Tuesday, June 26, 2012


The roses featured here are moderate to large hybrid teas – moving clockwise, “Out of the Blue” moderate, “Neptune” very large, “Hot Cocoa” large and “Remember Me” moderate to large.  In addition to being scorched all of them are less than a third of their normal size.  Lest you are walking through your garden wondering what you have done wrong, like so many people who write to me, you have done nothing.  This is the result of extreme heat stress, brought on by prolonged exposure to high temperatures – in this case unseasonably high temperatures.  On the Planes we have been in the triple digits now for several days. 
You may have noticed that your roses are not pushing much new growth, feed notwithstanding.  You may have also noticed that your lawn isn’t growing particularly well.  My husband usually mows once, even twice a week.  He hasn’t touched the lawn in nearly two weeks.  Again this is the result of inordinate heat that inhibits growth.
I have never seen a season where so many aberrancies conspire to confound the health of the garden, that is to say heat, drought, accelerated time and disease.  To deny the existence of these abnormalities is foolhardy, and yet it doesn’t really matter who believes in Climate Change and who doesn’t in the final analysis.  It is what it is, man.  The Earth existed and evolved thousands of years before we crawled out of the primordial slime, and I believe will long after we bore or blow ourselves out of existence.  She isn’t just a projection of our inflated and insipid egos.  If you doubt Her power to put us in our place or defend Herself, take a walk through your rose garden.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Accelerated Seasons

What I am about to describe may not be happening anywhere except the High Plains of Colorado – but I doubt it.  What I am about to discuss may not be a national or international phenomenon – but consider it anyway. 

Since March the seasons of Spring and Summer have been accelerated.  Spring bloomers – early, mid and late season – were up, bloomed and dying back by late April and early May.  Roses produced their first show a little over three weeks early.  Perennials that bloom in stages throughout the course of Summer are all well budded and preparing to bloom.  Peaches and apricots from the Western Slope of the Rockies are in the stores nearly a month early.  My peach tree is preparing to ripen several weeks early.  Fall mums are blooming, and I have even seen red leaves on Burning Bushes and the Virginia Creeper Ivy.  This is their Fall presentation.

In the U.S. we have an entire army of pandering, vote whoring legislators who refuse to admit to any form of climate change.  However, these humps also claim to believe that Christ was a conservative, a capitalist and a free marketer.  Go figure.  They are not scientists – hell they are barely literate.  On the other hand, people like me who have tended the Earth and her plant children all or most of our lives, watching the climate and the sun, measuring the rainfall and judging the amount of moisture in the snowfall, recognize that something is defiantly afoot.  Therefore, I will offer the following suggestions in the event that Summer accelerates into Fall, and Fall into Winter.   
1)      All feeding of perennials, roses and other shrubs should be finished by early August rather than mid August.
2)      Perennials may need to be cut back mid September rather than late September. 
3)      Special, slow acting feeds like phosphorous for roses may need to be applied mid October rather than late October, provided they are not under heavy snow. 
4)      Colorado is experiencing draught and high temperatures.  We were in the high single digits in May and have had triple digit temps for the last several days.  We are also experiencing high winds.  Wind follows draught – this was the cause of the Oklahoma Dust Bowl in part.  If this trend continues through the cold months – anywhere it continues – Winter watering will be critical. 

One gardener to another, good luck.