2014 Diary of Activities in
the Rose Garden of
Kitty and Bob Belendez
Santa Clarita, California
Copyright 2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 -2014
"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
July 17, 2014 Despite water restrictions, I discovered a huge spray on my Wing-Ding polyantha bush. The bloom cluster measures 11" x 11" just on one cluster of blooms (called a spray). Usually one cluster measures about 3 or 4 inches wide, as demonstrated by the little faded spray in the rear on the left side of the photo. I think this may be a freak of nature that I may never see again.
July 16, 2014 We are pushing our roses to the limit on water rationing. We are lucky that for now it is self-imposed and not law, but they are talking about $500 fines if you let water run off down the street or wash your car without a shut-off valve on your hose, or wash down the driveway or sidewalks. We haven't done any of those wasteful acts for many years, but now we are trying to conserve water even further. Years ago the typical automatic sprinkler system setting was 15 minutes during our hot summers that can reach triple digits. Over the years we have shortened that time to where it's now only 10 minutes per water station during the summer. Now this year we have dropped it down to 8 minutes per station and will watch the lawn to see if it turns brown. I don't really care about the lawn, but the roses are my worry. So for now our 4 water stations will be set at 8 minutes every day. We are also testing out every 2nd day but will keep a careful eye out to prevent damage to our roses. The potted roses are watered by hand every day.
July 6, 2014 There are several tasks that are important to continue over summer to grow beautiful roses. 1. Water. 2. Feeding. and 3. Deadheading. The water is a must in this hot, dry heat, as the roses cannot live without water. Potted roses are especially vulnerable to drying out, so they must be watered almost daily. When we have to go away for 3 or more days, and the temperatures are 90 degrees or higher, we have friends or relatives water our containerized plants for us. We also have automatic sprinklers that water the lawn and large in-ground plants. We don't feed as heavily over the summer, but if you don't feed at all they will become chloritic, indicated by yellow foliage. So yesterday we applied the final feeding of liquid fertilizer, including Carl Pool water soluble, fish emulsion, iron, liquid kelp, and SuperThrive. And deadheading is good for the roses in two ways ... removing spent blooms will encourage reblooming and it also helps to control bugs on the blooms, such as thrips, worms, and beetles this time of year. Aphids are rarely present during the summer. In two weeks we will apply a blend of slow release Osmocote plus various organics such as kelp meal, Grow More Organics, and Gardner and Bloome organic granular fertilizer. We also hope to find time to apply a light application of Kelloggs Gromulch. This type of feeding will get the roses through to Labor Day when we trim back the roses to encourage a large bloom cycle for our November 2 Rose Show.
July 4, 2014 We hope you are having a happy 4th of July Celebration. We are taking it a bit easy today. Perhaps some swimming this afternoon. But this morning we are meandering the garden, doing a little deadheading. Bob dug up one rose, a 20-year-old Lavaglut that's going downhill. We checked out the maiden roses that Bob budded on Fortuniana rootstock during the month of May. It appears that we have 22 successful plants. They are getting several hours a day of filtered, reflected sunlight off the concrete walkway. Now that the grafts appear to have been successful, they are taking off fast with several inches of new growth. We pinch off any blooms that form because the new grafts are not ready to hold the weight of a bloom. Most of the plants are replacements for some older plants that were previously on Dr Huey rootstock. Some are replacements for own-root roses that needed beefing up. This batch mostly consists of hybrid teas, floribundas, and minifloras. I plan to keep most of these 22 plants, with about 5 being set aside for next year's rose society auction fundraiser.
June 23, 2014 It's nice to once again have a little "June Gloom" this week, but the summer has taken off fast. The Fortuniana rootstock is here and has been in the mist box since last Thursday. We fiddle with the controls daily to make sure the mist is coming on steadily, especially when it gets hot. Speaking of fiddling, yesterday we checked all the sprinklers throughout the garden, and had to make a few adjustments here and there. One sprinkler head was too high and another one was too low. One section was getting too wet so we turned the duration setting down to only 7 minutes. Water cannot be ignored, even if the garden is getting too much, which could be very wasteful. This past weekend we weeded the entire garden and applied Preen. Most of the weed seedlings are being blown in from a neighbor's yard so we had to take matters into our own hands and sneak over there and pull a few of THEIR weeds that had gotten out of control. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. That is my mantra.
June 7, 2014 We are in the midst of our 2nd bloom cycle of spring this year. Sort of. Yes, the roses are blooming again, but they are not as beautiful, big and full as they were in the 1st bloom cycle during the middle of May. However, we did notice a few floribunda roses that are performing extremely, and surprisingly well during this 2nd cycle. In particular we see that Julia Child, Trumpeter, Cinco de Mayo, Playgirl, and Puanani are producing some lovely sprays and they don't seem to be bothered by thrips. Also, the foliage is clean and without mildew and spider mites. This is a pleasant surprise.
May 27, 2014 We were hoping to sneak in a little down time over the long weekend. Maybe even get a little power nap. Ha! We were very busy from start to finish, beginning on Friday afternoon when we headed off to the Wrigley Tournament of Roses Mansion in Pasadena for a lovely dinner hosted by the Pacific Rose Society. That would be the only downtime we would get. We did sleep in to 8:00 AM on Saturday and then the work began. While I finished the June Rose Ecstasy newsletter, Bob repotted a about 45 roses and then he cleaned the swimming pool. He also rebudded some of the roses that had failed the first time. We moved and labelled some pots around to get them better organized for next year's auction. I took some cuttings, and then Sunday afternoon the SCVRS audit committee arrived to look at the society's financial books. Afterward Bob demonstrated how he buds roses. On Sunday afternoon we liquid fed all the roses with our huge 60-gallon fertilizer container, using our sump pump. In the middle of that project, another member came over to pick up his rose that he forget to take home at our April auction, and when he asked to see how we do cuttings and fertilize we obliged.
May 21, 2014 I am absolutely loving this cooler weather this week. Mid-70's is great for this girl. The roses are loving it too. They are so much less stressed out. Now if they could just get past this wretched spider mite invasion on their foliage. Oh, and the thrips are here too, but on the blooms. Ugh. We are washing down the foliage almost every day with our water wands. Infested foliage is falling off. Not to worry, new foliage will soon return. Last weekend I applied 25 lbs of Bayer Advance 2-in-1 dry granular, which is a combination of fertilizer and insecticide. I'm not so sure this will help much, but we can wait it out. Usually the spider mites (with water treatment) and the thrips (with imidacloprid, the active pesticide ingredient in Bayer) should eventually go away. Meanwhile, we deadheaded (removed) all of the old, ugly spent blooms to encourage a new repeat bloom cycle. It takes 60 days for the new cycle to return, but if you deadhead every day, it will seem like it takes far less time.
May 14, 2014 "Bob the Budder" has been very busy budding roses over the past several weeks. At last count he has budded over 50 roses of all types. For at least a week they were placed in the mist box until they have a chance to settle in and the graft can heal. If we had cooler, humid weather we would not need to do this. But our weather is hot and dry. In fact today it is projected to be 103 here. The first group of 21 grafted roses have been removed from the mist box to make space for the roses that were budded thereafter. So far (but it's really to soon to say for sure) 20 of the 21 grafts are looking viable. The next batch of 30 will stay in the mist box for another week or so. Meanwhile, Bob moved the first batch of grafts up from a 3-inch pot to 1-gallon. This will give them more room for their roots to grow and also will help prevent the roots from drying out as they were in the tiny 3-inch pots during the heat. The pots have been placed in a northeast facing area of our yard that gets about 6 hours of sun a day, and then shade during the hottest part of the afternoon. Also, they are in an area where the automatic sprinklers can water them at least once a day during the morning, and then we hand water them late afternoon.Once a day would suffice during cooler weather, but hot weather requires watering the roses twice a day.
May 8, 2014 We are so relieved that the weather has cooled down this week. It has been very nice and comfortable. But don't get used to it ...95 degrees will be the norm beginning on Monday. Oh well, enjoying it while we can. So we filled up the mist box to overflowing. Three trays are filled with 3-inch pots, for a total of 45 pots. The center tray contains cuttings, so each of those pots have an average of 5 stems. The other two trays are roses budded onto Fortuniana rootstock. Actually, there is a 4th tray containing budded roses that was completed nearly two weeks ago so we removed that tray from the mist box and set it outside to make space for more buddings. I am just about out of virgin rootstock now, and plan to place a new order with UC Davis in June. That new rootstock will need to be placed in the mist box to be rooted, and it cannot be used until next year after it is fully rooted and growing. It is such a slow process and a waiting game. In the meantime, we hope that this year's grafts will be more successful than the past several years.
May 2, 2014 The continued high temperatures (98 today) and strong, dry winds have precluded us from exhibiting roses at any further rose shows this spring. What blooms were not fried were blown away with the winds. The spring bloom cycle has now officially ended in the Belendez Garden. I attempted to do some deadheading in my front yard this morning, and filled up a 45-gallon trash can, but it got too hot too soon so I had to quit by 10:00 AM. There are barely any more blooms in the front yard, and the back yard is pretty much the same. Except our swimming pool is filled with rose petals. This would be nice if you wanted to have a party, but it drives Bob crazy scooping out the debris. So tomorrow and the next day we shall turn our attention to grafting roses as the Farmer's Almanac says it is the best time according to the moon cycle. I don't know if that's a bunch of hooey, but my Mother used to swear by the moon calendar. The reality is that you have to graft when you have the time and the roses are ready for it. We now have the mistbox back up and running, which should help to keep the newly grafted roses a bit cooler. I will also take some more cuttings of desired varieties for next year's auction, as well as the monthly raffle table for our local rose society. The good news is that I will do no more spraying of insecticides until late September. We will liquid feed one more time, and then it's on to dry organics for the summer. Oh yes ... water, water, water!!!
April 26, 2014 We fortunately, and amazingly, had another successful rose show day. We got up to the alarm buzzing at 3:45 AM and thus began our day. We had packed all of our roses in the van the previous night since the weather reports said it would only be 44 degrees overnight. It took about an hour to pack our roses ... 15 crates plus our 80-quart rubbermaid cooler for the miniatures and minifloras. We arrived at the Arboretum in Arcadia at 5:15 AM. We really didn't have high hopes even though our roses looked pretty good. Lots of exhibitors turned out, many from San Diego where their weather is much milder and consistent than ours. We finally got all of our entries in by 10:00 AM then we cleaned up and went to breakfast with the other exhibitors. When we returned to the show a little past 1:00 PM when the judging was complete, we were surprised to learn that we had won 14 trophies. Many of our friends won many trophies too, so it was nice that the trophies were shared by all.
Here is a complete list of Bob & Kitty's wins today at Pacific RS:
Hybrid Tea Queen Moonstone
HT Court Miss Kitty
Floribunda King Francois Rabelais
Floribunda Princess Lavaglut
Floribunda Court Peppermint Twist
3 Floribunda Sprays Fabulous!
Victorian Award Rose de Rescht
6 Climbing Roses Shadow Dancer
Miniflora Queen Shawn Sease
Miniflora King Whirlaway
3 Miniflora Blooms Whirlaway
Single-Petal Floribunda Spray Playgirl
Wilke Floribunda Challenge Brass Band, Fabulous, Golden Holstein
Lavaglut, Sexy Rexy
April 23, 2014 We've been cutting roses all week and storing them in the floral refrigerator. We don't know yet whether or not they will be rose show quality by Saturday. We can only hope. Otherwise they will provide "color" for the rose show and the public likes to see that. I have not seen any thrips in my garden this spring, except several weeks ago there were 3 thrips in one Cajun Moon but no others since then. The green bud worms came last month but we apparently caught them in time as only a dozen blooms were chewed on. Orthene does a good job of controlling both bud worms and thrips, even though others say that Orthene brings on thrips. We also include a miticide in the spray tank whenever we spray Orthene which is only twice a month, not as a preventative, but only when we see early indications of unwanted pests. Almost daily we trim off (deadhead) spent blooms as this also helps to keep bad bugs like thrips and worms under control. Deadheading also encourages the rose bushes to produce new blooms, which usually takes about 60 days to recycle this time of year.
April 18, 2014 The hybrid tea bloom cycle is quickly coming to an end in our front yard. So since they are blooming earlier than expected, I am cutting a bunch of bouquets and bringing them to the office for display. I am also cutting bouquets for family over the Easter weekend. It's always amazing to see how long some of the "florist-type" roses can last on the table, even without refrigeration and without using floral preservatives. I've just been putting them in plain water. Even after 5 days some are looking excellent. In particular, Black Magic and Hot Princess are still stunning. This has been a learning experience as well as just enjoying the roses instead of putting them into a one-day show and never seeing them again, or worse to imagine they have been thrown into the trash. April 15, 2014 One of the roses we exhibited at San Fernando is the very rare, older floribunda called Playfair. She was created by our good exhibitor friend Bill Wilke in 1991. I believe we were awarded a blue ribbon for this specimen, but not the trophy since our Puanani won the Floribunda Queen. Last year I was fortunate to rescue a cutting of Playfair from a friend that was moving away since I had lost my plant. She is listed white, but is actually tinted with a very subtle hint of mauve. Her mother is Playgirl. Bob budded her onto Fortuniana and the plant is growing exceedingly well. We hope to resurrect her at the rose shows soon.
April 14, 2014 Despite our best planning and efforts, our garden came into full bloom four weeks earlier than we would have liked. We had initially not planned to exhibit at the San Fernando Rose Show, but since our roses were blooming, we went to the rose show anyway. We ended up winning 16 trophies, but our hybrid teas were not at their best. As luck would have it, the day after the show we had gobs and gobs of hybrid teas, so I brought bouquets to the office for my co-workers to enjoy. Here are the trophies we won at San Fernando Rose Show:
Dowager Queen with Yolande d'Aragon
Floribunda Queen with Puanani
Hybrid Tea Princess with Cajun Moon
Hybrid Tea Court with Miss Kitty
Hybrid Tea Court with Dona Martin
Grandiflora Spray with Wild Blue Yonder
Miniature Princess with Fairhope
Miniature Court with The Lighthouse
Miniature Court with Arcanum
Miniflora Princess with Whirlaway
Climber with The Impressionist
Miniature Spray with Marriotta
Three Miniature Sprays with Marriotta
Miniflora Bowl with Memphis Music
April 9, 2014 American Rose Society, located in Shreveport, Louisiana, has announced in their May/June issue of American Rose Magazine that “Rose Ecstasy” bulletin of Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society, Editor Kitty Belendez, has won the SILVER AWARD for Local Rose Society Newsletters in the United States.
Ms. Belendez also won six Awards of Merit for her articles published in Rose Ecstasy:
“From Whimp to Goliath: Fortuniana as a Rootstock” – February 2013
“Roots First: Blooms Later” – April 2013
“Trash or Trophy Winner” – June 2013
“Downsizing the Upsized Garden” – September 2013
“Placement & Clerking at a Glance” – November 2013
“IPM and Organic Strategy for the Rose Exhibitor”— November 2013
3-31-14 We continue to feed and spray our roses every weekend. Of course as luck would have it, rain came the next day after I sprayed. Well hopefully, the insecticide soaked in and dried in time to do a number on those green bud worms that I saw lurking around several rose buds. I hate those buggers as they chew up the pretty blooms. We're starting to see some spider mites, I suppose because winter never happened so the warm weather is encouraging spider mites. Avid to the rescue! Avid is a great miticide but it's expensive because it is very concentrated. This product is for people that grow hundreds of roses, not for the small gardener. We are also disbudding almost daily as the sidebuds continue to push up very fast. We have also been fighting mildew, and have been spraying a fungicide every week. I use Compass rotated with Banner Maxx, but Compass works much better. Compass is another extremely expensive product, but a little goes a long way, so a bottle lasts me several years. You cannot buy these products locally. I get them online from www.Rosemania.com
3-23-14 It has been a busy weekend. We had intended to spray yesterday morning but it was very cloudy and overcast so we decided to delay spraying until this morning at 6:30 am. Instead, yesterday afternoon we fertilized all the roses. Spraying this morning went very quickly, spraying 14 gallons of fungicide over 300 or so roses. I was a bit concerned because all the roses were wet from heavy dew even before I began spraying with the Spray Boss, but I think it will be alright. After breakfast I spent most of the rest of the day finishing the April issue of Rose Ecstasy newsletter. We will release it for publication sometime this week. Since the rose auction is still 2 weeks away, we are looking forward to getting about 120 potted roses out of our yard to make space. Cover story for the April Rose Ecstasy is "Mini Rose Memoirs" ... thus the headline photo of Jean Kenneally at the top of today's blog.
3-10-14 Despite both Bob and Kitty having bad colds over the past week, we managed to suck it up and get our scheduled chores done. Mildew and roses waits for no man (or woman). After the rains of the previous week, and the following warms days, mildew fungus was showing its ugly self on a few roses. I wanted to spray the roses on Saturday morning, but it was breezy when I got up at 6:30 am. I did not want to risk the breeze blowing chemicals in my face even though I wear a respirator mask. So instead we went to Plan B and fertilized the roses on Saturday afternoon. Then on Sunday morning at 6:30 a.m. we sprayed the roses a fungicide and insecticide. Because of Daylight Savings Time it was actually 5:30 am when we got up in the morning and it was still dark. Well no matter, by the time we got everything together a half hour later the sun was beginning to peak over the nearby hills. Even though we pruned our roses 4 weeks later than normal, the roses are pushing out new growth faster than we would like this year.
2-28-14 We finally got some rain and LOTS of it! Couple days ago we got a quick downpour of an inch, and today I'm sure it was several inches at least. The winds were howling too. I moved two trays of maiden roses onto the patio to prevent the winds from detaching the young grafts. We sure needed this rain, but it would be nice if it could have been spread over a couple of weeks and not over two days. No matter, we will take it as it arrives. The roses will surely love it.
2-23-14 Up and at 'em at 7:00 am. I still have the Spray Boss filled with chemicals so let's see if the JB weld glue will hold the spray wand together. Yes, it did work! I was able to spray all of the roses in record time, a little over an hour. Not that there's much foliage out there, but I am beginning to see some mildew on the first bushes that we pruned several weeks ago. After spraying, a shower, and breakfast, Bob cleaned out the garage to get ready for the spring rose show season. Meanwhile, lucky me, I got to get our tax papers organized so I can mail them to our CPA. Emailed March Rose Ecstasy bulletin in the evening, and now it's time to soak in the jacuzzi. Yeah!
2-22-14 We've been very busy all this weekend. We started Saturday morning at 6:30 am when I attempted to spray the roses their first rose spraying of the spring season. But the spigot head on the spray wand blew apart when I pressed the trigger. It's a good thing I was wearing a spray suit, gloves, glasses, and a respirator, otherwise that chemicals might have gotten all over me. Bob tried to fix it but to no avail. We had to drive out to Acton to ACE Hardware to take a look at their replacement spray wand. It was the wrong size, so we ended up ordering it online at ACE where they had the heavy duty brass model. It should arrive by the end of the week. Back to plan B. So instead of spraying the roses on Saturday morning, we fertilized all the roses in the afternoon. Meanwhile Bob bought some JB glue weld and temporarily fixed the old spray wand, which has to sit overnight to cure.
2-17-14 We are getting a TON of things done this weekend. For my international friends, "TON" does NOT mean 2,000, it means MANY. Yesterday I finished March Rose Ecstasy newsletter, all except a few minor details on which I am waiting for info from other people. This morning I made a half gallon of Banner Maxx and sprayed the auction plants since they are leafing out earlier than the rest of our roses that we pruned later. Then Bob spent some time cleaning the swimming pool while I applied the Preen weed pre-emergent (prevents weed seeds from growing). Well, I miscalculated and instead of the 18 lb can of Preen that we usually get at Costco, I had to buy some 5 lb cans since Costco did not yet have it for sale. Will have to keep an eye out for the large can. Anyway, I bought two 5 lb cans, which does not equal one 18 lb can. Big dummy me! So I did not have enough to do the back yard and will have to make another trip to buy more Preen. Note to dummy me: Take your own advice and wear a respirator when applying Preen. The fine particles fly all about and get up my nose. Not healthy! This afternoon I hope to get started on organizing our tax papers for our accountant so I can get them out of the way and done with. Never enough time.
2-15-14 Applied alfalfa pellets and epsom salts to all of the roses. Bob repotted several roses. A couple of large minis needed to be moved up from 7-gallon pots to 12 gallon, such as Powerhouse and Daddy Frank. I'd like to move up The Lighthouse on Fortuniana, but we don't have any more large pots. Will need to make a trip to the store tomorrow. We will apply Kellogg Gromulch to the entire garden. We bought 10 large bags and got our $10 rebate coupon off the Kellogg website. We just have to attached the receipt and the UPC codes cut off the bags, then mail it in. What a cinch. The Rose Auction catalog is now finished and was emailed to all of our members last Thursday. That is a huge relief.
2-9-14 Gosh, has it been two weeks since I last posted? We have been incredibly busy doing all sorts of stuff. For one thing, we've been pruning roses every weekend in between other events. Hopefully today we will finish the last of the miniature roses. Then this afternoon we have a rose society meeting. Last weekend we went to the Pacific Rose Society Auction, and I bought two new roses. I really controlled myself since I have no space to add new roses. But I did get the miniflora Elfinglo (own root), and the floribunda Showbiz budded on Fortuniana rootstock. I'm sure I can find a space to squeeze them in somewhere. This morning I made a 1/2 gallon of fungicide to spray on a few roses that are leafing out early, especially the mildew mongers. By the end of the month I will dig out my 14-gallon battery-operated tank sprayer and begin the regimen.
1-26-14 We have now finished pruning all of the hybrid tea roses, all floribundas (except those in containers, and singles) most OGRs (except Rose de Rescht), all shrubs, polyanthas, climbers, and started on a few minifloras. Next week we prune all the minis and minifloras. There are about 150 of those so it's still going to be a very big chore
1-19-14 By the end of the day we had completed pruning a total of 100 very large rose bushes for the weekend. We did hybrid teas and floribundas in the front year, and some shrubs and old garden roses in the back yard. We are only 1/3 done, so next weekend will keep us busy as well. It will be good to rest our fingers for several days, as pruning can make your hands sore, even if you wear gloves.
1-18-14 Lots of fun stuff going on in the garden today. We began at 9:30 am after finishing coffee and started pruning the floribunda roses. We got about 40 of those done, including 8 tree roses. Later in the afternoon we also pruned about 30 very large hybrid tea roses in the front yard. We finished off the day by cutting off the tops of about a dozen hybrids that Bob budded on Fortuniana last October. In this warm winter weather (79 today) the new growth is pushing out fast.
1-13-14 We were very busy this weekend doing rose-related community service. We spent Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm at Green Thumb Nursery talking roses to their customers. We garnered a few new rose society members, and many of our existing members stopped by to greet us. Then on Sunday, we had our popular Rose Care Seminar, our annual event open to the public at the Senior Center in Newhall. It was well attended, with about 70 people. Not too bad considering there was a football game on TV at the same time. At the break, Jan Parsoneault showed a sidebar mini seminar on her computer complete with photos of before and after training of climbers. The refreshments were out of this world. What a spread!
1-2-14 We are resolved to keep to the plan this year, beginning with our delayed pruning schedule. Last year, we didn't hold back and pruned earlier than we planned, and we were penalized by not having many blooms by our District Convention rose show last May. So all we are doing now is topping the very tallest bushes, repotting, planting, and we did an advance dormant spray with Volck Oil because we found a group of minifloras that had scale insect. So we were forced to prune those 7 bushes. Bob did prune all of our 17 polyanthas (such as Chatillon Rose, Verdun, Wing Ding) because we want those to bloom earlier and they will not be targeted for the May National this year. This evening we attended the meeting of the Pacific Rose Society where Dona Martin gave a very enlightening PowerPoint presentation of "Growing Roses on Fortuniana Rootstock." It was a long way down to the Arboretum in Arcadia, but it was well worth the evening trip. A fine group of rosarians were in attendance, and we had a pleasant potluck dinner before Dona gave her presentation.
1-1-14 Happy New Year to all our friends and family. Our morning was spent watching the Pasadena Rose Parade on wide screen TV. Well, at least Bob was watching it. Kitty isn't so into it and can't sit still for 2 hours watching float after float after band after band. He loves it though. Meanwhile I was puttering around on the computer.
Photos © Copyright by Kitty Belendez
© Copyright 2014 Kitty Belendez. All rights reserved.