The Weekly Gardener 1


April. Still Cold.

Tulips? Yes, please!

Red Tulip

I always plant tulips. I've had beautiful ruffled pink ones, and fringed parrot ones, standard, double, lily flowering, you name it, I've tried them. I rarely see any in my garden.

They don't like the soil or the light levels, or something, or maybe they get eaten over the winter, who knows? Fact is I don't normally see tulips in spring. There are two exceptions to this rule: a beautiful West Point variety, bright yellow, with splendid lily flowering buds on long, slender stems, and now this.

Don't judge, I can tell it is a standard tulip with no remarkable qualities, but it managed to make it to year two, which is rare, and it's not even in full sun, so I'm counting my blessings.

From what I gathered I don't plant tulip bulbs deep enough, but I doubt that is the only reason. Over many years of gardening plants taught me they have veto rights about where they are willing to grow, and I suffered many pangs of guilt over watching them wither pitifully, despite all my caring and effort. In such situations I just accept the fact that I am not going to grow that particular plant and move on.

Meanwhile April Fool brought the rain instead of the cold, and with it more excuses to postpone the spring cleaning. By the time I get to it, I'll be harvesting seeds for next year.


Rose Babies

Rose Propagation

This rose's parent succumbed two years ago during a brutal winter its little offspring managed to survive. That portion of the garden, which, incidentally, is the same one that sprouted the tulip, must have miraculous properties.

Said flower bed is mostly in the shade, on top of a mound that doesn't get a lot of water during the summer, or a lot of care in general. I almost feel like my garden is trying to tell me it's faring better without my input. I'm hurt.

Anyway, the tiny rose bush in the picture doesn't get significantly bigger when summer rolls in, but it always manages to sprout at least one flower, just to assert itself.

If you want to know how to propagate roses from cuttings, you can find an article that describes the process here. Every year I ask myself why I don't try to start more roses from cuttings, and then remember I barely have enough room for the existing ones.

I could try to start this variety again, somewhere in part shade, since it doesn't seem to mind, but as I said, the originals have died, and their progeny is too young.

A walk around the garden confirmed that all the roses benefited from a milder winter; even one of the Peace shrubs I thought long dead decided to come back to life. I fear the graft bud was irreversibly damaged by the freeze and I'm now looking at another Dr. Huey.