2013 Diary of Activities in
the Rose Garden of
Kitty and Bob Belendez
Santa Clarita, California
5/15/13 I have been using Bayer Advanced (granular fertilizer with insecticide) on my roses for the past four years. I only apply it once per year, around the end of May, just before the buds open for the second bloom cycle. I apply it only around each rose bush, inside the rings. Until last year the main insecticide ingredient was disulfoton, which worked exceedingly well, but it was highly toxic. Last year the ingredient was changed to imidacloprid, which is the same as Merit, a less toxic product. (It was actually changed before last year, but I had stockpiled a supply of the old version when they were beginning to discontinue it.) So last year, with the imidacloprid ingredient, it seemed to control the thrips, but not quite as well. But, I will continue to use it again this year, because I do not like to spray during the hot summer season. Of course, once we get past July, the thrips seem to disappear from my garden until the following year. I also need to tell you that during the first bloom cycle of April, I rotate sprayings of Merit, and Orthene plus Avid on all of my roses every week. This keeps the thrips under control until after show season. I use the Merit for aphids, and the Orthene for thrips, green bud worm, and scale insect, and the Avid for spider mites. Included in those sprays are weekly rotations of the fungicides Compass and Banner Maxx. Then in May after the show season, we begin washing down the foliage on a daily basis to prevent spider mites during the summer as I do no further insecticide nor fungicide sprayings after May 1st until early October.
5/12/13 We are just about finished deadheading all of our rose bushes in our front and back gardens, consisting of more than 300 roses. We see only a sea of green foliage out there. Not to worry, within 6 weeks we will begin to see the second bloom cycle. Our priority now is keeping the bushes watered and washed down to prevent mildew and spider mites as the weather begins to warm up. Over the summer we will apply an application of organic materials to improve the soil and feed the roses as the organics break down and the worms love organics too. Next feeding will be granular Bayer Advanced, as we have stopped the weekly water soluble feedings now that rose shows and peak spring bloom season is finished.
5/6/13 The past several weeks have been completely consumed with rose shows, garden tours, and rose conventions. We can now have a little bit of a breather for awhile since the intense regimen has quieted down. From here on out through Labor Day, at which time we will trim our roses for the fall rose shows, we will only need to keep the roses watered and deadheaded, and occasional feeding with organics throughout summer. We do not spray the roses at all during summer as it is too hot here. Today we returned from our 3-day Pacific Southwest District Convention that was held in Carlsbad, California (about 30 miles north of downtown San Diego). We had a great time participating in the District Rose Show, garden tours, banquets, and meeting with friends. We were very fortunate to win trophies for two of our District entries, since our rose garden bloomed early this season so we were nearly bloomed out. Coupled with the fact of a nasty heatwave the week before the convention. The two District Challenge trophies were the San Fernando Valley Rose Society District Challenge, requiring three sprays of single-petalled roses in separate vases. Our winning rose was the purple climber 'Night Owl'. The second trophy was the Pacific Rose Society District Challenge, requiring five different floribunda sprays each in a separate vase. The rose varieties were Lavaglut, Trumpeter, Sexy Rexy, Golden Holstein, and Showbiz. 4/13/13 We had a very successful day at the rose show today, winning 12 trophies. We won Queen of Hybrid Teas with 'Black Magic', King of Hybrid Teas with St Patrick, and Queen of Minifloras with Dr. John Dickman. Among other wins our bouquet of Playgirl and Golden Holstein was our favorite entry. This may very well be the most beautiful bouquet that has ever won for me over the past 25 years of exhibiting. I love the shocking, fluorescent color combo on this bouquet. And the blooms and foliage were super clean. It was easy to stage, and the only grooming I did was to remove the central spent blooms on the Playgirl sprays. The Golden Holstein individual blooms were cut off the bush just like they are. Yeah, wow factor for sure. Friends that also won trophies today were Bob & Dona Martin, Jan Parsoneault, and Lynn Snetsinger.
4/10/13 Our Annual Garden Tour this year is being hosted by Master Rosarians Bob & Kitty Belendez at their garden on Sunday, April 28, 2013, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. There is no charge and it's open to the public. Here is a link to the online flyer with complete details:
4/4/13 I love Clematis. Huh? Did I say CLEMATIS? Well, yes, but I love ROSES more. Over the past 5 years I tried out a dozen different clematis because I had read that we could plant them next to a rose and they could co-exist. I found out that is not so true. Let me clarify that ... they CAN co-exist if you have space, but NOT in a garden that is already crammed full of 300 rose bushes. The clematis were either overtaking and strangling the roses in more shady areas of my garden, or they were extremely unhappy when planted up against a hot block wall with southern exposure. So I sadly made the decision earlier this year to dig them all up and put them on auction so that others that had more garden space could give the clematis the growing space they deserve. I just don't have space in my very small 1/5 acre tract home lot to grow both roses and clematis. My garden is already filled to complete capacity with more than 300 roses. The clematis need some kind of structure to grow on, such as a trellis, tripod, arch or wall. They hate hot walls and to have their roots exposed to extreme sunshine. So I gave some of the clematis away to Facebook friends, and some were put on auction. Some of the clematis include 'Bees Jubilee', 'Daniel Deronda', and 'Multiblue'. Just the other day I discovered another clematis struggling to grow in a neglected corner. We dug it up and it is actually starting to grow in a pot. This last one is called 'Vino' and it's red with white stamens. This will be added to the auction as a last minute surprise. I do love clematis and hope they go to a good home.
3/30/13 Today was a very productive yet exhausting day. The day began at 6:30 a.m. when the alarm bleeped us out of bed. It was still dark outside but it was time to get up and spray the roses to prevent mildew and insects. As the buds are now forming, we need to spray for green bud worms and thrips. By 8:00 a.m. we were finished spraying so we had a quick breakfast and some coffee then it was off to Ventura to Crop Production Service to pick up 110 lbs of Epsom Salts, 50 lbs of Osmocote, and 50 lbs of Nitroform. This should last me for a couple years. BTW they have closed their Fillmore store so now we have to go all the way out to Oxnard to get goodies for the roses. Next, we went to the Waterford Outlet in Camarillo and bought 11 Waterford Crystalware for our rose show trophies. They were having a great sale so we were able to get some beautiful pieces within our budget. After a yummy lunch at Dairy Queen we next went to Otto and Sons Nursery in Fillmore on the way back home. I've been waiting 6 months for my tree rose of 'Love Song' a pastel lavender very fragrant floribunda. I resisted temptation to buy more but did get a quick drooling look at all the other roses that were in bloom there. Except for the tree rose that has a spot waiting at home, Bob reminded me that I have no space for more roses. So it was then time time head on home, but we stopped quickly for some groceries, and then I had a very much deserved nap when we got home.
3/27/13 This time of year I'm a freak for pretty rose foliage. Today's winner is 'Golden Holstein'. This floribunda rose produces clusters of deep yellow 12-petalled blooms around the end of April. It's disease resistant and starts out glossy but becomes more leathery when the bush is in full bloom. Only mild fragrance. This bush, budded on Fortuniana, is very full and nearly 4-ft tall at this time. You can see how it compares to tree rose Cinco de Mayo behind it. When I grew 'Golden Holstein' on its on roots it never got taller than 2 feet. Since the past two weeks, we are spraying and feeding all of our roses every weekend. The roses are responding well to our extra care. 3/15/13 It has surprisingly been very hot here the past several days. It was 93, which is very unusual for March weather. We've had to water everything every day, even though our roofing project has made watering a challenge. But we got it done. Tomorrow we hope to return to normal, as I must spray for mildew now. Meanwhile, we have added 12 products to our Zazzle/SantaClaritaRose online store. Our newest addition is a lovely two-tone coffee mug featuring large wrap-around hot pink roses. In case you are wondering exactly which rose variety that is ... it is a bouquet of 12 'Big Time' hybrid tea roses photographed in my garden August 2012, when I had to trim the bushes for the Fall National Convention. 3/8/13 We now have a Zazzle Store featuring merchandise imprinted with Pink Roses and the name Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society. So far, items include t-shirts, mugs, aprons, and totes. Here is the link: http://www.zazzle.com/santaclaritarose*/gifts
3/7/13 We have not done much in the garden the past week as we've been prepping the house for our upcoming roof replacement. The roses are pushing out new tender growth, so we have some worry that they might have some damage from the roofers. We are crossing our fingers. Meanwhile, we moved all the potted roses, including those 100 potted roses for the rose auction, to the very rear of the back yard. I'm itching to start feeding and spraying the roses, but so far they look very healthy and not much disease, so I will hold off until the roof is done. I suppose there is no hurry at this point as we've had some sporadic rain, and since we pruned late (intentionally) we do not plan to exhibit our roses until April 27th. Also, our garden will be opened for public tour on April 28th.
2/25/13 Our Rose Auction Catalog has now been officially published. It can be found on our 2013 Meetings & Events Calendar, (click on link at top of this page, then scroll down to April). Since we plan to have a new roof installed on our house in the near future, all of the potted plants will have to be moved to the very back of our yard until the roof is completed. Then the pots will have to be moved back into their waiting area until the April 7th auction. Oh what fun!
2/18/13 We took advantage of the long 3-day weekend to double check our inventory of roses for our upcoming Annual Rose Auction, which is our rose society's annual fundraiser. Bob moved a couple dozen plants to one-gallon pots. The Auction Catalog is nearly finished, and we hope to publish it in about a week. This year's auction features about 100 very special potted roses as well as six gorgeous clematis plants. I wish I had space for them in my tiny yard, but they need to find new homes where they can spread out and breath. Our theme this year is "California Gold Rush." The auction is barely six weeks away and we're "Rough and Ready" for it.
2/10/13 Today is going to be a very long day. We got up early and we treated ourselves out to breakfast at our current favorite place. I had the day's special of peanut butter and banana French Toast (hold the syrup). There was plenty to fill my plate so I brought half of it home for breakfast tomorrow. Although it was still only 40 degrees when we got back home, we decided to get quickly to our chores. I began with some weeding with the hula hoe, and fortunately there were hardly any weeds in our entire garden, just a 16 oz bucket full of little weed seedlings. Then I applied Preen weed preventative to the entire garden front and back. Meanwhile, Bob applied epsom salts and alfalfa pellets. Bob is watering everything. We won't do much else for at least a month at which time I will begin spraying and liquid fertilizing around end-March depending on whether or not I see any problems out there. This afternoon we get to relax at our Rose Society meeting, where Jeri and Clay Jennings will be speaking on "Rose Rustling for Preservation." Their historical aspect of rare roses is always very interesting.
2/9/13 We didn't do too much in the garden today, because we had other Saturday chores such as laundry, groceries, and tidying up inside the house. We also had to interview a roofer for the upcoming re-roof project. Then we went outside and I fertilized all the roses while Bob applied Kellogg's Gromulch everywhere. In the afternoon I worked some more on the Rose Auction Catalog, adding photos, writing some text. Waiting to find out what our theme will be.
2/3/13 Today we spent some time in the garden, wrapping up the pruning, as there really wasn't much left to do. We puttered around with other things, such as finishing the inventory of roses for our April 7th rose auction. We don't have a theme yet, but I'm beginning to work on the Auction Catalog. Bob budded some roses, which is a bit early for doing this, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Ha ha! I had intended to feed the roses today, but I plum ran out of steam. Oh well, there's always next week. And, no, we did not watch the Super Bowl, as Bob isn't into sports. You would think he would watch it to get out of garden work, but NO, he does not like watching sports.
2/2/13 We went to the Pacific Rose Society Annual Rose Auction at the L.A. County Arboretum in Arcadia. It was well attended and they had hundreds of roses on auction. We came home with several. I will be writing a report of the event for an article for the PRS newsletter, so I won't go into details here. I also took a bunch of photos which will also go in the Pacific Rose Newsletter.
In the evening we listened to a 4-hour sales pitch from TWO Sears Home Improvement sales reps. Although they gave an educational presentation, they were double the price of any other quote we got to re-roof our home, and then they wanted to play games with the price. Flimflam is alive and well! I am so sad and disappointed that my childhood department store agreed to put their name on this scam.
1/30/13 We are about 98% finished pruning our rose garden. We only have about a dozen smaller rose bushes to thin out. Several minis, some polyanthas, and a few small antique roses. We have some repotting to do, but I think that might wait until the upcoming weekends when we have some time off work. We have bought a dozen large bags of Kelloggs Gromulch, and that will be applied soon. Preen and fertilizing will then be done. Meantime, I have begun working on the rose auction catalog, and that will take considerable time over the next month.
1/21/13 This 3-day holiday weekend has been "uber" productive. I feel like I've been on a marathon. Saturday morning began early with Bob and I pruning roses. I finished fine tuning a few floribundas in the front yard, and finally pruned the single-petalled floribundas such as Playboy, Playgirl, and Puanani. I wanted to prune the singles last because they always bloom ahead of the more heavily petalled roses. Meanwhile, Bob attacked the small bed of 8 huge hybrid teas in the back yard (Black Magic, Gemini, Red Intuition, Veterans' Honor etc). On Sunday we treated ourselves to breakfast out and then came back home and got after the back yard roses. Bob did another 5 huge hybrid teas, while I whacked away at several very large Austin shrubs (Abraham Darby and Golden Celebration), plus several antique roses (Yolande d'Aragon and Francis Dubreuil). In the afternoon we pruned more shrubs and antique roses (OGRs) on the north side of the rear garden ... The Squire, Perdita, Fair Bianca, Falstaff, Sidonie, Comte de Chambord, Paul Neyron ... then the corner with a mishmash of Fourth of July, Molineux, and Wild Blue Yonder. And finally, three tree rose shrubs ... Mary Rose, Leonard Dudley Braithwaite, and Winchester Cathedral. By the end of the day on Sunday we were totally exhausted, so went out to dinner then came home and soaked in the jacuzzi. That brings us to today, Monday. Bob had to go to work at his regular job today as they don't get MLK holiday off. But I do, so I got up early and dormant sprayed all the roses with horticultural oil (a type of mineral oil). And then will spend the balance of the day working on my rose society newsletter "Rose Ecstasy." Meanwhile, we still have all the potted miniature and miniflora roses remaining to be pruned. Although we have already pruned over 200 large rose bushes, we still have about 125 roses still to be done. There is always "next week." Perhaps I'll take a little break away from the computer this afternoon, and prune a few of the minifloras on the south side of the house. Shameless, Foolish Pleasure, and Whirlaway are calling my name.
1/15/13 We didn't get much pruning done last weekend because it was too cold to work outside, and we had some Master Rosarian commitments to do. The daytime temp for the past few days have been 45 during the day and 31 in the morning. Last Saturday, we represented our Santa Clarita Valley Rose Society at Green Thumb Nursery in Newhall. It was so freezing cold that not too many customers stopped by, but our dear friends at GT furnished us with Starbucks coffee and donuts. We did meet and greet a few hard core customers that stopped by to get our rose advice, so I demonstrated pruning a tree rose, and we helped others pick out fragrant roses, or their favorite color. We got 4 new members that day. The next day, on Sunday, we did our annual Rose Care Seminar gig. We had a fantastic turnout with about 80 people attending. Bob demonstrated pruning with my assistance, Steve discussed bareroot selection and planting. We got another 5 members that day. It was such a lively group, who asked dozens of questions. Obviously they were hungry for rose care knowledge, and we are happy to help.
1/7/13 This year we are experimenting with higher pruning of our roses. In the past, our average pruned bush height would be about 24-inches. This year, we have increased our average pruned bush height to 36-inches. Keep in mind that many of the rose bushes in the photo averaged 6 to 7 feet tall by the end of December, and most were a minimum of 3 to 5 years old and are grafted on Fortuniana rootstock. By April we will know if this additional height will be beneficial to our rose bloom production. As of yesterday, We have completed pruning about 100 of our 325 rose bushes of all types so we still have many to finish. The floribundas, old garden roses, and polyanthas are mostly done. The hybrid teas are half done. We are intentionally stretching out our pruning schedule through the 3rd week in January. We only prune on weekends, so each weekend is spent pruning. Next weekend we'll finish off the hybrid teas, and do some of the shrubs. The potted miniatures and minifloras will be done the 3rd weekend in January.
1/4/13 Pruning my antique roses (OGR, old garden roses) is usually fairly easy for me. They take a little longer because they are so big, but generally it's not too difficult. I prune the OGR's and Bob stays away from the unless I supervise him, otherwise he would just mercilessly chop them down. That is our agreement. Yolande d'Aragon is the easiest even though my two bushes are about 7 feet tall (they would grow taller if I let them). I train them to grow mostly upright. Baronne Prevost takes a bit more work because it wants to spread out with some upright growth. Anna de Diesbach and Mrs R G Sharman-Crawford can be trimmed to grow upright, but their very thin stems want to sprawl. Sometimes I have to tie the main canes to the fence with green plastic garden tape. Archiduchesse Elizabeth D'Autrich (wow, what a mouthful) was a surprise this year because I thought the bush would remain about 4 feet tall, but it blasted up to about 7 feet and engulfed the smaller bushes next to it. So the 3-foot Rose du Roi had to be dug up and moved to a pot.
1/2/13 Although we intentionally delayed most of our pruning this year, the purpose of which was to better target some key spring rose shows, circumstances made us keep to the plan. We both got colds over our winter break, and then it was drizzly many of those days. So as much as Bob just wanted to get out there and get it over with (the pruning, that is) we had no choice than to delay our pruning. We plan to work on it every weekend this month. However, we did manage to get most of the floribundas, polyanthas, and old garden roses pruned. This coming weekend we plan to start working on the hybrid teas.
1/1/13 HAPPY NEW YEAR! Welcome to a brand new year. Time to refresh and renew, and reevaluate everything we did last year.
Photos © Copyright by Kitty Belendez
© Copyright 2013 Kitty Belendez. All rights reserved.