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Rosa Jacques Cartier (1868).

Rosa Jacques Cartier (1868).

Now that is a picture to get me started! I love roses.  Especially pink ones, but really any color makes me smile.  These just fill the little rose garden with color!The rose garden.

The rose garden.

This has been a very good season for black spot, unfortunately.  I was away this spring, when I think I should have been tending the roses to prevent black spot.  I still have not found an organic method, which annoys me.  This is my garden story as I grow and learn, black spots and all.  I think it would be quite misleading to leave out the rough patches that might be involved in gardening.  While I’m at my confession, I’ll add that I didn’t prune my roses this year (yikes!).  I just was completely unsure of how to go about it and procrastinated too long.  Then it was too late!

Burgundy Ice Floribunda Rose.

Burgundy Ice Floribunda Rose.

Burgundy Ice Floribunda rose.

Burgundy Ice Floribunda rose.

I think pruning them is helpful to prevent black spot (gives better air circulation).  I have been cutting away as much of the black spot as I can manage.  I was really surprised this week when a bunch of roses bloomed – I thought they were too far gone!  The worst affected were the Rosa Jacques Cartier (1868), but they weren’t the only ones.

Rosa Jacques Cartier (1868).

Rosa Jacques Cartier (1868).

Rosa Jacques Cartier (1868).

Rosa Jacques Cartier (1868). This rose is incredibly fragrant.  The walkway to the front door smells beautiful!  How lucky to be able to plant them there!

Zephirine Drouhin (1868).

Zephirine Drouhin (1868). In this picture you can see the black spots on some of the leaves. (I must get out there and cut those off!) These roses are at my front gate.

Zephirine Drouhin (1868).

Zephirine Drouhin (1868).

I need some more color in my rose garden. 🙂  There must be some more varied shades of pink out there!

Silver Anniversary Hybrid Tea Rose.

Silver Anniversary Hybrid Tea rose.

Iceberg Floribunda rose.

Iceberg Floribunda rose.

I do like the white roses, too, though.  I would really like to get a better handle on this black spot situation…

Poppies on the other hand, have no problems like black spot.  My only problem with them is their falling over!

Poppies.

Poppies.

The center of that big mess of greens holds a very large bunch of fallen-over poppies!  I’ve tried to pull them up. I’m not sure yet if it is going to work.  I will (humbly?) point out that the fence has been painted again this year.  My daughter was a big help with this job.  I have to say that I enjoyed doing it.  I really like how it brightens things up!

A "relaxed look" garden.

A “relaxed look” garden.

I like seeing the bright red flowers when I’m in the yard. The red really jumps out, even from a distance.  It is a very relaxed looking garden, nothing formal here!  The daisies are just about ready to bloom next to the never ending poppies.

Poppies.

Poppies.

A very wrinkled looking poppy!

A very wrinkled looking poppy!

As for some of the vegetables in the garden, things are growing!  We started planting asparagus two years ago.  That means that next year we’ll be able to actually eat some!  There really weren’t too many stalks, so this year we planted a full bed of different varieties.  Through some research we learned that asparagus like mushroom compost.  If our experience is anything to go by, this is certainly the case! What an amazing amount of growth we’ve seen this year.

A look at the growing asparagus.

A look at the growing asparagus.

Just about every crown we planted has grown.  These are one year old crowns.  This is much, much nicer looking than the few crowns that had been limping along the past two seasons.  I’m giving full credit to the mushroom compost we used this year.  We are really hopeful for a good crop next year!

Asparagus (the first year planting 1 year old crowns).

Asparagus (the first year planting 1 year old crowns).

Asparagus planted 2 years ago, peeking through.

Asparagus planted 2 years ago, peeking through.

That purple guy was planted two years ago.  I cut the stalk down last week because it was too tall and was falling over.  I think this would actually be ready for eating – if it was a one year old crown when planted.  It’s a bit funny just having one spear though!

Baby asparagus!

Baby asparagus!

You can really see the difference in thickness of these and the purple guy.  My soil looks really dry.  It isn’t actually, but we get a lot of wind which dries the top layer (quickly!).

Brussels Sprouts.

Brussels Sprouts.

This year we are trying Brussels Sprouts!  My blogging friend Claire over at Promenade Plantings http://promenadeplantings.com/2013/04/03/all-about-brussels/ gave some really helpful hints on getting started with sprouts.  I’m not sure if we started early enough, but my fingers are crossed!  The main thing was to really pack down the earth before planting.  I wish I had a photograph, because my husband and daughter really had fun dancing on the bed to prepare it!  It was well packed down to say the least! 🙂

Brussels Sprouts.

Brussels Sprouts.

The next big job we had was to take off any critters (worms). We, actually my girls did this job, took off a bunch of worms this week.  So now I’m keeping a close eye on the plants.  Funny enough, the pigeons haven’t eaten the leaves, which they apparently like to do.  I’m counting my lucky stars, because there are so many pigeons around here!

Brussels Sprouts.

Brussels Sprouts.

We’ll see how it goes.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained! Have you tried anything new in the garden this year?

Dana

Too pretty to leave behind!

Too pretty to leave behind!

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