Archive for August, 2011

What a Summer!

What A Summer!
What an interesting gardening summer we are having! After a wet June, the first half of July threatened to become really dry. Then we received some lighter hold-us-over showers that helped our sprinklers keep things growing. The last week of July was bonus rain week, as we received about 4 inches of generally welcome rain.
The less welcome thing about July this year was the resurgence of the Japanese beetle population. Last year most people reported seeing fewer beetles, but this year they are back, at least in the Blok garden. I suspect the 2009-2010 winter was harder on the beetles than last winter. I only hope we will start seeing a rapid decrease in beetle population as we get into August. I am afraid that even if the beetle population declines as we approach September, the leaf damage that the beetles are doing in the garden, will linger on the bushes as our September 3 rose show approaches.
I have been cutting back quite a few roses, beginning in mid-July. It is a guessing game. I am trying to recycle our roses, mainly the large roses, so that more of them will delay their bloom until rose show time in September. One of the complications is that our September shows are 2 weeks apart, and I feel I am shooting at a moving target.


Black Spot

Other Garden Maintenance
The hot, humid weather of late July and early August are ideal growing conditions for black spot fungus. Even though we have been spraying regularly at 1 to 2 week intervals, there is plenty of evidence that black spot lives here, especially on miniatures, and certain susceptible floribundas. I have started to alternate fungicide products, hoping that in may be more effective than using the same fungicide, or fungicide mix for each spraying. There is good news too. Powdery mildew is unusually scarce this summer. Powdery mildew favors cooler, drier growing conditions than we have had.


After the heavy rains of late July, I decided that it was time to re-fertilize. In the last week of July I applied another application of fertilizer to both our lawn, and our rose beds. Since we no longer are using time release fertilizer products, I suspect there is more danger of leaching away during heavy rains.

Grand Valley Fall Trophies

Fall Trophy Turn-in
If you have Grand Valley Fall trophies, please turn them in on Friday, Sept. 3, or early on Sept. 3, in the downstairs show area at Meijer Gardens. Please do not turn in spring trophies at this time, since we do not have storage space for them.

District Trophies

Great Lakes District Trophies
As we understand the matter, Great Lakes District rose trophies are due to be turned in at
the Fall District Show on Sept. 17 in East Lansing. Unless the District Board acts to exempt some trophies from retirement, all trophies will be disposed of, returned to their donors, or given away. It is hard to find people who are willing to manage, and store the many trophies involved, and engraving is getting more expensive too.

Judges Coffee

Judges’ Coffee
On the morning of Sept. 3 (show prep time), we will need some people to contribute goodies for the Judges Coffee. If you plan to make such a contribution on or before 10 AM, call Irma Blok so she will not need to worry ahead of time.

Upcoming Show Dates

All Rose Shows at Fredrick Meijer Gardens, Grand Rapids

September 3-4 2011 Fall Show
June 23 – 24 2012 Spring Show
September 8-9, 2012 Fall Show

Deer Raid

I needed a lesson in preventative care! This morning August 8, I found I was too late. The deer had cleaned off 2 or 3 of my most promising rose bushes in the front yard. You guessed what I did next. Irma complains of the stink.

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