Archive for June, 2011

Deer and Rabbits

We are seeing a lot of rabbits, and only occasional sign of deer this spring. So far I have seen little obvious deer damage to the rose garden. I did apply my first application of deer repellant with my regular fungicide spray on May 21. That was also the day I noticed that four newly planted miniatures had disappeared. I had planted them 3 or 4 days earlier. These were plants of one of my Party Girl seedlings that I had started last fall. They had completely disappeared. Only the name stakes were left standing, no stubble or roots were left. It could have been a deer, but I saw no hoof marks. I suspect a bunny pulled them out, un-established roots and all . I should have sprayed them with the “deer repellant” that has been so effective with my broccoli and bean seedlings this spring..
A possible correction: A woodchuck was spotted in our yard. He may be the baby rose bush puller.



Late May and early June is the time when you should start checking on your roses daily, with a mind to get more roses to the show. I am thinking especially of the disbudding that will improve your specimens for the show. One bloom per stem roses are seldom produced naturally. Most one bloom per stem roses are produced by the prompt disbudding of rose stems by the rosarian. To produce the 1-bloom roses, remove the side buds from promising looking stems. On the other hand, if you want nice symmetrical rose sprays, one should remove the terminal or central main bud from a stem which is developing with numerous side buds. That way the plant does not waste energy on the terminal bud, but develops larger side buds and a more symmetrical spray. I like to do this with the first large shoots, with side buds, that develop about 4 weeks before the show. If I let the terminal bud develop into a bloom, it would probably open a week before the show. However, if I remove the terminal bud, and let the side buds develop a spray, they may be ready to open a week later, just in time for our show.

May Showers Bring Roses?

We have had a lot of showers during the last half of May. So far most everything is thriving, so maybe that is true for roses. I have certainly been busy draining off the excess water from the watering trays for the “sale miniatures”. We have to keep them from drowning. Our lawns and vegetable gardens are doing exceptionally well. Our annual flower beds are mostly tilled and were mostly planted by Memorial Day. We still planted a couple of flats of begonias and some other annuals in the first week of June…
I am in the process of spreading our 7 yards of hardwood bark. Our rose beds get the first call on bark. When most of the roses are mulched , we may find other places to put the mulch. Weeds are always a problem for gardeners, but without mulch, weeds are going to keep me busy all summer. This time of the year separates the hardy roses from the tender roses. While the truly winter hardy roses are producing exceptionally large and vigorous shoots, the more tender ones are more behind on their growth and maturity. When roses are green but producing no shoots, or few shoots, they are probably trying to recover from under ground winter damage. Our roses with numerous blossom shoots at this time, include Olympiad, Dublin, Mavrik, Marijke Koopman, Rena Hugo, Moonstone, & Touch of Class. . We have a couple of Signature bushes that are doing very well, but our oldest and usually strongest bush of Signature is recovering from winter damage. Floribundas that look good this spring are Europeana, Lavaglut, and First Addition. The volume of roses one brings to the show is not the most important factor. Quality is more important, especially in the Queen competition. A single bloom produced on a plant, may defeat numerous lesser blooms when it is well prepared. Timing is very important. Unfortunately, for the spring bloom, someone else is doing most of the timing. Some of the plants that have been slow to grow, may beautify our gardens after our spring shows are past. Last month I mentioned Marilyn Monroe as one of the tender roses that looked good this spring. That was true, but they are not growing well. Apparently, they don’t have good legs under them yet. The Color Magic rose that looked “dead as a doornail” last month, is now producing some shoots. Touch of Class is quite winter hardy, but it is still one of our later blooming roses. We hope some are open in time for our June 18 show.

Night Raiders

On the early morning of Thursday, June 2, the deer raiders struck our front yard. Many of our better developed rose shoots became a before light of day snack. Famous victims were Dublin, Uncle Joe, and Marilyn Monroe. Most note worthy was the loss of 5 out of 6 big blooms of Irma Jean. The Liquid Fence had been applied last on Monday. At least they did not get the back yard that time.

Annual Picnic at the Powell Ranch

You are invited to join us on Tuesday, July 19 for the the Grand Valley Rose Society Picnic at the Powell Ranch,at 6:30 PM. Please bring a dish to pass for this potluck supper as we talk about roses and enjoy each other’s company!

Tour at the Blok and Vander Male Homes

On June 21 (Tuesday) 6 pm: The Grand Valley Rose Society will tour the Blok gardens and then detour over to the Vander Male Gardens for a Tour until dark.

The Blok-Vander Male Tour
At last! A garden tour with lots of roses in bloom! At our May Board meeting, the Board voted to replace the usual June rose society meeting with a garden tour. We are hopeful that there will be lots of beautiful blooms to enjoy.
The tour will include the Blok Garden, at 4770 Sheri Lynn Dr. S.W. in Wyoming, and the Vander Male Garden, at 3060 Richmond N.W., in Walker. At the Blok garden, beginning at about 6 PM, you will view a garden with one of the largest number of large modern exhibition roses in our area. We are working to get our rose signs up-to-date, for ease of identification.
At around 7 PM, the tour will move on to the Vander Male Garden. The Vander Male’s garden represents the other extreme of rose gardening. Though they occasionally exhibit roses at our shows, they have a beautifully landscaped garden that features a large number of beautiful landscape and garden roses. They have often hosted garden tours. Refreshments will be served there. If you want to bring some treats, they will be welcome. Marcy says, “Please bring your lawn chairs, and make yourself comfortable.”

To find the Blok Garden, go to the intersection of 44th St. S.W. and Byron Center Ave. Take Byron Center Ave. south ½ mile, and turn left onto Easy St. The first left off Easy St. is Sheri Lynn Dr. The 2nd house on the right is the Blok House..
Going to the Vander Male’s, go north on Byron Center Ave., to 28th St. Go west on 28th St. to Wilson in Grandville, then follow Wilson north past Johnson Park, and continue on Wilson north to Leonard St. (north of Standale). Turn right on Leonard and go to Kenney Ave. Follow Kenney north to Remembrance Rd. Take a sharp right and go one block to Richmond. Follow Richmond east to 3060 Richmond St.

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