San Fernando Valley Rose Society
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Hello Fellow Gardeners,
Welcome to Fall/Winter/Spring. Trees are losing their leaves and it’s almost time to prune the roses, and time to plant lettuces, pansies, etc. I suggest that you visit a good nursery to see what is available this time of year. Temperatures in the San Fernando Valley are very different than those in the Northern regions of Los Angeles County. This brings us to the common thread that includes: recovery from frost, heat, and lawns. The common thread is the concept of ‘insulation’. Straw is a good material to use to insulate roses in winter and to protect them from freezing. The reverse is also true for heat damage. Do not remove the protective, although dead layer of leaves. I refer to the protective layer as the plants umbrella. This protective layer assists in keeping the sun from penetrating further into the plant. Lawns also benefit from being trimmed taller in the summer.
Longer blades assist in keeping the soil cooler, the blades are more protected from the sun, and less water is needed.
Prepare for Fall/Winter/Spring. Pay attention to the angle of the rising and setting sun in December and in June. The angle of light changes! A common mistake made by a gardening service or a home gardener is to plant a sun loving plant where its in sun in the summer but next to a light barrier and is in much shade in the winter. Time to plant lettuces, pansies, sweet peas, cilantro, and all of the other cooler season herbs and vegetables. The Green Thumb Nursery in Canoga Park has an excellent selection.
Roses can be planted any time of the year in the San Fernando Valley. Always check the water, feed per package instructions, and apply mulch. I recommend that after pruning, the beds be raked and cleaned, canes sealed, and a dormant spray be used.
FOLLOW PACKAGE INSTRUCTIONS. Another common mistake made by a gardening service is not following package instructions. I have known it to happen that a gardening service did not review the instructions and caused a series of problems.
Many of my roses are coming into a bloom cycle. This was by design to have roses available for the holidays both for me and my clients. Exhibitors will do a ‘summer prune’ to have roses available by the date of a rose show. (See photo of St. Patrick). The photo was taken at my business counselors home on December 4th a few years ago. Relatives were arriving from Toronto, Canada for the holiday. Let me assure you that there are no roses growing out of doors in Toronto in December. I’ve been called on to prune roses for a display for a wedding, and other get-togethers.
My personal favorite garden to prune is the International Test Garden on the grounds of Rose Hills in Whittier, California. This year the roses were pruned on August 21st for a display in mid October. The International Judges meet once a year in October to rate the roses in the test garden.
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