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. 

November is a beautiful month here in the desert, especially if you love roses as I do.  We are enjoying our fall rose blooming season.  There are two different seasons for rose bloom in the desert – spring and fall.  

The rose above is ‘Double Delight’ and was growing in my father’s rose garden in Southern California.

 ‘Touch of Class’ was one of my top performers.
Actually, it was my love of roses that inspired me to choose a career as a horticulturist.  My husband and I had bought our first house back in 1992 and it came with 5 mature, yet neglected rose bushes.  I decided to nurse those rose bushes back, but had no idea what I was doing, so I went to the library and checked out some books on rose care.  After that, I was hooked! 

‘Rio Samba’ was always in my top 10.  I loved how their blooms started out orange/red when starting out then turning mostly yellow, ending with cream colored petals brushed with blush pink color.

I loved those five rose bushes so much, that I tore out a large area of grass and planted 40 more roses, (I tend to go a little overboard when it comes to gardening).  

I took the photo of this white rose in someone’s garden.  I believe it is a John F. Kennedy rose.  
I tried out different types of roses, seeing which ones did best in our desert climate.  I loved variety in my roses and so I had 40 different varieties.  Mostly hybrid teas, but some David Austin roses too. 

I am typically a low-maintenance gardener.  I love a beautiful garden, but with minimal effort on my part.  The exception for me is roses; I love spending time with them, fertilizing, enriching the soil, pruning and nursing blooms along.  

 Medallion, was my favorite peach-toned rose.

In the beginning of January, one of my favorite times during the gardening year begins; time to select and plant bare-root roses.  I love choosing which variety I will try.   

Why do we love roses so much?  For me, it is the beauty of their shapes, colors and fragrance that is intoxicating.  

I was honored by Rothschild Orchid, author of Wisteria and Cow Parsley and Tatyana, author of Tanya’s Garden as a recipient of the “Best Blog Award”.   Rothschild Orchid lives in one of my favorite places – England.  Tatyana lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.  Please visit their blogs, their photos are so beautiful.
I must now pass this award on to other blogs who I think deserve such an award along with these instructions ~

Post the award on your blog along with the name of the person who passed it on to you and link to their blog. Then be sure to leave them a comment to let them know that they have been chosen.  Choose blogs which you have recently discovered and you think are great and pass it on to them.

Since I am a rather new blogger, I am nominating gardening blogs that I have enjoyed very much along with their author’s wit and wisdom.  If you have not already come across these blogs I hope that you will visit them.  I am sure you will enjoy them as much as I do.  
**This is only a small list of the blogs that I enjoy so much, but if I picked all the blogs that I love, there would hardly be any left for others to forward the award to.

Dung hoe

An Obsessive Compulsive Plant Collector

Awake With Charm And Spirit

Flower Hill Farm

A Gardener In Progress

The Queen of Seaford

Mad Blooms

Go Away I’m Gardening

Diary of a Suburban Gardener

Vickie’s Michigan Garden

VW Garden

Secret Cottage Garden

Tina’s Garden

Garden Chronicles

The Violet Fern

Prefer To Be In The Garden

Faire Garden

Bay Area Tendrils 

Sweet Bay 

Deb’s Garden