Dilip's 2006 Garden Journal

Sunday, April 02, 2006

We're having even warmer weather today in the mid- to high- 70s! Nights have been in the high 50s. It looks like 70s are here to stay, though in a few nights the temperature is expected to drop to a low of high 40s.

I think all of the cherry blossoms are gone now. The tree is quickly leafing and it is clear which branches are dead; with my wife's help and the help of my pole pruner, we were able to remove most of the dead branches. We also took off one medium sized branch heading right over the roses by the driveway, and removed a few smaller branches to give the roses more light.

I noticed that my Mothersday rose has tiny buds, though at first they are still so small that I thought they could actually be developing leaves - it is a little early for roses. But was I surprised when later in the day I looked more carefully, and there are buds on Mothersday - in fact, one is showing its lovely red color! Unfortunately, Mothersday and Heritage have a few aphids on them. There are more white azaleas open, and the red ones are about to open.

I sprayed all the roses (except the rugosa which I largely leave alone; I usually also neglect the original rose bed that is poorly sited with tall trees nearby, but had extra spray so today sprayed them, too) with a mixture of horticultural oil and baking soda (to keep mildew and fungus in check); hot pepper wax (to ward away insects like aphids); and microbial liquid and kelp (to foliar fertilize and encourage beneficial bacteria).

For some days now, the hollies have been exhibiting their very small white flowers with light fragrance. This is a good time to do some pruning as cuts can be chosen to keep as many flowers on as possible and hence to maximize winter display of berries. I did just a little bit of light pruning, mainly on the two bigger hollies close to the front door.


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