Pine Straw as Mulch in Your Garden

pine straw 2

I was reading an old issue of Horticulture magazine and came across a question, “Will applying pine straw to my landscape beds acidify the soil?”

Here is what the article says: “According to a study of mulches in the Journal of Arboriculture, using pine straw can indeed lower the pH of soil. Florida researchers found that a 3.5-inch layer of pine needles decomposed more rapidly than any of the bark and wood chip mulches tested, reducing in depth by half in a single year, and, in the process, lowering the underlying soil pH from 5 to 4.4. Pine needles makes an excellent mulch for acid loving rhododendrons, camellias, and blueberries. When used as a mulch for other plants, a scattering of ground limestone should offset any pH drop. To be sure that the pH of the soil in your garden beds remains at the optimal level, have your soil tested every few years by your local cooperative extension service or other professional testing laboratory.”

I wonder if this was the reason why my neighbor’s roses which I planted fare poorly than the one I have in my yard. Hers was mulched with pine straw by the HOA and mine is with black cedar mulch paid by me. I take care of both beds and they both received the same amount of care except for the mulch. My side looks much better than my neighbor and I could not figure out why. So this must be the reason why.

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

Proven Products for Rose Gardeners

Veterans' Honor 2

If you are looking for some great products for rose gardeners, here are some that have undergone extensive testing by ARS members and found to be of high quality:

 

  • Bayer Advanced All-in-One Rose and Flower care
  • Garden Safe Brand Rose and Flower Insect Killer
  • Mills Easy Feed 20-10-6
  • Mills Magic Rose Mix
  • Miracle-Gro Garden Soil for Roses
  • Miracle-Gro Water Soluble Plant Food

 

Other products that I have used and recommend highly:

 

Until Next time. Stop and Smell the Roses

Rosalinda R Morgan

Author & Garden Writer

A Red, Red Rose for Valentine’s Day

A Red, Red Rose

By Robert Burns (1759-1796)

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O, my Luve’s like a red, red rose,

That’s newly sprung in June.

O, my Luve’s like a melodie

That’ sweetly play’d in tune.

 

As fair as thou, my bonnie lass,

So deep in love am I;

And I will love thee still, my dear,

Till a’ the seas gang dry.

 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

 

Until next time. Stop and Smell the Roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady

 

 

Abraham Darby

 

abraham-darby

Photo from David Austin Roses

Auscot – David Austin 1985

 

Abraham Darby is one of the most vigorous of all David Austin Roses.  Having heard from fellow rosarians that it bears long arching canes, I decided to plant it along a fence on the west side of my property in New York and let it spread out.  Abraham Darby is a well-rounded shrub which bears numerous, very large 5” across, very full (41+ petals), cluster-flowered, in small clusters, old fashioned, quartered bloom form, double cup-shaped flowers in shades of apricot becoming tinted with pink as they age.  Few roses make such a fine display or produce such magnificent blooms with glossy green foliage all through the season.  To encourage a better crop of flowers and help maintain its compact form, summer pruning is recommended.  The growth is vigorous and reliable and it repeats well.  Height is 5 ft. x 5 ft. or 8 ft. as a climber.

 

Abraham Darby is an outstanding rose with disease resistance, very prolific and continually blooming throughout the season.  I planted a pink clematis next to it and they complemented very nicely.  It has a rich, fruity fragrance with a refreshing sharpness.  Abraham Darby is named after one of the founding figures of the Industrial Revolution, who lived in Shropshire.

 

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda Morgan, The Rose Lady

Author of “The Wentworth Legacy”

www.rosalindarmorgan.com

 

 

Red-Rose Tree

A poem by Robert Browning (1812-1889) dedicated to women and roses.

 

The dream of a red-rose tree.

And which of its roses three

Is the dearest rose to me?

Round and round, like a dance of snow

In a dazzling drift, as its guardians, go

Floating the women faded for ages,

Sculptured in stone, on the poet’s pages.

Then follow women fresh and gay,

Living and loving and loved to-day.

Last, in the rear, flee the multitude of maidens,

Beauties yet unborn. And all, to one cadence,

They circle their rose on my rose tree.

 

Dear rose, thy term is reached,

Thy leaf hangs loose and bleached:

Bees pass it unimpeached.

Stay then, stoop, since I cannot climb,

You, great shapes of the antique time!

How shall I fix you, fire you, freeze you,

Break my heart at your feet to please you?

Oh, to possess and be possessed!

Hearts that beat ‘neath each pallid breast!

Once but of love, the poesy, the passion,

Drink but once and die! – In vain, the same fashion,

They circle their rose on my rose tree.

 

The Hildesheim Rose

Hildesheim Rose

I heard it all the time that the rose is difficult to grow and yet the Hildesheim Rose is estimated at approximately 1,000 years old. It is said to be the oldest rosebush in the world.  It is the one climbing the wall of the apse of the Cathedral of Hildesheim in their courtyard at Hildesheim, Germany. It is a symbol of the city of Hildesheim and its prosperity. According to the legend, as long as the rose keeps blooming, Hildesheim will not decline. During World War II in 1945 allied bombers destroyed the cathedral yet the rose not only survived the bomb attacks but it grew new shoots just a few weeks later and soon was growing strong as ever.   It has withstood war, drought, pestilence and poison gas to bloom serenely every summer against the Cathedral wall.

There are several mythical explanations of the origin of this rose.  The most appealing story is that of Emperor Louis who became separated from his men while out hunting for deer.  Night was falling and the snow was blowing fiercely about him as he hung his crucifix on a thorn tree, knelt and prayed for help.  Worn out from his exertion he curled up in the snow and slept.  The next morning he awoke to find his crucifix hanging from a rose tree in full bloom.  And through the leafless forest he saw his companions walking toward him.  In thanksgiving he built a chapel on the spot.  The chapel grew in size until it became the great Cathedral of Hildesheim against which the rose still blooms.

Until next time. Stop and smell the roses.

Rosalinda, The Rose Lady

Author and Garden Writer

 

 

The Green Rose

Is there a pot of gold for us lovers of roses? For all the Irish in all of us and lovers of roses, let us think green, not a shamrock but a green rose. Not St. Patrick rose which only has a tint of green, but a real Green Rose.

 The Green Rose

 

At one of the meetings of the Charleston Lowcountry Rose Society, I won a unique rose called Viridiflora ‘Rosa Monstrosa’, otherwise known as Green Rose. Records say Green Rose has been in cultivation as early as 1743 and is a sport from Rosa Indica (The China Rose of England and the Daily Rose of America).

 

The Green Rose is a small plant that grows to 3’ tall and has few thorns. It can be grown in a pot, and is rarely out of “blooms”. The buds are small, oval, of soft bluish green color but unless you know what you’re looking for, it is hard to find the bud since the bush is totally green. The “blooms” are usually formed in clusters continually throughout the season and look wonderful. The petals of the bloom revert back to leaves (petals are modified leaves). The bloom does not have reproductive organs. As you would expect from an Old Garden Rose, Green Rose is fragrant too. It has a spicy fragrance. The Green Rose is an oddity and people either love it or hate it.

 

So for rose lovers, take pride. We have our own green to celebrate. It is a wonderful rose to use as a filler material in arrangements or as a landscape rose. But I’m sure some visitors to your garden will undoubtedly say “That’s not a rose.  You got to be kidding.” or worst yet, “That is the ugliest flower I’ve ever seen. Why do you give it space?” Because it is a great conversation piece to say the least. Plant it and you might like it. It is worth a try. Just as when you present your friend with a perfect red rose and they ask “Is that real?” I bet you this same person will tell you this rose is not real. But it is a real rose. The Green Rose is just that, a green rose.

 

“May the sun shine warm upon your face

And

May the rains fall softly upon your rose beds.”

 

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!!

 

Contrary to popular belief, roses are not that difficult to grow. Why do you think Roses have been around for millions of years?  All they need are food, water and sunlight.  Just like you and me. If you supply their basic needs, you’ll be rewarded with beautiful and fragrant flowers like the Green Rose. Unlike other plants that only bloom once a year like azaleas, roses bloom all season long. If you keep on pruning them, you’ll get another bloom in 5-6 weeks.

If you have any questions on roses, ask the Rose Gardening World group on Facebook, they will share their rose knowledge with you. Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/128765990560518/

Happy Rose Gardening!!!