async defer src="//" My Enchanting Cottage Garden: June 2015

About Me

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Gardening is my middle name. I have been an avid gardener for 50 years.  My goal is to help anyone who wants to start a Cottage Garden, be able to do so without the expense and frustration of beginning gardeners. I hope to encourage readers to share their thoughts and experience and help make this blog a knowledgeable and fun read.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

How to Grow Climbing Clematis in Your Garden

Clematis are not as hard to grow as you may think. They are easier to prune than you think, too! Clematis plants are among the most popular and attractive flowering vines grown in the home landscape. These plants include woody, deciduous vines as well as herbaceous and evergreen varieties. They also vary greatly among species, with different flowering forms, colors, and blooming seasons, though most bloom sometime between early spring and fall.Growing clematis successfully depends on the type chosen; however, most plants share the same basic growing requirements. Keep reading to learn more about clematis care.


How to Grow Clematis

For proper care of clematis, clematis vines prefer sunny locations (at least six hours of sun needed for blooming) but the soil should be kept cool. An easy way to accomplish this is by planting some type of ground cover or shallow-rooted perennial plants around the clematis. A 2-inch layer of mulch can also be incorporated to keep the roots cool and moist.
Growing clematis vines must be supported in some fashion as well. The type of support system is usually dependent on the variety grown. For instance, poles are acceptable choices for smaller growing clematis vines, which can range anywhere from 2 to 5 feet in height. Arbors may be more suitable for growing larger types, which can get 8 to 12 feet. Most varieties, however, do quite well growing along a trellis or fence.
jackmani_dk_purple_jj_6-10 Jackmanii

Clematis Planting Info

Although many clematis vines are grown in containers, they can also be planted in the garden. They are usually planted in fall or early spring, depending on the region and variety.
Clematis plants need plenty of space for adequate air flow as well as a rich, well-draining planting area. You should dig the hole large enough to accommodate the plant, with most recommendations suggesting at least a two foot depth of soil amended with compost prior to planting. It may also help to cut the plant back some before planting to lessen shock as it adapts to its new environment.


Tips for Clematis Care

Once established, care of clematis vines is minimal with the exception of watering. They should be watered about an inch or so weekly, and more deeply during dry spells. Mulch should be replenished each spring. In addition, be on the lookout for common problems affecting these plants. Clematis wilt can cause vines to suddenly collapse and die after their foliage and stems have blackened. Powdery mildew often affects plants with poor air circulation. Aphids and spider mites can be a problem as well.


Pruning Care of Clematis

Annual pruning may also be required to keep clematis plants looking their best. Pruning clematis helps plants remain both attractive and full of flowers. The type of clematis vine grown dictates when and how it should be pruned.
For example, early spring-blooming varieties should be pruned back as soon as possible following their blooming but before July, as they bud on previous season’s growth. Large-flowering types that bloom in mid spring should be cut back to the topmost buds in late winter/early spring. Late-blooming varieties should be pruned back about two or three feet in late winter/early spring.

montana broughton star
Montana Broughton Star

Nothing is more satisfying than seeing your efforts pay off with a plant covered in flowers year after year! Clematis can be a part of any size garden and they live for very many years.  Since Clematis live up to 50 years or more, you should take the time to plant each one carefully.


Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Seven Best Yellow Roses for a Cottage Garden

As roses go, it is hard to pick a favorite, but I would say I have a definite leaning toward yellow roses.  Yellow roses speak to me in the morning with their cheery “Hello Sunshine” nod. I am posting pictures of some of my favorites through the years. Some are a pure and noble yellow, some have a subtle blend of apricot and cream.  Choose your favorite.

DSC03356Graham Thomas a David Austin rose 
Lady Hillingdon Tea rose 2
Lady Hillingdon Tea Climber
golden celebration
Golden Celebration a David Austin rose
autumn sunset
Autumn Sunset Climber
Lady Banks Rambler Climbing rose
Jude the Obscure 
Jude the Obscure a David Austin Rose

Last but not least is my no-name rose. I have lost the tag and forgotten the name but it is one of my best performers in the garden. Love this cheery color.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

How to Care for June Roses

No other time of the year do roses bloom so profusely than the month of June.  June roses scream for attention and adoration, and we give them both in equal measure. My favorite time to walk through my garden is in the early morning right before the morning sun peaks over the fan palm to blindly scald the garden in a brilliant aura of light. The morning roses smell so sweet and beckon me to come nearer and have a peek. It leaves me with an incredible feeling of peace and serenity. Here are a few gardening tips for getting your June roses up to peak performance. I have included my favorite rose pictures.

Planting and care: Roses tend to be sun-worshippers, so choose an area where they will receive at least six hours of direct sunlight a day.
Getting started: Prepare your rose beds for your June roses by digging a hole larger in width and depth than the size of the root system. Combine soil with an all-purpose planting mix that’s high in nutrients and organic matter. Compost is my go-to soil amendment.   David Austin Roses also suggest adding mychorrizal to the soil for those of us with less than perfect soil. It adds all the good microorganisms needs for good growth and bloom. Mycorrhizal fungal filaments in the soil are truly extensions of root systems and are more effective in nutrient and water absorption than the roots themselves..  Place amended soil into the planting hole to form a cone-shaped mound, which allows the rose to sit at the correct height for planting. Grafted roses need to be planted so the graft union is just below soil level. For own-root roses, the union should be one inch below soil level.
What to do: Fill hole with soil ¾ full then add two to three gallons of water. Let it drain completely; finish with soil and water again. Pack the soil around the root system and make a well around the base of the plant to hold water. This will ensure the plant gets a steady drink. Do not fertilize or prune new plants, except to shape, until after the first period of bloom. Newly planted roses also must be watered with one to two gallons per plant every three to four days until they’re established.
General care: Roses are deep-rooted plants. They prefer deep watering close to the plant base; avoid the foliage. Water established roses about one to two inches per week, which translates into one to two gallons per plant, per week. This water regimen must continue into October. It is also wise to water 24 hours before applying fertilizers or pesticides to ensure absorption and to prevent burning the plant.
Fertilizing: Fertilize in early spring and every four weeks thereafter. To ward off pests, use a systemic pesticide; they work deep within the root system.
Pruning: Grooming is essential for beautiful roses, and stimulates new growth. Begin pruning faded blooms after each flush, starting at the fifth leaf down from the bud. Fill antique vase with your bounty. 

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Text and photography by Judy Carolyn Kopittke