My Last Rose of Summer

I was on my deck the other day and saw that there was a rose blooming on the bush that a very good friend of mine gave me on my birthday way back in January.  Somehow, I didn't kill it over the winter and decided to put the small bush in a pot and place it on my back deck for the summer.  Since June it has been blooming, not profusely, but blooming none-the-less.  I was thrilled because whenever I looked at the rose bush, it reminded me of my friend. We have been friends for over twenty years and I felt the rose blooms were a testimonial to our friendship.

Knowing that I was going to be away this week, I decided to share the picture of my rose and perhaps share a few rose facts I found in various flower books from my library.  I thought it would be fun!  Here goes:

Just for basic information, roses need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily, morning sun is the best because it dries up moisture on the leaves reducing the chance of disease and spotting.  If summer heat is very strong, roses will do better with some afternoon shade.  Miniature and climbing roses do not need as much sunlight as other varieties.  Protecting them from the wind with a hedge or fence is also a good idea.

Newspaper soaked with water works well as a mulch for roses. Place a 16-page depth of newspapers under your rose bushes and then top with pine bark or some other kind of compost.  This will hold in the moisture, help with weed control and encourage earthworms to the soil.
Spread a 1/2 cup of epsom salts around the base of a mature rose bush and the color of the blooms will be more intense.  Do this in May and June to encourage blooming also.
Evidently roses like the tannic acid in tea.  So, why not try sprinkling some tea leaves under your bushes along with some water and see if you get bigger and lovelier blooms?
You should prune roses in the spring when forsythia starts to show its yellow flowers.
***One final tip, here is a recipe for spraying your roses to guard against fungal diseases.
*1-2 tablespoons baking soda/1 gallon water/a few drops of dish liquid
Spray roses once or twice a week.  This is a safe, non-chemical way to keep your roses healthier.
With the fall weather coming in, I do believe this is the last rose I will see in my yard until next spring so, I'm enjoying it!

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