"You love the roses - so do I. I wishThe rose garden has been spectacular this summer, especially since this is the first year and most of the roses were bare roots when planted in the early spring and even early summer. Yes, we had our share of aphids and brought in the ladybugs to eat them to their hearts content. But the ladybugs left and haven't found their way back in any significant numbers, even though the milkweed aphids are running amuck in another part of the garden. Fickle those ladybugs.
The sky would rain down roses, as they rain
From off the shaken bush. Why will it not?
Then all the valley would be pink and white
And soft to tread on. They would fall as light
As feathers, smelling sweet; and it would be
Like sleeping and like waking, all at once!"
~ George Eliot, Roses
And yes, this was a horrible year for the Japanese beetle... pesky thing that I wish would have stayed in Japan. At first I tried the beetle trap and had it all hung in a tree near the roses; but then I read how this would simply draw all the Japanese beetles from the neighborhood straight into our yard. In fact, the articles said that the best thing to do if you had a beef with a neighbor and really didn't like them would be to give them a beetle trap as a gift or even hang one in THEIR yard. So, I ran down the stairs and out into the yard to the tree; sure enough, in the span of 15 minutes there were 12 beetles in the bag. Plan B.... capture them and drown them in soapy water. I got a huge gallon glass pickle jar...(Mom loves dill pickles and buys these in huge industrial size jars at Sam's)... filled it with dishwashing soap and carried it around the outside, flicking beetles into the soup. The best time to do it is either in the evening or very early morning as they are the least likely to fly at those times. I don't know how many I gathered between the end of May and the first of July, but it was quite a lot and the soapy soupy stuff was quite nasty to look at, particularly since I left the jar outside and we had a lot of sun and a lot of high temperatures during June. Even though it was suggested that you grind up and blend the beetle remains with the soap and spray it on the flowers to repell them... it was just too nasty to deal with. So I left it... and left it... and finally, my brother Stephen couldn't stand it anymore and he disposed of them for me. I was just thinking that if he spread it a little at the edge of the property, perhaps they wouldn't come back. Not likely.
But the roses survived this... looking a bit disheveled but survived. And they survived black spot and me plucking and spraying... new leaves and new buds still emerged. Of all the flowers in the garden and all the gardeners in our garden (Stephen and I)... the roses seemed to enjoy the 98℉ temperatures the most... even with the 85% humidity at times. And they bloomed and bloomed; not all of them at the same time, but there was never a day when we did not have at least three different varieties blooming. And now they continue as it starts, ever so slowly, to cool down.... blooms are expected well into October. One of the plants will bloom until November...
And I will start looking at the new roses for the spring... so many lovely blooms and so little space.
(end of post)