Monday, October 31, 2011

Time Away

Just a brief note to let regular readers know I'll be back to garden blogging soon.  I had to suffer through the last week in the subtropical paradise of St. Kitts and was unable to do any blogging or gardening there, so I had a rough week.  I know that the picture below is just rubbing it into my New England friends who are buried in the early snowstorm, but this is all behind me now and I'm back to the cold, windy plains of Kansas.

St. Kitts;  view from hotel.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

October GGW Photo Contest

I've been making photographs for October's Gardening Gone Wild Photo Contest for weeks, trying to find just the right composition to fill what I felt was the nebulous theme of "fill the frame."  The contest rules, as I understand them, don't allow post-cropping of the photograph (the entire "canvas" must be used) so it creates a bit of a challenge to allow my camera lens to do the cropping.  I've taken wide lens garden vistas, and "whole plant" photographs and closeup after closeup, and before today, I believed the hardest part of the challenge was to make my own choice from among many possibilities.  Right up, that is, until I found this solitary, late bloom of the Griffith Buck rose 'Prairie Harvest', and then, even before the picture was taken, I knew I had my entry.  She was perfect, and delicate and a deeper yellow than the blooms of high summer, and even our recent first October freeze couldn't dim her glory.  So here she is, immortal hereafter, my "harvest" of the memories of past summer's sunshine:
Rosa 'Prairie Harvest', 10/22/11

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

(White) Blackberry Dreams

Long time readers of this blog will remember my ramblings last fall on the history of Burbank's White Blackberry, and also recall my quest to find a surviving specimen of this once world-famous wonder.

Well, I'm pleased to show you that, thanks to a generous benefactor, Burbank's White Blackberry now grows in my garden.  Last fall, I received 6 cane runners in the mail and needless to say, I treated them like gold.  Hedging my bets, I planted the two strongest canes outside in the main garden, put two weaker ones in another more protected spot, and tried growing the remaining two in a sunny window through the winter.  Only the two that were strongest survived, but those two are one more that I needed to get the strain going here.  I can taste those delicious berries already, even though the floracanes won't be mature till next year. 

They already look different than my other blackberries.  Pictured in September at the top right, and early this spring at the lower left, they are healthy, but still look different.   They are shorter than my non-thorny cultivars, a lighter green and a bit less glossy on the leaf surface.  But most of all, the canes, in cross section, are star-shaped rather than round.  Odd, but who knows what the actual breeding of this darling entailed?  Luther Burbank was always bit lax on public disclosure of his methods.

The kind gentleman who provided the rooted cuttings must remain anonymous because I don't want him deluged.  Deluged, that is, by the hundreds of requests that I anticipate will come from all over next summer when I show you my fabulous white berries.  But I will, here and ever after, acknowledge my debt to his generosity and say Thank You, in public.  They survived my meager care, buddy, and now grow again in the Flint Hills.

Monday, October 17, 2011

TGIA (Thank God It's Autumn)

'Touch of Class'
Until this weekend, I had nearly forgotten the blessings of Autumn here in my Flint Hills garden. There are fewer roses in the garden as the temperatures drop at night, to be sure, but the roses that make it to bloom ahead of the coming winter are often of perfect form and are much less likely than the roses of Spring to be damaged quickly by the prevailing prairie winds.  This 'Touch of Class' is as close as I ever see to a rose show quality bloom.

'Prairie Harvest'
The colors and hues of roses are spectacular and sometimes different in the Fall here!  I don't see the pink blush on the petals of this 'Prairie Harvest' from buds that pre-bake in the summer heat, and I believe the demure tint added to the normal light yellow increases the allure of this rose.

The lavenders can often be deeper and bolder toned at this time in the fall.  This is 'Lavande', a floribunda that I purchased cheap from a local and now out-of-business discount box store many years ago.  I suspected at the time that I was just buying a mislabeled 'Angel Face', but there really is a 'Lavande', a florists rose, bred in Canada by Bruce Rennie.

'Granada' shows off its bi-color blooms and its scent here when the summer sun doesn't roast it into submission within hours.  This rose is one of Mrs. ProfessorRoush's favorites.  I can take it or leave it, personally.

Have you noticed that "orange roses" actually really look a little orange as Halloween closes in?  This miniature rose, whose name I've long forgotten, always picks October to remind me that it still deserves a place in my garden.

Viva La Autumn!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

IoBelle Idolation

 Autumn seems to be "Go Time" for one of my newer Griffith Buck roses.  Right now Hybrid Tea 'Iobelle' is loaded with buds and starting to bloom in a captivating pink and white mixture. How's this one for gorgeous?

'IoBelle' was a very early release by Dr. Buck, clear back during the Kennedy administration in 1962.  I've seen the rose referred to as "Iowa Belle", but the Iowa State Website says 'Iobelle' and so I shall call it here.  The Iowa State Website doesn't say much else about the rose, so that site isn't very helpful in terms of the bloom or the height and spread of this rose.   The Cherry Capital Rose Society website noted that some consider it to be tender and persnickety, but go on to say that those attributes don't hold true in Zone 4 Michigan, where the rose is fully hardy and vigorous.  Oddly HelpMeFind lists the rose as hardy to USDA 7B and warmer, but that statement is just flat out wrong.  It is frustrating when a good rose gets bad press, isn't it?

Here, in the Flint Hills, 'Iobelle' is pushing up to 2.5 feet tall at the end of one year of age.  A few brief mentions of the rose state that he mature height is 3 to 5 feet tall, so I don't think I've seen the end of the growth yet.  The blooms are large, fully double (17-25 petals), and thick-petalled.  One thing I really like about this rose is that every flower is unique; the amount of pink in the bloom seems to vary with the number of sunny days in bud and the age of the flower, with more pink in older flowers.  Another "like" about this rose is that this is truly a Hybrid Tea flower form, and, unlike many of the Buck Roses, the rose holds up well in the vase without showing undue haste to fully open..  I recently gave a perfect bud to Mrs. ProfessorRoush  and it stayed tightly cupped for 4-5 days in the house.  The scent is moderately strong.  It is said to be "fruity" but my undiscriminating nose can only say that it is pleasant.  The foliage is blackspot free, dark green, and healthy here at mid-Fall.  The pictured bloom at the left is a little wind-beaten due to some thirty mph winds last week, but other than some shredding of the outer petals, it seems to be holding it's own.

'Iobelle' was a cross of pink Grandiflora 'Dean Collins' with the famous Hybrid Tea 'Peace'.  I didn't know that before, or I would have planted it closer to Brownell's 'Charlotte Brownell', another hardy 'Peace' offspring, for comparison.  And if I haven't enticed you enough with this rose yet, I'll leave you with the knowledge that this is an almost thornless rose for those who search out those varieties.   This one is destined to become a star in my garden.  It has already won me some big brownie points with Mrs. ProfessorRoush.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Asters Abounding

Here in Autumn, another advantage of my lassez-faire approach to mowing my prairie grass lawn this summer is now visible.  Despite this summer's record temperatures and drought, colonies of native asters have now made their presence known as the grass begins to brown.

Aromatic Aster
The asters that grow here in the Flint Hills are all fairly short so sometimes you have to look for them carefully, but they often occur in clumps with enough numbers to stand out.  There are a number of asters native to my area, so exact identification can be a challenge.  I think the prettiest aster in my "yard" is an Aromatic Aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium), a 6-18 inch tall bloomer of bluish-purple that likes to play hide and seek in the taller grass.  One of the identifying characteristics of this species is that the yellow disk florets age to reddish tones, evident in the picture at the right.  It arises in groups from creeping rhizomes and often is found with Silky Aster (Symphyotrichum sericeum), but can be distinguish from the latter by the lack of silky hairs on the leaves of the Aromatic Aster.

Heath Aster
Much more common in the Flint Hills, but a little more boring from a distance, is the Heath Aster, (Symphyotrichum ericoides) a white aster that is the most common native aster in Kansas.  It grows a little taller than the Aromatic Aster, from 1 to 3 feet high, and so the white flowers can be seen easier above the native grasses.  According to written descriptions, the Heath Aster is very drought tolerant and has roots that descend 3-8 feet down into the prairie soil.  Just think about that;  eight feet down through chipped rock and clay would indeed be a pretty decent protection against drought.  It grows in colonies as depicted below and it is said to accumulate selenium from the soil, so its presence decreases hay quality in cow pastures.

Heath Aster colony
So, in its first year, my "unmowing" has resulted in some nice stands of Black-eyed Susan's and Asters, and the occasional Monarda sp, Asclepius sp, Blue Sage, Goldenrod, and Thistle.  Not a fabulous world-shattering display, as a gardener might like, but acceptable, and I hope that some of the mature seed heads take root and spread next year.  I picked a great year to try it because the unmowed strips on the hillsides probably helped preserve what little moisture did fall this year, acting as "rain gardens" in my greater yard to slow down and collect runoff.  All of that, of course is secondary to the fact that Mrs. ProfessorRoush has not said much about the unmowed patches for awhile, a change that I take for reluctant acceptance of such ecological experimentation carried out by her odd but endearing gardening husband.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Whence Thou Comest?

This gardening year, full of heat and drought, has been confounding enough for Flint Hills gardeners, but while I've been whining about the weeds, and the wilting plants, and the extra watering, I've neglected to consider how totally out-of-sorts the unusual summer may have made my plants feel. 

Evidently the now cooler temperatures, and the little bits of water draining off of the garage pad as we've washed cars, have confused my 'Sensation' lilac bush into thinking that it is Spring here in the midst of Fall.  Yesterday, I noted four open blooms on the bush.  They are not near the size of the large full blooms it normally has, but they are respectable plumes nonetheless, and the delicious scent certainly isn't diminished by the smaller size.  This is a plain old Syringa vulgaris cultivar, so I don't have any idea why it thinks it should be blooming, and the neighboring lilacs aren't confused at all.  But blooming it is, surprising me again this year in addition to the white sport it developed this past Easter .

I am surely not going to grumble over this gift, this glorious olfactory present, but I wonder at  the providence.  Has the weather really made a mess of the internal rhythms of plants, or is something else the cause? Could my 'Sensation' merely be jealous that there are several re-blooming irises planted nearby who are getting all the attention right now?  What does this mean for other plants, the apples, the peaches, the fruits of next summer?  Will this specimen of 'Sensation' bloom normally in next Spring or have this year's buds already been wasted?  The mysteries of gardening go on and on.  As does the sweet scent of 'Sensation'.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What Took You So Long?

Helianthus 'Lemon Yellow'
All summer I've been anxiously awaiting signs of life from a pair of related plants that I planted last Fall.  Seduced last year by the high prose and beautiful photography of High Country Gardens into purchasing  and planting a pair of Helianthus maximilliana cultivars, I watched anxiously in Spring for the return of their foliage.  When they finally came up, planted as they were in my "native" wildflower area, which gets no extra water at all, I then spent the summer worrying that my single specimen of each would be cut down by some dastardly grasshopper, broken over by a rampaging dog, or that they just wouldn't make it through the heat and drought of this past summer.  But all summer, they grew, slowly and, to me, in an agonizing fashion, but they did grow, to their current four feet or so in height.  I was tempted several times to provide them a little extra water, but I'm proud to say that I practiced tough love gardening.

I expected them to bloom in late July or early August, but they never did.   I think that was all my mistake, assuming wrongly that most flowering plants stop developing buds here by October except for the asters and an occasional rose that tries to open in December. Recently however, as the leaves on decidious trees are changing color, the burning bush euonymous is already aflame, and the nights are approaching the low 40's, I noticed buds on both.  Buds which recently broke open for me like a heaven-sent promise that Summer will return next year.  

Helianthus 'Sante Fe'
My two Helianthus maximiliana  cultivars are ‘Lemon Yellow’  (pictured above right with its insect stowaway) and 'Sante Fe' (pictured at left).  'Lemon Yellow' is supposedly the daintier of the two, said to grow into a mature clump three feet by three feet, although vegatively, I still can't tell my two cultivars apart and both are at four feet tall with single stems at present.  High Country Gardens states that 'Lemon Yellow' "grows easily in hot, full sun locations."  Based on my experience with it this summer, I might not agree that it grows "easily," but it did survive the worse drought year I've seen here.

Maximillian Sunflower 'Santa Fe' should eventually grow to be an 8 foot tall and 4 foot wide clump, a warning to me that I've got it planted in the wrong place at present, but if it continues to survive, I can always divide and move it.  It blooms with large golden-yellow flowers as pictured, and the flowers seem to open from top to bottom on the single stem that I've got at present.  According to the High Country Gardens website, it is hardy to Zone 4 and should grow well in "any soil including heavy clay."  I can only hope that broad statement includes my limey-stony-clay soil.

Given time and a few years, I hope that both H. maximiliana clumps eventually become mainstays in the tall backs of my borders, fighting it out with the Miscanthus sp. to see who drapes over whom.  With the late bloom, however, I'm a little worried that an early frost might occasionally allow me only to enjoy the foliage however. This is my first attempt with this genus, although I've long grown a similarly tall False Sunflower, or Heliopsis helianthoides, which grows well for me and which I've divided several times over in my peony bed.  Now with the new Maximilian Sunflowers looking to make a stand, I guess I'd better prepare to have a much more yellow Fall garden than I've had in the past.  The only question is, do I want that much yellow?  Even in Kansas, one can overdo the sunflowers.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Sleep, Creep, Leaping Huskers

As fate would have it, when author Benjamin Vogt offered two free copies of his new book, Sleep, Creep, Leap through the GardenRant blogsite, I was one of the lucky winners.  Evidently, God doesn't deem me worthy of a big PowerBall Lottery pot, but He does follow my gardening interests and decided to help me out a little in that regard.  My providence perhaps wasn't as lucky for Dr. Vogt, since I have been aware of his marvelous blog  for some time and knew that publication was imminent, and so he lost at least one sure purchaser of  his book since I would have eventually purchased a copy on my own.  However it happened, I'm ecstatic to have received an autographed copy direct from the Benjamin.

Sleep, Creep, Leap, subtitled "The First Three Years of a Nebraska Garden," is an enchanting and very readable collection by Benjamin Vogt, who, as previously noted, also writes the blog "The Deep Middle", which includes his thoughts on gardening, poetry, and nonfiction.  Although Dr.Vogt (a PhD-type Dr.) appears to be a Cornhusker, living and working as he does in the enemy territory of Lincoln, Nebraska, and although my blog today is titled Sleep, Creep, Leaping Huskers, this is not intended to be a commentary on Nebraska jumping from the Big Twelve to the Big Ten, nor is it about past K-State vs. Nebraska rivalry.  The bonds between two gardening bloggers are far above such petty issues.

I finished Sleep, Creep, Leap, exactly 100 pages long, in a couple of nights.  Obviously, it was an engaging read and an enjoyable one from an experienced author, because my usual pattern of night-reading results in me falling asleep after approximately six pages on any given night.  The book is full of short essays and thoughts on different aspects of gardening in the Great Plains, and of course, I was interested in what he has to say because I garden with many of the similar plants and philosophies as Benjamin.  In that regard, it sure beats reading about somebody growing bananas and camellias in Florida.  But I particularly enjoyed his stories about exposing his new wife to the gardening world, and about his neighbor, Mr. Mows All The Time, and about transporting trees in his hatchback.

Some quotes from Sleep, Creep, Leap that tickled my fancy:

"For what seemed the first time, I was discovering what it meant to spend eight hours a day in a place without knowing I had."

"Sometimes, I come home feeling guilty.  I didn't really need to buy so many plants or even any plants at all.....And when I return home I hide them behind a shrub, and sometimes plant them when I know my wife's in the shower or away at work."

"I want to say, gee, Ryan, Jim, Steve, whatever your name is, all the synthetic fertilizer you spread four times each summer is a waste....You're just giving money to corporate drug dealers."

"The next day, after much deliberation, fighting my instincts and loathsome attitude tpward most annuals, I headed out with pot and spade and dug up the cosmo.  I put it in the back of the garage hoping it might survive winter, that we both might."

So to my readers I say, pick this one up on a coming cold Winter day when reading about a ruby-throated hummingbird or Helianthus 'Lemon Sky' will be the closest you're able to get to either one.  And to Benjamin, I say, Well Done, your wife was right about you scissoring grasshoppers, it is okay to be a plant snob, I sneak plants from my wife also, and, you really should make love in your garden (perhaps under cover of the roar from Mr. Mows All The Time).  It's obvious that you want to buddy. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011


I'm musing far from the garden today, prompted by random recollections that refuse to be ignored.  Although I made a quick trip into my garden today in the chilling temperatures and dim light of early morning, Memory Lane beckoned later and took my thoughts on a detour.

It's Mrs. ProfessorRoush's birthday, and one of my presents to her, (yes, I'll take credit for anything I can) was to relieve her of dropping her smaller clone off at school.  The smaller clone normally could drive herself but temporarily has lost her keys for the umpteenth time.  Later, sitting in the line of cars at the High School, it suddenly struck me that the gaggles of giggling girls, even the older ones, just seem so...teenagerish.  

It was not that way in my far ago youth.  The female Seniors of my High School were sophisticated and cool and so...unreachable.  Ingrained into my soul is the time that I spent in typing class as a 9th grader, the first 9th grader in my school to be allowed into the class (and yes, it was a TYPING class, pre-computers and computer keyboards).  I was placed into the back row of typewriters, seated between the polished and refined Prom Queen (a senior) and the voluptuous senior Pom-Pom Captain (who actually, at that tender age, had Breasts and occasionally displayed glimpses of them even back in those pre-Madonna-influenced times!).  To communicate the experience to another gardener or rosarian, I can only compare it to being the spiky Echinops planted as a companion between the damask 'Madame Hardy' and the extra-large-bloomed Hybrid Tea 'Dolly Parton'. The entire atmosphere in that vicinity was charged, as I recall, with electricity, feminine perfume, and the essence of hyperstimulated nerd.  In hindsight, it is probably easy to understand how I, a 9th grader and the lone male, won the typing award that semester amidst a class of Senior girls.  The practice of touch-typing is immeasurably enhanced when the attention of the typist is everywhere but on the keyboard.

This all brings up a question I don't want to face, though.  Is it the eighteen-year-old females, and our society, who have changed so radically since the 1970's, or is it the ancient and wise gardening (former) nerd?  I cannot provide a defensible answer in fear that the passage of time has colored my view on the matter.  I will only say "Thank You" to 'Madame Hardy' formerly on my right, and 'Dolly Parton' on my left, for providing in my life the beauty and wonder so otherwise lacking in my pre-gardening years.  And, since it's her birthday, I will also hold up and celebrate the even more beautiful Mrs. ProfessorRoush for turning a hopeless nerd into a puttering and partially-useful husband with a modicum of socially acceptable behaviors.  It was a hard road you chose, Honey.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Bright Melody of Red

Among my Spring-planted Griffith Buck roses, I've alluded to my addition of  'Bright Melody' before, but the most recent, cooler Fall-induced bloom was so beautiful that I just had to share this rose with you.

'Bright Melody' is a 1984 shrub rose introduction by Dr. Buck that is lately singing out her presence in my garden.  These beautiful, double red blooms (RHSCC 61B) start out as high-centered, Hybrid Tea style blooms and open to large (4 inch) cupped blooms that turn lighter as they age.  The brilliance of the rose is set off against a very dark green, blackspot-free foliage.  Blooms come in clusters, despite the example beauty of the single rose pictured.  She has a light scent, but your Important Other won't care about looking past the perfect form of this rose.   No blackspot or other disease here in Kansas either!  Look at the leaves beyond the bloom; perfect still as the cooler weather moves in.  Unlike some roses, I haven't had to fight spider mites or grasshoppers on this rose either.  This one is a fitting offspring of her breeding of 'Carefree Beauty' X ('Herz As' X 'Cuthbert Grant').   

It is always interesting to me that at times one particular rose in my garden grabs the attention and then later it's another.  'Bright Melody' didn't provide me with much in the way of blooms earlier in the Summer and there was a time when I thought the profusely-blooming, heat-loving 'Queen Bee' was the better rose.  But now, in the early Fall, 'Queen Bee' has stopped blooming and it is 'Bright Melody' that is shouting "Me! Look at Me!" across my garden.  Even the faded blooms, as shown at left, are garden-worthy and difficult to choose for dead-heading.  Luckily, I don't deadhead anyway, so perhaps someday I'll get a 'Bright Melody' seedling of my own to further pass on that bright red gene from 'Cuthbert Grant'. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

(Don't) Get the Drift

Since no one has yet posted to the now monthly blog party titled "Garden Grumblings", I can only assume that either everyone is scared to be first, or else you're all giving me the opportunity to embarrass myself before you jump in.  Okay, okay, I'll start us off and use this opportunity to display my worst purchase of this summer: my 'Red Drift' rose.
'Red Drift'
Everyone fell into the hype of the Drift®roses this year, right?  The slogans were perfectly designed to sell them:  "From the introducers of the Knock Out family," and, "The Next Big Thing for Small Gardens."  Well, I might be alone out here on this limb, but if so, I'll be the first to say that I'm underwhelmed.  Was I biased from the start?  In the interest of full disclosure, maybe a little bit, since I know that while Conard Pyle HAD introduced the Knock Out roses to commerce, Bill Radler is not the breeder of the Drift® roses; they came from the lines of French hybridizer, Meilland International.

I attended a seminar last spring on the new Drift® roses and was told by the speaker that his personal favorite was 'Peach Drift'.  Despite being a Shrub and Old Garden Rose fanatic, I was encouraged enough by the hype to decide that I'd try one or two out this year, particularly if I could find 'Peach Drift', although one-foot tall roses are really not to the scale of my garden.  Perhaps, I thought, in a container on the patio would be a nice spot, since they are marketed as excellent choices for containers?

Fortunately or unfortunately it took me a week to start looking and by then the local nurseries had all sold out except for 'Pink Drift' and 'Red Drift'.  And they were priced at $30.00 each!  Given the price at 50% higher than the local nurseries sell potted Hybrid Teas, and because 'Red Drift' is more double-petaled than 'Pink Drift', I chose the latter and only purchased one.  And I put it into a very large container in full sun and gave it more attention than any other plant this summer. 

And it is a good thing I only ended up with one, because I'm not impressed at all by my 'Red Drift' rose.  You can see it above, pictured at the end of what was admittedly a very hot summer, the leaves a little scorched from all the Kansas sun.  Yes, it seems to be blackspot resistant, but I did have to fight a bout of spider mites with pressurized sprays of water.  It didn't grow 6 inches in any direction all summer long, despite almost daily watering in the extreme heat and careful attention to fertilization.  And what you see above is the best bloom display I saw all summer, as underwhelming as it is.  The lack of bloom was a bit understandable during the heat spells, but I would think that the cooler weather of the past two weeks would have kicked off a bloom cycle, wouldn't you? 

So, pending further evidence, I'm done with the Drift® roses.  They're just not enough of a landscape spectacle for me to overlook the fact that the blooms are not individually striking. I'm going to keep the container outside, so by next spring, I will have a strong test of how hardy at least 'Red Drift' really is.  I also plan to see how they did in the garden of a friend who planted 50(!) of them this spring, so there's still a chance I'll change my mind. Or maybe not, if you get my drift.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Growing Your Own

Connie, of Hartwood Roses, recently published a blog about growing roses from seed, illustrating a particularly beautiful soft yellow rose seedling that she grew and continues to grow.  An open-pollinated seedling from a neighbor's rose hips, she's so impressed by its disease resistant foliage and non-fading color that she is planning to evaluate it for commercial introduction by her nursery.

In honor and imitation of Connie's post, I'll show you a rose that I grew from seed several years ago and continue to grow.  This semi-double pink rose, from an open-pollinated hip of Carefree Beauty, keeps a place in my garden because of the delicate and perfect pink shadings of the bloom.  It grows about 3 feet tall, not as vigorously as Carefree Beauty, but it does retain that blackspot-free foliage of its mother.  This rose is remonant, repeating sparsely about 3 times a year, moderately scented, and seems to be fully hardy in Zone 5B without protection.  I'm not fooling myself that it is worthy of commercial introduction, but at the same time, I also can't scrub it out of my garden.  That delicate shell-pink is just too stunning to wipe from the earth now. 

I don't think there's a rose-grower out there who hasn't tried, once or twice or three times, to grow a new rose of their own from the hips that proliferate throughout their gardens.  I've obviously fallen into the trap myself and, inspired by Connie, I intend to again.  The biggest issue for me has been the transition from chilling the rose hips to starting them indoors in the winter.  I know about stratifying the seed, as Connie details in another blog, but after that I have a poor germination rate and an even poorer rate of keeping them alive indoors until springtime. 

But, I have a long-standing desire to get some seedlings out of 'Rugelda', a yellow-red Rugosa that I worship, and maybe some of the other Buck roses such as 'Prairie Harvest'.   If the bumblebees do their job, somewhere out there might be the genes of a buttery-yellow rose of my very own.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Garden Grumblings (October)

Friends, we're going to try something a bit different this month with what I formerly called "Thirteenth Tribulations". Thanks to "Cathy and Steve" and to others who emailed me suggestions, I'm going to try keeping the linky thing open for an entire month at a time. 

I 've renamed it "Garden Grumblings" (by the month), and after it is posted here as a linky blog on the first day of each month, I'll put a semi-permanent link to it in the sidebar at the right, just above the search box, so you can easily find it and either post to it yourself throughout the month, or find it to check back occasionally to see other postings.  I'm hoping, of course, that as you post your miseries, mishaps, and mistakes in your own blogs, you'll remember to link them centrally here all month long for the benefit of others to learn from.

Why "Garden Grumblings"?  Well, you know how ProfessorRoush likes alliteration.  Keeping "Tribulations" as part of the name was just too hard.  I briefly considered "Garden Grievances", but that seemed a little too formal and snarky, and "Garden Groans" had that high-pitched constant complaining feel to it.  "Garden Grumbles" was my first choice, but there is actually a blog named exactly that.  "Garden Grumblings" has a nice, quietly earthy, gardener feel to it and conveys the idea, don't you think?

We're all waiting to sob with you over your landscape design mistakes, your plant deaths, your battles with deer, or your horticultural Armageddons.  The motto of Garden Grumblings is "We may not garden together, but we can commiserate together."  So please link away for this month below!  And spread the word!


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