The excitement of a new year is never wasted. I love office supplies so it would follow that I use them – lots of them, including unusual colors of highlighters and pens. Color coded post-its on the north wall of the office tell the story of last year’s finished goals, those that spiraled out of control, and those that went off my radar completely. Those on the east and west walls evaluate my current situation in light of the goals I set for myself for 2022. The farm table I work from is littered with a fabulous trail of ideas for goal setting for 2023 and beyond, which includes lots of roses and beauty in both the processes and outcomes.
We push to grow plants year round and will continue our research this year to increase production and quality of food outside the usual boundaries. We have the usual bounty of root crops, sweetened by the frosts of winter. Leafy veggies inside and outside the greenhouse continue to do well. We picked tomatoes from the vine (in the greenhouse) until the middle of December, when Rick decided to bring the last batch in instead of fighting botrytis. Botrytis is a grey mold (fungus) that takes over in cold damp weather. It generally indicates the end of garden season for gardeners who turn their thoughts to the holidays and subsequent plant catalogues while waiting through the winter. But, it doesn’t have to be this way. Rick made the decision because we need the time to build and restore infrastructure. Next year we’ll cover the floor of the greenhouse which will reduce the humidity and keep the temperature a couple of degrees higher than what is required for overwintering the citrus trees.
If you decide to push the limits of garden seasonality, be sure to pull out botrytis infected plant parts as soon as you see them, being careful not to release spores.
The 2022 winners for the longest full blooms on the property are Rusalka (Bohm, Czechoslovakia (former), 1934) and The Dark Lady (Austin, UK, 1991). In fact, The Dark Lady also takes the prize for the first bud of 2023, which I just noticed this morning.
If you are visiting this part of the Pacific Northwest, don’t forget to take time to visit Christianson’s Nursery & Greenhouse. I have been stopping there every season since I moved here to observe how they manage the roses around the old schoolhouse. We have all of the roses they have there. This helped me know when to prune, how to prune, and what the specific rose plant should look like in the eyes of professionals. Like Anne, I go for a more natural look, but I had to have a place to start.
Christianson’s offer many workshops during the year as I’m sure your local nursery does. I noticed rosarian Jeff Wyckoff (Seattle Rose Society and past President of the American Rose Society) will be presenting 3 Ps: Pruning, Plant Selection, and Planting Roses on Saturday, February 11th from 11:00 AM to noon. Jeff is a great educator. He and his wife Kathy have been very helpful and supportive in my learning process, both in person and with the articles he writes. Reservations for this and other class offerings at Christianson’s can be made by phone, (360) 466-3821 or emailing Emma at email@example.com.
Erin of Floret Flower Farm announced on Facebook and Instagram today that they have just finished cleaning seed from last season’s harvest and have more special farm-grown seed for sale at the Floret Shop. She also mentioned she will be sharing her many new projects and the release of season 2 of Growing Floret soon. I love the positive energy that Erin and the Floret team radiate into the universe.
Also, if you follow Elena Williams or the American Rose Society on social media will know that the ARS is preparing for their 2023 Convention and Rose Show, May 5th through the 7th, at the American Rose Center. They will be featuring their “Crown Jewel,” the rose gardens. Anne would have loved to have been able to travel down and see some of her beloved ramblers and know that they were being shared with the world. For more information click here.
Now, I must go outside and enjoy the rare sunny 49 degree F weather. We still have very limited day light, but as the Beatles say, it’s getting better every day.