Yesterday was spent in the garden at home. I have been trying to keep up with the early fall chores while the weather has been so glorious. With sunny skies, no wind, temps in the low 70's, IN NOVEMBER, it was one of those magical days when the garden gloves only came off a few times to refresh my body with the apple juice I made from the harvest from the apple tree out back at the nursery, or take a break with my book. I did take care of two much needed items that have been on my "gotta" list for months, and of course did some deep watering. The vegetable garden that did so well in my new raised bed area is all cleaned up and what was left is now on the compost heap. The areas I raked in the morning were covered again with leaves by the afternoon...but who cares. It was a beautiful day. The temps are supposed to drop to the high 40's by the weekend ~ Mr. Warm Sunshine, I am going to miss you.
Chore #1 / If you have ever come into the nursery looking for an ornamental tree on the smaller size, you would know, I LOVE ORNAMENTAL CRAB APPLES. I truly feel that they are one of the best trees for our area. heat/cold tolerant, drought tolerant, soil tolerant, easy to grow...the list goes on and on. An abundance of vibrant flowers in the spring, gorgeous green all summer mixed with tiny edible (for the birds) fruit in a mixture of colors depending on the variety, and wonderful fall color. I fight tooth and nail for Robert not to prune on the seven different varieties we have until after they flower in the spring so I can enjoy all the buds and colors.........but this year....I had to do it. My lovely Prairefire (Malus 'Prairefire') in the backyard was so overdue for a pruning anyway, and then it became loaded with fruit this season. The branches hung almost to the ground and I was concerned that if I did not prune back some of them, the weight of the upcoming snow season would snap them. All the tiny little bright red crab apples are now either on the ground for the birds to find or still on the cut branches and stuffed into the pumpkin on display on the front porch. She will thank me in January for this haircut.
Chore #2 / I have watched this rose in my back garden go from the striking light pink blush 'Marilyn Monroe' that I planted 6 years ago, to a Dr Huey, a rootstock that is used for grafting for large scale production like the Weeks roses that we carry at the nursery. You probably either know of this rose, or have one and didn't know what it was. I know you have seen them in the older neighborhoods, or sometimes in abandoned properties, it is that hardy it will usually survive when others are long gone. Or perhaps you wondered where your lovely hybrid tea rose went? During an extremely cold winter if the graft was not protected, your hybrid tea probably died off, but Dr. Huey was strong and survived to come back from the rootstock. Dr. Huey blooms in small red flowers in the spring, only once, and then sends out very thick long strong canes throughout the summer months. It's not that I don't like it, I just don't like it HERE. I think every garden should have one actually, if you have the space. I dug it out, and am moving it. In it's place will go 'Aloha' a lovely light pink climber that will drape over the large granite boulder placed behind it. The Dr. Huey ......he is going to the side fence where he can grow and flourish all season.
This morning I slipped on my sweatshirt to walk out to the garden and take in the view and look what greeted me......ahhhhhhhh.....I don't know what could beat a Nevada sunrise, unless perhaps there was an ocean involved.