Growing jewels and garden bondage

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My wife thinks I look stupid, but she likes the roses
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Garden bondage – flag irises tied up with rubber!

That got your attention! But to be honest this posting doesn’t involve precious stones or adults being tied up. But it does involve roses and the end of flag irises.

17th April: Things I have been doing today.

🌹 Taking care of roses: If you think you can’t grow roses in Spain then think again. Given the correct start in life and proper care and attention then they will prosper like a rich boy at Eton. You will see in the photo above two beds of Roses I planted as bare root just under two years ago; and look at them now! Garden jewels. If you want roses, tough you can’t have them. Well, you can but just not now you will have to be patient and wait until the Autumn, then you can buy some lovely David Austin old English roses and have them delivered by post. Don’t be tempted by the many potted roses you may see, if you plant them they will not prosper in our heat, but you could plant them in October; but by then you might as well wait for bare roots.

But if you have roses you should be in full swing maintaining them at their best. You will need to deadhead every day, in my case the yellow rose in the photo “Blythe Spirit” needs deadheading twice a day. You will need to feed every week with liquid feed; or twice a year with slow release granulated (February and June). You must have irrigation in place as roses are very thirsty. Even with irrigation they benefit from a good soaking one evening a week.

🌹 The end of flag irises: Well not quite the end. All the flag irises in my garden have been deadheaded a couple of weeks ago to ensure they did not waste their strength on seed. I have left the foliage on to allow it to transfer all the suns energy down into the bulbs ready for next year. However, I cannot stand to have all that yellowing unkempt foliage hanging around for weeks like some forlorn summer visitor. So the answer is some quick garden bondage! Bend the tops of each foliage clump in two and then using an elastic band or twine tie the foliage in place. This keeps them neat and tidy and allows them to do their work without getting in the way (see photo). Where do you get those colourful elastic bands I can hear you asking. Well I have to confess that I steal them from the kitchen drawer where my wife stores them after removing them from vegetables she has bought from the supermarket. Now and again she asks where all the elastic bands have gone and I accuse mice. She now has the vision of a large band of rogue mice creating a huge elastic ball somewhere inside our walls; it’s the stuff of nightmares.

Author: spanishgarden

I live in both Spain and the UK and am a very keen gardener. I garden every day and enjoy sharing all the secrets that God allows us to discover in our gardens.