“Summer Mornings In The Garden”


In spite of the heat, I always enjoy summer mornings in the garden.  Here’s my routine:  First thing when I get up is to feed Magnolia, my cat.  She never lets me forget that I am here to serve (her).  Next, put on the coffee.  While that’s brewing, get the paper.  Then it’s out to the garden with a cup of coffee.

First thing in the garden is to refresh the water in the bird bath and the two little saucers of water for both the birds and bees.  I have three crape myrtle trees which are blooming and when you get near them, they’re buzzing with the sound of bees.  Bees, our important pollinators, also drink a lot of water—so the water is for both the birds and bees.  I also refill the bird feeders—one with thistle and one for the humming birds.

Next I spray off all the roses with a fine mist.  This doesn’t take long, but it refreshes/hydrates each bush and knocks off any aphids.  After that, I water all the roses that are in pots, 17 of them.  The balance of my roses are in the ground—26 of them, and each has two irrigation sprinklers.  In the summer, I set their watering schedule for 2 hours every other day, starting at 8:30 in the morning.

The final thing that I’m having outstanding success with this summer is special watering for two of my rose shrubs.  “Sally Holmes” is a huge bush which gets 4 times the rose food as all of the other bushes.  This summer I’m giving her additional water—I set a sprinkler on her once a week for 45 minutes.  The results are amazing.  She only blooms on new growth and for the first time in the many years I’ve had her, her second bloom is almost as beautiful as her April bloom.  Since this has been successful, I’m now providing the same watering for “Pillow Fight”.  And, yes, the water bill has definitely taken a hit, but I think it’s worth it.

This routine is most enjoyable and rewarding, providing me an opportunity to bond with my roses on a daily basis.

Liz Strong


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