Baby It’s Gonna Be Cold Outside

Garden Geese
Rose Bed Buried in Snow Febuary, 2010
Rose Bed Buried in Snow In February 2010
Garden Geese
Baby It’s Gonna Be Cold Outside Remember Last Winter

It’s Time to Talk About Winter Protection.

It’s finally cool in North Texas, which means protecting plants and black spot. Plain and simple. Last year my potted palms and large patio plants were evicted from the garage. We decided the garage was for tools and we should have a separate gardening shed and that works fairly well except the size of the potted patio plants have grown to include a Sago Palm that a baby elephant can hide behind. I know you sophisticated gardeners are thinking Sago’s Palm’s can withstand temps down to 20 degrees, right? And you’re in Zone 8, right? Well, remember last winter when this Planting Zone 8 that borders Planting Zone 7 had something like 14 inches of snow and my magnificently designed pre-fabricated in the garage greenhouse and erected in the back yard visqueen roof collapsed under the weight of the snow with my Asian jasmine in it while I was freezing to death in San Antonio???  If you aren’t familiar with Planting Zones in Texas you will be. Because I grew up planting and winterizing and roses and plants in Northern Illinois and I knew what to expect from winters. North Texas is like learning everything new. The battle rages between the tropical air from the gulf and the cold air from the North. When I built this house in Texas the landscape company insisted it was Ok to plant the shrubs and trees when an Alberta clipper was passing through and it was 8 degrees. 

 I told them it wasn’t going to be OK. It wasn’t OK. We lost the largest Oak they planted.  

USDA Hardiness Zone means that the plant is hardy to that zone and will endure winters there, and generally can withstand all the warmer zones below.  Zones are only a guide.

North America on the left, Celsius on the Right

Zone 1: (below -50 F) below -46 C
Zone 2: (-50 to -40 F) -46 to -40 C
Zone 3: (-40 to -30 F) -40 to -34 C
Zone 4: (-30 to -20 F) -34 to -29 C
Zone 5: (-20 to -10 F) -29 to -23 C
Zone 6: (-10 to 0 F) -23 to -18 C
Zone 7: (0 to 10 F) -18 to -12 C
Zone 8: (10 to 20 F) -12 to -7 C
Zone 9: (20 to 30 F) -7 to -1 C
Zone 10: (30 to 40 F) -1 to 4 C
Zone 11 (above 40 F) : above 4 C

Next post we will talk about city ordinances, and by laws too numerous to list that may be part of your homeowners associations bylaws and our own experience firsthand that may impact your ability to erect a structure to protect your plants. But don’t despair we have a quick inexpensive solution to protect your plants and save you tons of money.

Fashions for the Goose Girls are by

Goose Clothes Galore
P.O. Box 198
Sycamore, Ohio 44882

(419) 927-5248

The Goose Ladies are loved by our grandchildren and all the children in the neighborhood. They have a full array of garb for every season. I jumped the gun a bit showing you them in the snow because I was worried about winter protection for plants and wanted to scare you into action. So I neglected to show you them in their fall fashions but I will back up and give you a fall preview because soon they will be in their Halloween costumes. All the neighborhood children run up the stone path and check them out and pat their beaks daily. My husband gave them a fresh paint job last year and they are beautiful. My dear friend Susan Davis laughed when she saw them and said “they are so not you!” And I said “Just wait until you have grandchildren, you will be amazed at the stuff you will do, remember I was willing to be called  “doggy,” and thought it sounded adorable,” so leave my geese alone”.  The geese are just fine! And I’ll dress ‘em. “Oui” even dress them sometimes. The neighbors drive up and stop to see how the geese girls are dressed as a weather indictor because we put rain gear on them when it is going to rain. They tell me the geese girls are better weather girls than the television personalities. Who knew?  More later  

Oui Theory

Oui Theory Follower
Ancient Concept of “Oui Theory” pronounced WE. He as ONE can accomplish on Monday what “Oui” did not on Sunday. Ancient art.




Gabi & Gaga
Gabi & Gaga in the Garden Oui Theory Works

The ‘Oui Theory’, Fuzzy logic corresponds to “degrees of truth,” out of this basic premise ‘Oui Theory’ emerges.

Many of you have heard of Big Bang, String Theory and Einstein’s Theory of Relativity*. Today I introduce to you, the urban/rural dedicated gardener, ‘Oui Theory’. And I predict controversies to tumble over into those parallel newly discovered dimensions that string theory suggests that you may or may not even exist in. ‘Oui Theory’ is so simple and elegant that it will possibly punch a hole in the dimension you live in today.

‘Oui Theory’ is simply this, Oui (pronounced we and French for yes), can accomplish the work of two while you are not there. The artful gardener must first identify all of her/his resources and that must include your labor force. Your resources include who can do the work that you have identified that you would like to have done in your garden while you were at home and you would like completed after you are not there by putting the Oui Theory to work for you. Now that is parallel universe optimization. You will not be there and work will be getting done by someone you have identified that essentially is in a parallel universe toiling away at things Oui have mutually agreed to do and then enjoy together, maybe. You carefully planned it, purchased the plants, perhaps even did beautiful sketches, you visualized it in the other beautiful universe which of course is your mind. Now here is where your genious will put Steven Hawking to shame, ‘Oui Theory’ actually translates into “Yes” Dear. Oui Theory simply stated is “yes dear, I see your logic we (oui) will complete this project while you are (at work, getting your nails done, hair appointment, shopping, taking a trip around the world, taking French cooking classes, going to buy a new car, get the oil changed, play soccer, play golf, ad infinitum…”.

Source *Urban Dictionary



Four Seasons of Roses – 2014 Monthly Beginners Guide to Growing Roses

Susan Fox in the Rose Garden with Chicago Flower and Garden Show Hat
Susan Fox in the Rose Garden with Chicago Flower and Garden Show Hat

Growing Roses can be as simple or complex as you want it to be.

For those of you that have told me you want an easy guide to growing roses I’ve created a 2014 garden planner filled with basic things-to-do each month featuring pictures of roses from  Gaga’s garden. There’s a community of rosarians that are always there to share their knowledge with you, via the American Rose Society, this garden planner encourages you to connect with us for all of your rose questions. Here’s a list of friends on twitter always willing to engage:

Jolene Adams            President of the American Rose Society                @Jolene_Adams
Teresa Byington        Co-Host of Rosechat Radio                                      @Agardendiary
Jack Falker                 Rosarian, Blogger                                                       @mnrosegardener
Brenda Haas               Host of GardenChat                                                  @Bg_Garden
Marci Martin              Consulting Rosarian                                                   PlantersPlace
Chris VanCleave         Rosarian, Blogger                                                      @RedneckRosarian
Baldo Villegas             Entomologist, Consulting rosarian                        @Baldoroses
Elena Williams           Consulting rosarian, Master gardener                  @ElenaWilliams
Paul Zimmerman       Author, Consulting rosarian                                   @PZimmermanRoses

January is a wonderful time for planning your spring rose garden. Most people today want simple solutions. Determine if your goal is to use roses as landscape accents or create your own rose garden for the most basic of simple pleasures such as viewing, fragrance, or strolling along the garden paths you’ve created. Many people enjoy photography and roses can be a great choice because the flowers are never static. The difference in a rose garden and a bed of begonias is that roses change every day. Each day that you walk in your garden of roses the blooms change dramatically from bud to fully open rose. There is never one day that the plant or the fragrance is exactly the same.  The only difference in your planning stage is to determine whether you want to show roses. Showing roses is another story altogether.


Four Seasons of Roses – 2014 Monthly Guide to Rose Care

Purchase planner at Amazon:

10% of all profits of the sale of Four Seasons of Roses |2014 Monthly Guide to Rose Care will be donated to the American Rose Society Educational Endowment Trust.  Become a American Rose Society member today!

Description: Gardeners have expressed to me a desire to have their very own rose garden or add roses to their existing garden for as long as I have grown roses. Most of the time, the only thing standing between a gardener and having the rose garden they desire is a lack of knowing what to do to grow roses or thinking that roses, the queen of flowers, are too difficult to grow. I believe growing roses is easy, fun and certainly rewarding. The Four Seasons of Roses Planner, Monthly Guide to Rose Care, is an easy monthly guide filled with suggested gardening tips of what-to-do each month and all through the year to establish and maintain a healthy, beautiful rose garden. Keeping a journal and recording your garden’s history from year-to-year is fun and an important part of growing your knowledge base of rose growing.

Every rose featured in this garden planner was selected, planted, nurtured and photographed by me in Gaga’s Garden®. Your garden journal of notes will become part of your process of collecting roses and a keepsake. This planner was designed to inspire you and gardeners everywhere to add roses to your garden with simple things-to-do each month. I hope you enjoy the process of learning more each and every year.

President of the American Rose Society, Jolene Adams believes knowledge through education and sharing are both the heart and soul of building the American Rose Society offering a myriad of activities to please all tastes such as:

  • How to Grow Beautiful Roses
  • Photographing Roses
  • Cooking with Roses
  • Landscaping With Roses
  • Accessorizing with Roses
  • Arrangements with Roses
  • Collecting Roses

No matter what interest listed in the fore mentioned topics, I believe education is the key to growing beautiful roses. To underscore my commitment to rose education I have decided to donate 10% of all profits of the sale of Four Seasons of Roses |2014 Monthly Guide to Rose Care to the American Rose Society Education Fund. You can purchase your copy and thereby help grow the education fund as well by purchasing your copy today on Amazon

Warm regards from the garden. I hope to hear from you at Your thoughts and comments are always welcome.

Yours truly,


“He who would have beautiful roses in his garden must have beautiful roses in his heart.”
-Reverend Dean Hole


Fragrant Cloud
The beautiful Fragrant Cloud is a nice garden addition!
Garden Party
Garden Party Actual Shot Taken in the Rose Garden

Gaga’s Re-Do

It would be socially irresponsible of me to talk about all things that grow and neglect the one thing that grows and affects us daily; our hair. With that said, I’m back from having my hair cut and colored. For years after my stylist Denise of Jonas Aveda Salon & Spa, Dallas would blow dry my hair I would say “color looks good,” Denise would say “yeah it looks like crap as usual,” and I would say “at least your work is consistent, so I know what to expect, no surprises.” Like a surprise I could live without, when Gabrielle was two and thought she was hungry on her way with me to get my hair cut, but really she was nauseous and threw up all over the car, me, herself and the salon so Denise stripped her naked, cuddled her up in fluffy towels while she washed all her clothes and did my hair.

Gaga’s Passion

Since 1975 when I inherited the care of my mother’s rose garden in Northern Illinois, and over an acre of her grounds I have been a student, a teacher, writer and speaker about rose growing and gardening. I have shown roses and am the recipient of too many awards to mention (see biographical sketch). I have worked with beginners and at times had a group of 6 or more new rosarians dedicated to assisting them with planning, selecting, planting, and caring for their first rose garden. I will tell you what I told them. Now I have to go get my hair cut and colored.
And I promised Tanna I would prepare the Crudités for Gabi’s birthday party:
Crudités are traditional French appetizers comprising of sliced or whole raw vegetables which are dipped in a vinaigrette or another dipping sauce. Crudités often include celery sticks, carrot sticks, bell pepper strips, broccoli, cauliflower, and asparagus spears.
But I am serving them Texas style and that of course is with, you guessed it, Ranch dressing.
On this Blog I will talk about every bit of the most serious aspect of gardening and every pest known to mankind and keep you entertained while we get down and dirty. Because at the heart of the matter I am a dirt girl.

Why Gaga’s Garden?

Gardens Echo With Her Laughter
Gardens Echo With Her Laughter
Very Busy Guy
Rather Have His Back Ground Off With a Sander than Bitten By Chiggers

Why a Blog? Last Sunday I asked my son Michael, to stop by and meet a newspaper editor, friend as he drove past on his way somewhere who also needed a Web site at some point. I did not ask him to make a special 1 ½ mile arduous, grueling, hazard fraught trip. I didn’t expect him to stay, he had commitments. It seemed from his tone that I had asked him to; climb the Himalayas with a Sherpa, navigate the ice caverns, approach a mother polar bear with cubs and a BB gun, pee in the Amazon with those little critters that swim up your pee-pee and eat you from the inside while you scream for 7 days a painful death, sleep in the swamp with alligators, climb in a sleeping bag in the Louisiana Bayou on the ground, face off with a mountain lion alone on the bike trail on his way home from work ALONE, crawl on his belly through broken glass laced with poblano pepper juice on one side and chiggers biting him on the backside, because he said he would rather have his skin ground off with a sander than be bit by a bunch of chiggers. So, on Monday I sent my daughter-in-law, Tanna, an email at work, to that effect and she laughed hard enough that her co-workers had to revive her and she said “you need to start a Blog.” Bingo.


Gabi, unimpeachable originator of Gaga.
GAGAS Lone Star State Official Status
Gaga on the Wall
Gagas Offical Status Declared By the State of Texas


Gabi, unimpeachable originator of Gaga.
Gabi, unimpeachable originator of Gaga.

I was Gaga first. I can prove it. Declared by my granddaughter and made official by the State of Texas. All the other grandmothers had laid claim to the desirable names; Nana, Mimi, Gigi, Gagme, etc. So I said I will be whatever she calls me. And I waited and repeated Graaa-ma about a million times and then one day when that baby was not even two years old she said, “hi doggy.” “Doggy!” Could I live with doggy? You bet. Anyone that has the unconditional love of a child can answer to “gagme.” But she quickly knew I wasn’t a doggy and changed it to Goggy and then Gaga. I ordered crowning vanity plates from the Lone Star State, which of course is unimpeachable validation.