2015 Diary of Activities in 
the Rose Garden of
Kitty and Bob Belendez

Santa Clarita, California    
Copyright 2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 -2014 

By Kitty Belendez
Master Rosarian









"We each have our addictions. With some it's drugs, alcohol, gambling, or smoking. With others it's sports, religion, power, politics, money, sex, hate, food, or anything else that consumes and controls us. With me it's roses in every facet I can imagine: Growing, showing, reading, producing, writing, photography, graphics, propagation, and technology. It's the roses that keep me away from the other stuff." -- Kitty Belendez, May 9, 2014



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January 24, 2015    Our awesome painters whipped through our house & patio painting project in a quick 3 days. They did a fantastic job. It took us another 2 days afterwards to get things back to where they belong as we had to move much stuff out of their way. Now, finally, it is back to pruning the roses. We started slowly, just a few hours each day as we don't want to injure ourselves. Of course, after the first day my sciatica was acting up so I had to see my chiropractor for an adjustment. He advised me to ice up and stay out of the jacuzzi for a couple days (heat makes the sciatica worse). Much better now. We are starting to make progress. Most of the floribundas (except the singles) are finished. The tree roses are done. We have started on some of the hybrid teas in the front yard, and the OGRs along the side and back of the house. We have filled six 80-gallon green waste barrels and we are not even 25% done. All 3 arbors were painted too so Bob had to get them back into their positions. Yolande d'Aragon and Baronne Prevost had to be butchered hard because they were huge and growing up against the house so we had to make way for the painters. Not to worry, they will come back better than ever. 

January 15, 2015    We will prune our 4 climbing roses tomorrow. They have to get chopped down hard this year because we are having the house painted next week and so the 4 large arches on which these 4 climbers grow will be repainted as well. Night Owl has San Jose Scale again this year so will have to be chopped very hard like last year. I do not know where this scale comes from. I gave it a good dormant spraying last year, and now it's back again.  Yesterday, we chopped off the heads of 15 maiden roses. This only means cutting off the tops of the rootstock on which the hybrids are bud grafted. The maidens are still rolled in and out of the garage daily to protect them from frost at night. The maidens are beginning to grow very fast now, but we won't fertilize them until February. We still have another 60 maidens that have not yet been topped off but the eyes still look viable. We did lose about, such as Irresistible, so Bob went ahead and rebudded those few.

January 10, 2015    Today we began pruning. No, not our own roses, but rather we helped to prune the roses with Pacific Rose Society at Wrigley Gardens in Pasadena, CA. Bob and I arrived about 8:15 AM and we worked for about 3.5 hours. There were about 16 PRS members there helping. We would have pruned longer but we filled up all of the large industrial waste barrels. It drizzled a bit throughout the morning on and off but we managed to get quite a bit of pruning completed.

January 6, 2015    Today Bob and I took inventory of our potted roses to set aside for our May 29 Auction. It took us much longer than we had anticipated. After 3 hours it was time for lunch, but we did get it all done. It wasn't just a matter of counting the roses, but rather we had to make sure we actually had the roses that my inventory list indicates and that they were are all labelled properly. We trimmed them as we checked them. We came up with 100 potted roses, and only one was missing. I think I had given Katelyn Ann away to a friend. We still have plenty of roses and cannot add any more because we have to keep the auction limited to 3 hours since we are paying our venue $65 per hour. It is time to begin working on the auction catalog, now that I know which roses we have. At our board meeting last Sunday we decided on the suggested theme of "English Rose Garden." Turns out that we actually have about 11 English Roses on our auction list, such as The Dark Lady, Strawberry Hill, and Darcey Bussell. Of course 2 plants of 'Glitter Girl' will also be on the auction too. And if that isn't enough to pique your interest ... we will have SIMSALABIM!  

January 4, 2015    We had frost the past several mornings. The cherry tomato is now dead. Tomatoes cannot handle frost as they are too tender. The few remaining rose blooms were all frozen by low temperatures and frost. The good news is that rose canes, roots, and foliage are relatively hardy here in SoCal. They all appear fine following several days of colder than normal weather. We are itching to begin pruning but will hold off until the end of January. Not because of the cold weather, although we are not anxious to bundle up and go outside and prune. But rather because we have changed our pruning timing. Meanwhile we can spend the time sharpening our cutters and digging out our gloves and other supplies from storage.

January 1, 2015    Welcome to a brand new year. We started out on a really cold edge. This morning we woke up to 29 degrees. Tonight it's projected to get down to a low of 26. Brrr! It hasn't been that cold here (below 32) in many years. In fact, it seemed like we never even had winter last year. I believe that having a good chill is going to be good for our roses and encourage them to grow and bloom better. Well, at least that is what I'm telling myself. We have not yet begun pruning our rose bushes. We plan to begin the last week in January. I watered everything today since I have the sprinklers turned off and only water on Monday and Thursday, but only if needed. No rain is predicted soon so the containerized roses in particular need some water. Made some adjustments to some of the sprinkler heads as one was just dribbling, and a couple others were set too high.




 Photos © Copyright by Kitty Belendez


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