Keeping the garden tidy requires a few deft moves with the right tools, and, time and again over the seasons, shrub rakes are... Read more »
Entire books have been written on the science of making compost, but it isn’t as hard as people think. In five easy steps, you... Read more »
Weeding, pruning, and raking all make a huge difference in the appearance of a garden, but, to finish the job, you have to rou... Read more »
The Fiskars® aluminum shrub rake features a slim head with uniquely tapered tines that are perfect for reaching into tight spac... Read more »
Our Eco Bin Composter features an easy-to-assemble, easy-to-use design that can simplify and speed the composting process. It i... Read more »
Our HardShell® Kangaroo® Gardening Container is perfect for all your outdoor cleanup needs — whether you’re gathering yard and... Read more »
Are school fundraiser ideas keeping you up at night? A unique handmade art piece that represents your school is sure to be a p... Read more »
Creating beautiful and personal touches does not have to be difficult, especially when you have great designs to work with! Read more »
Recycle and give a new life to some of your old T-shirts Read more »
Teresa Collins is a top craft celebrity who has been featured numerous times on My Craft Channel, HSN, QVC and DIY network, wel... Read more »
Our unique Tag Maker with Built-in Eyelet Setter features an innovative design that makes it easy to create tags perfect for gi... Read more »
By creating a few simple tags, you won’t be caught at the fabric store not knowing what fabrics or yardage you have in your st... Read more »
A brocade drawstring pouch can be a beautiful and luxurious accessory or gift. Read more »
Transform a simple hoodie into a super simple unicorn costume and take the stress and pressure out of making a complicated Hal... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Serrated Fabric Shears sense blade separation an... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Try some new punches out and make some cards to celebrate World Card Making Day! Read more »
A personalized Duck Tape® crown is quick and easy to make with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors. It is a fun way to cele... Read more »
Our Preschool Training Scissors features a special training lever that opens the blades after each cut, helping children learn... Read more »
Children love our Designer Non-stick Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the colorful handle patterns that make cutting fun and the non... Read more »
Our Designer Non-stick Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those ol... Read more »
Transform a basic jacket into something personal and unique. Read more »
Create a simple reusable calendar to plan all of your back to school activities. Read more »
Creating a miniature collage with your Fiskars® Duck® Edition Scissors is a great way to use up any last bits of Duck Tape® yo... Read more »
Designed for long, easy cuts down strips of Duck® Tape, our Duck® Edition Scissors feature a non-stick blade coating that preve... Read more »
Designed for all-purpose cutting through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
Designed for tight, precise cuts through a range of craft materials that incorporate glue, tape and other sticky adhesives, our... Read more »
I probably make this comparison because I’ve raised two children and still have two in their teens. Trust me, they are the most precious flowers in my garden, but they often make me pay for such beauty.
So, how can we best care for them?
Mulch. In fall, I tuck all of my plants in for winter with a blanket of mulch, paying particular care to the roses. I prefer shredded leaves because they compost quickly and make the soil even more fertile and friable. However, any organic mulch, including pine straw, will do.
Pruning. Before everything leafs out in spring, I spend a couple of weeks pruning. However, I wait until after the climbers have bloomed to prune them. Since I live in the middle south, I generally prune mid-February, but there have been years when I’ve pruned later, and all was well.
To prevent disease, pruning shears must be sharp and clean. In the photo below, I used Fiskars new and very sharp Quantum™ Bypass Pruner. I like the smooth action of the Quantum™ tools. For larger canes, I employ the 23-inch Quantum™ lopper. It’s small enough to reach the center of a rosebush without becoming unwieldy in a tight space. Don’t be intimidated by pruning. Roses are tough, and like our children, forgive parental missteps. In milder areas of the country, strip any leaves that remain from winter. Then, remove all dead or dying canes. For live canes, hold pruners at a slant or angle and snip above the swelling bud.
Food and Water. Roses are difficult only because no advice holds consistently true from year to year - at least, not in my part of the world. Seasons and climates change, and gardeners are at the mercy of their environment. We must hold onto what we know and keep learning.
A quote I love from English gardener, Carol Klein: “I never feed my plants. I feed the soil because it’s the soil that feeds the plants.”
This is wisdom. If you nurture your soil, it will care for your plants.
Plant new roses in full, or nearly full, sun. This may seem obvious, but roses need sunshine to produce more flowers and increase their resistance to disease. At planting time and in March, I feed the soil with a natural fertilizer. Since I grow more than 90 roses, I have a system to know which roses have been fed. After I scratch the feed into the ground, I place fresh mulch, like cottonseed hulls or more shredded leaves, on top. At a glance, I can tell which roses still need some tender loving care. In summer, when the entire garden suffers from heat stress, I spray an organic, foliar fertilizer in the morning. This gives leaves a chance to dry. Compost tea also works. The roses seem to appreciate it – as much as difficult teenagers ever seem to appreciate anything.
Prevent disease. Your best safeguard is to choose disease resistant cultivars. I’m fond of many roses, including ‘Carefree Beauty,’ ‘The Fairy,’ ‘Perle d’Or’ and ‘Marie Daly,’ all of which carry the Earth-Kind® designation from the Texas A&M AgriLife Center. I also like Pink Drift® (Rosa ‘Meijocos’) and OSO Easy® Paprika.
To prevent disease, try these additional tips:
You don’t have to spray. I stopped spraying my roses with anything other than lime or sulphur in early spring and Neem oil occasionally.
Sadly, we must also discuss Rose Rosette Disease. This problem, which is showing up in many gardens, is disastrous. Although I removed any roses in my garden with the disease, some rosarians suggest you may be able to cut diseased canes at the base of the plant to stop infection. So far, I’ve been too worried about my other roses to do this. One way RRD spreads is by microscopic, wingless, Eriophyid mites. There is no cure for RRD. Watch for witch’s brooms and red foliage that looks strange and never becomes green when mature. If you find and remove an infected plant, try to get all of the roots. The infection will not remain in the soil, but can be spread to roses from root to root.
Just like young people, roses are social. They don’t want to grow alone. They flourish when planted with shrubs and grasses. They want low growing annuals and perennials to cover their bare knees. Don’t be afraid to pair them with other plants, but buy disease resistant cultivars that don’t mind confined quarters.
Growing roses and raising teenagers are not for the timid. Both can be quite tricky, but pay close attention to their needs, and they will, one day, burst forth into flower. There is nothing like a rose garden, or a high school graduation in spring.