Do you garden in winter?


For most of us, the answer is decidely “no”.  That is also true for many of us who live in warmer climates as the shorter days often slow down plant growth.


However, for those of us who are rose lovers, winter is a time of rejoicing as nursery shelves begin to be filled with bare root roses.

Even when I’m not shopping for new roses for the garden, I still find myself being pulled toward the new roses, seeking out my old favorites and checking for the newest varieties.

Showing my sister the rose bush at our first home in Phoenix.  (I am wearing the sweater.)
For those of you who have followed me for some time, you may recall that my love for roses got me into gardening a long time ago when high-waisted pants and permed hair were ‘cool’.  It was my love affair with roses that inspired me to get my degree in horticulture.  
My backyard garden space is always changing.  I used to have three vegetable gardens, but am now downsizing to two.  The main reason for the change is that the third vegetable garden was somewhat further out and with my busy schedule, it wasn’t always easy to harvest and keep a close eye on it.  


So, the former vegetable garden will now serve as my new mini-rose garden.  It has enriched soil and its own irrigation line.  What is even better, is that it is located outside the kitchen window where I can view my roses daily.


Now for the wonderful dilemma of deciding what types of roses to plant.  Back in our first home in Phoenix, I planted 40 different roses, which I lovingly cared for.

But, my life now is busier and somewhat more complicated:
– I have 5 children now vs. 2 back then.
– I work full time helping others with their landscapes, which leaves precious time for my own.
– My landscape now is much larger than in my first home.
– My second oldest daughter is living with us along with her 11 month old son temporarily.

So, I tend to gravitate toward roses that are lower maintenance needing pruning and fertilizing only twice a year.


The first rose for the garden will be Graham Thomas, which is an English or David Austin rose, courtesy of the rose growers at Heirloom Roses, which is where I have gotten my roses from for years.  They have a delicious fragrance and bright yellow blossoms.  They are disease resistant and relatively fuss-free.


There will be at least 2 more roses going into the garden.  One is the newest English rose introduction from David Austin roses, which is being given to me courtesy of them.  

The next rose will probably be a hybrid tea or floribunda.  I’d love to hear what are your favorite roses!

I will share both choices with you once I get them.

**********************
In the meantime, even though it is winter, spring will be here before you know it.  How better to prepare than with a lovely gardening tote filled with goodies?  


The folks at Mantis Garden Tools have put together a fabulous array of items in this garden tote with a whimisical bird theme, which includes:
·         3 mini garden tools.

·         “Gardening Answers” book

·         Canvas Gardening gloves

·         Wood and Sisal Nailbrush

·         hand and body scrub

·         garden vegetable cheese cup

·         Venus seed celebration organic crackers

·         European chocolate truffles, cookies, snacks

1. To enter, simply leave me a comment about what you plan to do in the garden this spring.  
(Be sure to leave your email address if it’s not on your profile, or I won’t have any way to contact you.)

2. For a bonus entry, like me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter – (be sure to let me know in your comment).

Let your friends know about this great giveaway and I will pick a random winner on December 28th. 
Noelle Johnson, aka, 'AZ Plant Lady' is a horticulturist, certified arborist, and landscape consultant who helps people learn how to create, grow, and maintain beautiful desert gardens that thrive in a hot, dry climate. She does this through her consulting services, her online class Desert Gardening 101, and her monthly membership club, Through the Garden Gate. As she likes to tell desert-dwellers, "Gardening in the desert isn't hard, but it is different."

25 replies
  1. selena nelson
    selena nelson says:

    This spring, I will be building a raised bed garden. Once it is built I will look forward to planting some zucchini and would love if I could get loufa to grow this year! I follow you on Facebook!

    Reply
  2. YummyZ
    YummyZ says:

    I just moved, so I hope to start planning my vegetable beds along with some planting around my pool and patio area. Our new home is on about an acre and I am both excited and overwhelmed with all that I need to do!

    Reply
  3. YummyZ
    YummyZ says:

    I just moved, so I hope to start planting around our pool and patio area and plan out our vegetable garden. Our new home is on about an acre and I am both excited and somewhat overwhelmed! I also follow you on Facebook-love your blog!!

    Reply
  4. Brandi
    Brandi says:

    I cannot wait for Spring! I mean, I can so I have time to plan but when the time comes I am excited to fill my new raised keyhole garden bed with a lot of edibles and I also bought a fig tree that I will plant in January. I have been considering rose bushes around my front porch so I look forward to seeing all the varieties you choose. I love the yellow but my house is yellow so maybe a cream or peach would be more pretty. Following on Twitter and Facebook. All the best and thank you, Brandi (brandifrannie@aol.com)

    Reply
  5. Brandi
    Brandi says:

    I cannot wait for Spring! I mean, I can so I have time to plan but when the time comes I am excited to fill my new raised keyhole garden bed with a lot of edibles and I also bought a fig tree that I will plant in January. I have been considering rose bushes around my front porch so I look forward to seeing all the varieties you choose. I love the yellow but my house is yellow so maybe a cream or peach would be more pretty. Following on Twitter and Facebook. All the best and thank you, Brandi (brandifrannie@aol.com)

    Reply
  6. Heather S
    Heather S says:

    Last spring was my first spring in AZ. It was big fail everything I planted was eating by ground squirrels or just dried up and died. I started fallowing you on Facebook because there wasn't much else out there. So I'm exited to try all again this spring. It's all a learning process, just hope I'm a little more successful this next spring! (hdspoo178@gmail.com)

    Reply
  7. terrybaz
    terrybaz says:

    Thank you for posting about the roses. I've been looking for some replacement roses for the ones that were planted by the previous owner. The Graham Thomas are so beautiful and what an uplifting color! I think I'll start with those also.

    Reply
  8. elizabeth
    elizabeth says:

    I am building a small art studio in our back yard and am looking forward to planting lots of new plants around it.
    We live in South Scottsdale. I would love to have a couple of roses, so will be following what you are recommending.
    Also, I will try and be smarter about planting things where they get the correct amount of sun.
    I like you on Facebook and follow you on twitter.

    Reply
  9. Kathy
    Kathy says:

    This spring, I'm looking forward to dividing and propagating some favorite plants and adding a few new ones. It's nice to be in the position of sharing divisions with friends. Love your choice of roses, by the way. winterwrens at gmail dot com

    Reply
  10. Heidi Johnson
    Heidi Johnson says:

    Hi Noelle, a give-away – how fun! The left side of my driveway is a mess. I'm planning to replace it with low-water plants including one nice, small tree. I haven't decided yet what the tree will be, but all the other plants will flow from there. Thinking and planning for it will be my winter project. 🙂 Do you have a 'Secret' rose in your garden yet? It's fragrant and disease-resistant here in the Bay Area. Using organic fertilizer and mulch (which I replace once a year in case of fungi) allows me to feed the roses less. I feed them in October and after their spring bloom cycle. Wondering if a third feeding in the summer would be good in your climate, but I don't know. I'm also seriously thinking of spraying with compost tea. Always have to try something new! It's Christmas Eve as I write this so I would like to wish you and your beautiful family and wonderful Christmas! From Heidi at HKJohnson@aol.com

    Reply
  11. RobinL
    RobinL says:

    This spring will be time to expand our veggie gardens. Hubby built all new raised beds in the fall, but we didn't have time to fill them with soil yet, so that's first on our list come spring!

    Reply
  12. Cindy
    Cindy says:

    Hi, I plan to get some veggies in high gardening containers (that I have yet to purchase). I am loving gardening in Arizona … your blog has helped me learn to love it!

    Reply
  13. Anne Murphy
    Anne Murphy says:

    I had a torrid love affair with roses for years. I have learned to let them go and I am planting drought tolerant, often native, plants that make me happy. I kept the Rosa californica, Cecile Brunner (Cecile was a woman), and Lady Banksia. I am adding more penstemon, manzanita and others. Love the weather.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *