If you follow Rosehill Cottage on Instagram, you know there are two truths when it comes to my garden. The first, I absolutely love taking photos of it. Hence this gratuitous post of rose photos. The second, I have absolutely no idea what I’m doing and end up googling things like, “Do I deadhead peonies?” or “Should I use plant food?” on a daily basis. When we bought the cottage, the existing rose garden was certainly one of the selling points. I wanted a home with a lush garden. I didn’t want a wooded lot or a beachy yard. I wanted something I could tend to — and that’s certainly what I got.
What I’ve Learned in the Rose Garden
When I refer to what I’ve learned in the rose garden, it could sound like I’m about to launch into some metaphorical lesson about what garden has taught me. Nope. I’m literally going to give you four lessons I’ve learned about maintaining roses over the past several months.
- You’re supposed to prune your roses before they begin leafing out and blooming. Ideally, in late winter. If I’d been on top of my game, I would have pruned them in February. Alas, I did not. However, some did get a cut because of the next lesson…
- Powdery mildew is a phrase I didn’t know two weeks ago. But it had overtaken several of the rose bushes across the rose garden and throughout the yard. First, I tried neem oil. Supposedly this is the cure all for everything plant related. Not for powdery mildew apparently. Instead, I ended up chopping the afflicted plants within an inch of their lives. We’re now hoping for a miraculous comeback and regrowth.
- Feed your roses! I got Miracle Gro Shake n’ Feed and it’s so easy to simply shake at the base of the plant and go. I’ve been lucky that we’ve gotten enough rain I haven’t had to worry about watering, but it’s something that’s on my mind as it gets hotter.
- Deadheading can keep roses blooming all spring and summer long. Truth: I used to dislike roses. I associated them with a dozen red roses on Valentine’s Day, which is a major no for me. But, if you know me, you know I prefer a plant that offers bang for your buck. I want season-long flowers. None of this bloom for a week, then disappear daffodil-esque crap. Well, it turns out that roses were the answer to my floral fantasies. These guys can keep going for months, as long as you keep trimming off the old wilted blooms. I do, however, need to be patient enough to let those plants that develop rose hips do their thing.
Now, if you have other rose gardening tips, I’m all ears…