Archive for October, 2008

Brandy Rose

A few years ago, my mom and I noticed peach colored roses growing in front of a shopping mall. They had very attractive flowers. We decided that we had to know what kind of rose they were, so we got out of the car and searched for a label. We found a label on one of the bushes. It was a brandy hybrid tea rose. Since then, I have noticed Brandy roses growing in people’s gardens, at a local university, and in many other places.

I finally bought my own Brandy hybrid tea rose bush from a local nursery last summer. Although it looked good when I bought it, at first it seemed to struggle to grow and bloom. It produced a few flowers over the summer, but they were small, and they burned quickly after opening.

Over the summer, I was watering our Brandy rose using a low flow dripper. Since I replaced the dripper with a higher flow bubbler in early September, it has grown significantly. Now it has a flush of large and full blooms for the first time.

I think the unique fading peachy color of the petals is what makes this rose so appealing. The flowers also have a nice fragrance.

October 29 2008 | Roses | Comments Off on Brandy Rose

Yellow Rose Needed More Water

I have come to the conclusion that I haven’t been watering our rose bushes enough in the past, especially during the warm summer months. I once heard that a fully grown rose bush needs 7 gallons of water per week in order to flourish, but that seemed like a lot of water to me.  

I was using low flow drippers to water our roses and other perennials. The drippers are fed from an automatic watering system. I was watering for about 10 minutes a day. The drippers had an output of 2 gallons per hour. That equals about 1/3 a gallon a day per dripper.

Last month, I replaced the drippers that were watering our roses and other shrubs with adjustable micro-stream bubblers that can output up to 13 gallons per hour. I also cut back on the watering to about 5 minutes per day. That equals about a gallon per day at their maximum setting, although I have most of the adjustable bubblers set to less than that depending on the size of the plant.

The bubblers send out micro-streams of water in a circle. The radius of the circle is easily adjustable up to a few feet. The bubbler design seems to be doing a better job of supplying water to the entire root system, rather than to just a portion of it.

The extra water seems to have made a big difference. Several of our roses have had very few flowers since mid-summer. Now most of our roses are full of new buds, such as the yellow hybrid tea rose in this picture. It has grown over twenty new buds just in the past 6 weeks since I put the bubblers in, after getting about 10 flowers over the entire summer. I don’t know what kind of hybrid tea rose it is, because it was growing here when I moved in.

October 27 2008 | Roses | Comments Off on Yellow Rose Needed More Water

Fall Ash Color


The leaves of the modesto ash trees in our neighborhood are nearing their peak of fall color. Being in a part of the country that is dominated by evergreens, it’s great to have some trees that produce an annual autumn color display, even though it only lasts for a few weeks. Of course, after it’s over, there’s quite a mess to clean up. At least it only happens once a year.

Large trees add a lot to the visual appeal of a neighborhood. They add a beauty to a neighborhood that can’t be replicated with architecture alone, and they can make a planned development look like more of a natural setting. I don’t really like neighborhoods that are built with the houses too close to each other and to the street that there isn’t enough room to plant and grow large trees.

Planting the same type of tree along the side of a street can make for a really attractive display of fall color. Although planting too many of the same type of tree can be risky. As more insects such as the ash borer are inadvertently imported from abroad, there is a risk that most of the mature trees in a particular area may be wiped out at the same time by a new disease or insect.

October 25 2008 | Ash | Comments Off on Fall Ash Color

White Iceberg Rose

This is a picture of one of our two white iceberg rose bushes. It’s blooming again for possibly the last time this year.

Iceberg roses are one of the most carefree roses we are growing. That’s probably the reason why they are planted in front of shopping malls so often. Our iceberg roses grow quickly, especially the one in this picture, and they produce a lot of flowers, even for a floribunda rose, with little fertilizer.

Another reason I like iceberg roses is that they seem to attract bees more than our other roses. Today, for example, I saw bees buzzing around the bush in this picture, and I did not see bees on any of our other roses.

However, iceberg rose flowers are quite fragile. The flowers do not last long. They typically last only a few days. Iceberg roses do not make good cut flowers in my opinion. The one time I tried to make an iceberg rose bouquet, the flowers started to lose their petals a few hours after being cut, and they had lost most of their petals after a day or two.

October 20 2008 | Roses | Comments Off on White Iceberg Rose

Big Beef Tomato

Our big beef tomato plant is full of tomatoes, but most of them are still unripe. I planted it late (early July), which is probably the reason they haven’t ripened yet. 

Our tomato plant grew very fast in the summer and produced an abundance of tomatoes. It grew out of the round cage I bought to support it and eventually fell over. I used a second round cage to prop it up, but that didn’t keep the branches from bending and growing on the ground. Next year, I plan to buy one of those large square cages. The small round cage was adequate for supporting our early girl tomato, but it wasn’t strong enough for a large, fast-growing tomato plant like big beef.

Our tomato is only getting a few hours of direct sunlight a day one month into autumn. The tomatoes are ripening very slowly, the leaves are full of mildew, and the plant has stopped growing. But I am still holding out hope that most of the tomatoes will turn red on the vine in the next few weeks.

October 19 2008 | Tomatoes | Comments Off on Big Beef Tomato

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