Tips For Winterizing Your Roses As They Fall Into Winter

Fall Scene in the Rose Garden

I think I shall never see A poem lovely as a tree ~ Joyce Kilmer

'Ten Tips For Winterizing Your Roses
Oso Easy ‘Paprika’ on a Fall Leaf

Fall is a time for reflection. Time seems to slow down. Even the clock falls back. This autumn in Illinois the leaves are beginning to take on reflective hues that seem to dance and play in a slow waltz as the inevitable drift toward winter. The whole process of fall color is fairly well understood, yet so complex the reason for it is less clear.

Our country lane at sunset in the fall
Our Illinois country lane at sunset in the fall

Suddenly this year as the days got cooler, vibrant colors of gold, yellow, purple, red and brown began to emerge. The shimmering light of sunrise and sunset lit the forests as if they were bathed in liquid gold.

Rock Path Garden, Tall Grasses
Rock Path Garden, Tall Grasses Kissed with Golden Sunshine

Most everyone thinks cool weather or frost cause the leaves to change color. Temperature can affect the autumn color and its intensity, but temperature is only one of many factors that play a part in painting the woods in glorious color.

Fall Leaves | Blue Skys | Lil Red Barn
Fall Leaves | Blue Skys | Lil Red Barn

This year we had a growing season with ample moisture that is so far followed by a dry, cool, sunny autumn that has been marked by warm days and cool but frost-less nights that is providing perfect weather conditions for the brightest fall colors. Lack of wind and rain prolonged the brilliant displays until the recent strong storms across Illinois. This article includes a pictorial of the beauty of the autumn this fall.

'Weeping' Rose and Leaves
‘Weeping’ Rose and Leaves called Oh My in Weeks Catalog | Dad’s Day by ARS classification

Fall Into Winter

With winter just around the corner here’s a simple and concise “Winterizing Your Roses Tips” from Witherspoon Roses. Witherspoon Rose is the rose supplier that I ordered grade 1 bare root roses from for the 3rd stage of the rose garden.  I wrote about and included pictures of these roses all this season as a first year garden.

October Rose Garden
View of Witherspoon Roses, St. Patrick in the forefront

Some of the most spectacular include Love Song, Dick Clark, and Legend, just to name a few, which are all Weeks Roses and first year roses in this garden.

Top 10 Tips for Winterizing Your Roses

“TOP 10 TIPS”

FOR WINTERIZING YOUR ROSE GARDEN

 Re-printed Courtesy of Mary Alice Pike, Witherspoon Rose

The blooming season comes to a close in autumn. During this dormant stage, take care of important gardening tasks, to ensure your next spring is as breathtaking as you always dreamed!

1.      Plants should be reduced in height (waist high) to prevent breakage from winter winds.  Climbers remain tall but should be secured to the trellis or fence.  Cut leggy branches from Tree roses to produce a rounded shape.

2.      This is a good time to apply lime as needed to obtain a pH of around 6 to 6.5. (The local Agricultural Extension Agency is a great resource for soil testing & evaluation)

3.      Mulch should be mounded around the base of rose plants to protect from winter freezes.

4.      Timed irrigation systems should be shut down for the winter.

5.      Container grown plants should be moved closer to the house to protect against winter winds. Extreme climates would require more drastic measures.

6.      Check the health of your plants and place an order for fresh bareroot roses to arrive  January through mid-April.  Replace plants that are spindly or reduced to less than 3 healthy canes (pencil diameter).

7.      Dilute Lime-Sulfur with water and spray over entire bed including the ground.  This is very important to rid your garden of pests and black spot spores that would harbor over the winter.

8.      Transplanting roses can be done successfully during this dormant stage.  Carefully prepare the new spot 16″ deep, enriched with cow manure and soil conditioner.  Placing spade 10″ from base of plant dig straight down into the bed in a circle around the plant, trying not to cut roots.  Lift the plant with the shovel and carry it directly to the new spot.  Fill in soil and cover the plant with a mound of mulch.  Water 3-5 gal.

9.      Make plans for new rose beds or additions.  Autumn is the perfect time to prepare the soil for winter or spring plantings as the soil has time to set and stabilize.  Turn over the soil 16″ deep and apply proper soil amendments to produce a light loamy mixture.  (Or call a professional rose specialist)

10. Clean, sharpen and oil shears and pruners to prepare for spring pruning.

www.witherspoonrose.com.

‘Oh My!’ A Rose For ‘Dad’s Day’

'Oh My' Exhibition Name is Dad's Day!

‘Oh My!’ Introduced In 2012 As ‘Dad’s Day’

Happy Father’s Day to “Big Daddy.” Creator and founding partner of the “Oui Theory.”   “Qui Theory” was discovered on a Sunday afternoon in Texas. Big Daddy was retired and I worked full time. We had over 200 roses in our Texas gardens, so after working in the roses all day Saturday, I said on Sunday, “Why don’t we finish fertilizing the roses on Monday?” He surprisingly said, “We won’t be here on Monday, you are at work.”

‘Oh MY!’ Standing Tall

Get More Done With The ‘Oui Theory’

Exactly. Never do anything on the week-end that you can put off until Monday, when oui can do it without you actually being there. “Yes dear” is the reply “oui’ hope for.  Just look how much more you can get done. Since ‘Big Daddy’ agreed to the deal we call it “Oui Theory” as in the phrase “Yes, Dear,” (oui) meaning yes I will do this without you being present, here or your involvement. ;) Be sure to read when “Oui Theory” Ran Aground when I nearly derailed a perfectly good working theory with fishing.

Three ‘Oh My! In The Garden

Mr. Fox Goes To The Biltmore Rose Trials

Richard and Susan Fox at The Biltmore Rose Trials

Richard and Susan Fox at The Biltmore Rose Trials

A Tower of ‘Oh My!’ roses

Special Thanks To Our Fathers

I especially think of my father who worked so hard and dedicated so much of his life to being sure we had all that we needed. Last year I wrote about how he loved Mother’s rose garden and insisted on calling ‘Miranda’ and every red rose ‘Miss All American Beauty’. I still haven’t planted ‘Miss All American Beauty’. But maybe I should plant ‘Miranda’ and call it ‘Miss All American Beauty’ like my father did. Happy Father’s Day to all of you wonderful Father’s, Grandfather’s and patriarch’s of your families, have a wonderful “Dad’s Day!

Great Uncle Sam Chisholm at 94

Our Great Uncle Sam Chisholm at 94

Flowertales | Roses That Love Where You Live

'Party Hardy' bred by Christian Bedard in Bloom at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show
Flowertales | The Story Grows On Wednesday through Sunday March 20-24, 2019 at Navy Pier
Flowertales | The Story Grows On Wednesday through Sunday March 20-24, 2019 at Navy Pier
Tony Abruscato | Susan Fox in the Rose Garden
Tony Abruscato | Susan Fox in the Rose Garden

“Tony Abruscato, Chicago Flower & Garden Show Director believed we could build a major rose garden at Navy Pier in March & we worked together to make it happen. ~Susan Fox ” 

'Cinco de Mayo' | Easy~To~Love Roses by Weeks Roses Donated by Weeks Roses Forced Into Bloom for The Chicago Flower & Garden Show In March
‘Cinco de Mayo’ | Easy~To~Love Roses by Weeks Roses Donated by Weeks Roses Forced Into Bloom for The Chicago Flower & Garden Show In March

First Blooming Roses In Chicago In Over A Decade!

The Rose Gardens of The Chicago Flower & Garden Show were the first blooming rose gardens at a flower show in over a decade. I was thrilled and honored to be part of this historic event. it. Here’s a rotogravure of the rose gardens of the Chicago Flower & Garden Rose gardens. This year we will be presenting a talk about roses ‘That Love Where You Live.”

'Party Hardy' bred by Christian Bedard in Bloom at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show
‘Party Hardy’ bred by Christian Bedard in Bloom at the Chicago Flower & Garden Show

Roses That Love Where You Live

'Cinco de Mayo' | Easy~To~Love Roses by Weeks Roses
‘Cinco de Mayo’ | Easy~To~Love Roses by Weeks Roses Donated by Weeks Roses Forced Into Bloom for The Chicago Flower & Garden Show by Star Roses & Plants Ball Horticultural Representative Tim Cook

What’s Your Talk About This Year? ‘Roses That Love Where You Live’

Chicago Flower & Garden Rose Garden Walkway
Chicago Flower & Garden Rose Garden Walkway

Success = Decide What You Want To Achieve With Roses

'Julia Child' | Easy~To~Love Roses by Weeks Roses Donated by Weeks Roses Forced Into Bloom for The Chicago Flower & Garden Show In March
‘Julia Child’ | Easy~To~Love Roses by Weeks Roses Donated by Weeks Roses Forced Into Bloom for The Chicago Flower & Garden Show In March
  1. Roses that offer each gardener a beautiful individualized landscape choice suitable for whatever interests them, whether it be:
  2. Landscaping with Roses;
  3. Rose Photography;
  4. Rose Accessorizing;
  5. Flower Arranging;
  6. Rose Collections;
  7. Extension of Interior Décor;
  8. Roses Exhibiting.
Chicago Flower & Garden Show Rose garden in Bloom
Chicago Flower & Garden Show Rose garden in Bloom

What Type of Roses Were In Bloom?

David Austin Rose in Bloom
David Austin Rose in Bloom

The rose garden at The Chicago Flower & Garden Show owned by Tony Abruscato was the first in over a decade to have roses in bloom. The rose gardens consisted of over 1200 hybrid teas, grandifloras, floribundas, KnockOuts, shrubs, drift groundcover roses, climbing roses and landscape roses by both Star Roses and Plants and Weeks Roses.

Chicago Flower & Garden Rose Garden in Bloom
‘Koko Loco’ | Easy~To~Love Roses by Weeks Roses Donated by Weeks Roses Forced Into Bloom for The Chicago Flower & Garden Show In March

Q. What do you hope visitors at the show will take away from your presentation That roses are easy to grow, can require minimal care, are long living, and resilient. Also I want folks to know that sure many rose growers have special techniques, however you need to only know the basics to grow beautiful roses:

Chicago Flower & Garden Rose Garden in Bloom
Chicago Flower & Garden Rose Garden in Bloom
  • 6-8 hours of sun per day
  • Soil nutrients & fertilization
  • Water
  • Fertilizer

Was It Difficult To Force The Roses?

Chicago Flower & Garden Rose Garden In Bloom
Chicago Flower & Garden Rose Garden In Bloom

Here is a question asked of me that you may not know. What is something you can look for in the rose gardens that you might not have otherwise noticed without someone showing you or telling you?

Varieties In The Gardens Blooming:

Information & Education Table with ARS Executive Director
Information & Education Table with ARS Executive Director Signing Up 100’s of Trial Memberships

1200 roses were shipped to a greenhouse bare root in October where they were potted and leafed out. The lighting and heat had to be perfect and a white paper was followed sent by Dr. Keith Zary. It was over 35 pages long and had to be followed by a horticulturists to achieve the results guaranteeing that the roses would be in bloom on these dates.

Star Roses and Plants

Star Roses & Plants By Ball Horticulture

Chicago Flower & Garden Rose In Bloom Walkway
Chicago Flower & Garden Rose In Bloom Walkway
  1. Dee-Lish,
  2. Pink Flamingo,
  3. Eternal Flame,
  4. Apricot Candy,
  5. Sunshine Daydream
Chicago Botanic Senior Horticulturist Rose Docent Tom Soulsby, ARS Executive Director, and Steve
Chicago Botanic Senior Horticulturist Rose Docent Tom Soulsby, ARS Executive Director, and Steve

Weeks Roses

  • ‘Julia Child’
  • ‘Easy Livin’
  • ‘Cinco de Mayo’
  • ‘Koko Loko’
  • ‘Party Hardy’

Rosy Raccoon Raiding Roses

Rosey Racoon Captured in a Safe Capture & Release Cage

Rosey Racoon | Here comes trouble with a capital 'T'! Right Here is Rose garden city!
Rosy Raccoon | It’s 3:00 AM Do You Know Where Your Raccoon Is? | I Do!

Things began to be tossed about in the rose garden. ‘Golden Showers'(LCI), a yellow large-flowered climber I just planted next to ‘Dublin Bay’ was dug up. The bird bath was slung into ‘Love Song’. Weight of the planters was no object.

It looked like a mini-Incredible Hulk was on a rose-garden rampage. Enter trail-cam. ‘Big Daddy’ is a problem solver. We needed facts. What type of creature are we dealing with? The first night I forgot and let our kitties, re-gifted to us by our grand-kids, fondly known as the garage girls outside and we captured a black kitty.

Squeaks was the first capture in our safe catch & release program!
Squeaks our black kitty that was re-gifted to us was the first capture in our safe catch & release program!

The second night we camouflaged the cage with ‘Big Daddy’s’ tarp. The temptation that landed us our Rose Garden midnight marauder was sardines! Oh yeah!

Rosey Racoon Captured in a Safe Capture & Release Cage
Rosy Raccoon Captured in a Safe Capture & Release Cage

Rosy Raccoon Turned Out To be Our Night Time Rose Garden Assailant
Rosy Raccoon Captured Along The Rose Walkway

Take note that Rosy must have felt right at home in the rose garden since we have a raccoon carving ‘Welcome Statue Carving’ at the entrance of the rose walkway. Look at the Trail Cam pic for the Raccoon carving. Irony abounds at Gaga’s Garden. Now Rosy Raccoon is captured. We believe in safe catch and release. We took her/him to a safe space in the witness protection program, a new identity, by a lake where there are no farms or homes for him to cause mischief or meet us back home before we get back.

Rosey Raccoon's Rose Walkway
Rosy Raccoon’s Rose Walkway

 

Mom’s Voice | An Echo For The Ages

'Black Dragon' Peony Blooms

Mother’s Day is the day we honor Mom. Do you hear yourself saying the same witty quips you heard your Mom say to the kids in your life? “Close the door.” Were you born in a barn?!” “Quit running in and out.” Since my Mom was a rosarian, and avid gardener I hear “Mom’s Gardening Tips” in my head!

'Black Dragon' Peony Tree My First Peony That I Planted to Bloom in Illinois
‘Black Dragon’ Peony Tree My First Peony That I Planted to Bloom in Illinois

In honor of Mother’s Day this is a tribute to Mom’s and care-givers everywhere that teach us things we didn’t learn in books or Google Search. Since peonies were Mom’s favorite flower, I wish she were here to see the first peony that I actually planted bloom called ‘Black Dragon’.

'Black Dragon' Peony Blooms
‘Black Dragon’ Peony Blooms | 8 Inches Deep Rose Color | Highly Fragrant

Mother passed away in 1994, yet she walked me through every step of planting “Black Dragon”; I could hear her voice in my head say “plant it level with the ground or it will come up blind.” She walked me through planting and the care of this very special peony. Since I can hear my Mother’s ‘gardening tips’ in my head about taking care of peonies, I thought in honor of my Mom, Dorothy Chisholm Proctor, and Mom’s everywhere that pass on crucial oral history I’d share her 5 peony tips. And I want to thank Mom’s and care-givers everywhere for the crucial role they play and their voices in our head and for passing on the crucial oral knowledge that cannot be learned anywhere else and their profound wisdom that is an echo through the furrows of time.

Dorothy Chisholm Proctor | Mother | Grandmother | Great Grandmother
Dorothy Chisholm Proctor

You don’t realize how magnificent a peony is until you live in a zone without peonies. We couldn’t grow this variety of peony in Texas so you can imaging how I felt when I discovered the secret garden filled with peonies on my property in Illinois. You will want to read this amazing story called In Loving Memory, discovering the hidden peonies.

'Black Dragon' Peony Blooms | Tuberous Begonias for a Size Comparison
‘Black Dragon’ Peony Deep Rose Fuschia Color Blooms | Tuberous Begonias for a Size Comparison | Very Fragrant

Back in Northern Illinois when Mom could no longer do it I would tend to her peonies each year before we pruned the roses by gently taking the digging fork around each peony bush, adding bone meal and topping each bush with love and Canadian Spaghnum peat moss. While working in the hosta this year I was wondering how did our Mom’s know so much without ‘Google Search’, without the Internet? Oral history was key to knowledge. I’ll give you a hint: She read EVERYTHING

'Double KnockOut' 1st rose to Bloom this season
‘Double KnockOut’ 1st rose to Bloom this season

Mom’s 5 Tips On Growing Peonies

  1. Plant peonies at ground level or they “will come up blind” meaning they won’t bloom.
  2. Peonies need ants to bloom.
  3. Surround the plant with Canadian spaghnum peat moss every year
  4. Divide the peony with a sharp pruning shovel to propagate the plant
  5. Add a cup of bone meal around each plant per year

“The first rule of good breeding: never mistreat anyone who is not in a position to retaliate.”~ Dorothy Chisholm Proctor

http:/https://youtu.be/Yj-2y4i2mqI