiful plant will be a shadow of its former self.

We applied Piranha, Tarantula, and Voodoo Juice to strengthen it’s roots and ward off any possible fungal, bacterial, or microbial attacks. We watered it with our full nutrient mix, containing Humic Acid and Fulvic Acid. The soil in the container looked rich, black, and fertile. But still only one shoot.

Then in July, that one shoot took off like gangbusters. Sara switched to Iguana Juice Bloom as soon as the first buds appeared. Now it’s full of fragrant, purple clusters of tiny flowers that viewed together resemble a lilac bloom. “The Butterfly Bush is back, the Butterfly Bush is back” sang Hedgehog and Sara as they did an impromptu jig around its container.

My son, Jim and I, just looked on in amazement, but we were also glad that a staple of Sara’s flower garden has made a dramatic comeback.

Speaking of comebacks, a whole bunch of yellow flowers appeared this past week on the Tomato plants in the back. Sara carefully pruned the leaves and the branches without buds, in order to let air and sunshine to the already forming fruit. If you neglect to remove extraneous vegetation, your Tomatoes will never ripen.

“Give them an extra helping of Carbo Load Powder,” suggested Sara, indicating the sugar-rich supplement called for by the Nutrient Calculator as a regular addition to our basic fert, along with Organic B to relieve plant stress, and Sensi Zym to get rid of plant debris in our root zone.

This serves a double purpose. Getting rid of plant debris help minimize the chance of parasites of various kinds attacking our root system (pests and diseases often lodge themselves in plant debris) and also by turning this debris into easily absorbable nutrients, the rate of growth of our plants is increased.

I also reminded Sara that it was time to spray the whole garden with Colossal Bud Blast, the organic plant nutrient and bloom booster that is absorbed by the leaves. I make sure that I spray early in the morning, before the heat of the summer sun makes it dangerous to spray.

It seems that the sun dries the ingredients in the spray before the stomata of the leaves have a chance to absorb them, and they turn into toxic salts on the surface of the leaves. Wouldn’t want to poison our plants now, woould I?

posted by Tim at 10:10 PM


  • Not only are your photographs of your garden beautiful but I am a sucker for dogs in the garden. Your dog is quite handsome.

    By Blogger Lisa at Greenbow, at 5:40 AM  

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