Thursday, December 19, 2013

Garden Book Reviews

If there were such a thing as a Rose Bible, I think I know which book it would be, at least for me.  I just wish I would have found this book sooner!

I love all different kinds of roses.  But if they can't take my garden/soil/climate/conditions, and being grown organically, out they go!  Fortunately, I've found that roses are tough workhorses.  Sure, there are some that are wimps, but there are many that are as tough as nails.

Still, even I have the occasional problem with my roses.  But since I am adverse to spraying chemicals in my garden, when I have problems, I look at the solutions presented in

The Organic Rose Garden

by Liz Druitt

Not only are there solutions in this book, but it is full of great information for anyone wanting to grow roses organically.

What I love most about this book is the way Liz Druitt writes.  She writes as if she were talking to another gardener.  Of course, there's lots to love about this book.  She starts at the beginning:  soil basics, and design thoughts.  Then she goes on to the acquiring and planting of roses, maintenance of the garden beds, and problems you may encounter.

That is enough for one book, but she doesn't stop there!  She lists all the different rose classes, has a quick reference chart by size, color, and class, and almost half the book is a list of roses that thrive in organic gardens (like Red Cascade, pictured above, which is still blooming in my garden!).  I was actually surprised to find how many roses she recommends that I have growing in my own garden.  And now I have a great reference when I want to add more roses to my garden!  What I especially liked is this list covers all classes of roses.

She finishes the book with a discussion of roses as food, and I am dying to try her Rose Petal Pound Cake!  It would be luscious with her Rose Petal Jam!

Now it's your turn!  This will be the final Garden Book Review meme I will host, and my last post for the year.  So, I want to wish everyone a very, very Merry Christmas and a rosy New Year!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Blooms from Indoors

We went on vacation.   A long vacation.  Well, a long vacation for us at least - a week!  And it was wonderful.  Well, it was wonderful until we caught the flu on the last few days of our vacation.

We returned home coughing and sneezing and feverish.  It is cold outside (for Texas) and feels especially chilly to feverish skin.  And so, I have not ventured outside.  Usually I would make the rounds in my garden, noting the changes, and celebrating the blooms.  Instead, I crawled into bed to hibernate and recuperate.  I think this is the longest I've ever been away from my garden.

Right before I crawled into bed, however, I glanced out the kitchen window.  "Oh, my camellia is blooming!"

The house/pet sitter replied, "Yes, it's so pretty!  It's been full of blooms all week!"  If I hadn't been sick, I would have hugged her.

Then I realized that there was a lot of beauty I could enjoy from indoors.  The pear tree is glorious.

There are roses blooming outside still.

And inside, my Christmas cactus is posed to bloom for Christmas!

(all photos were taken from inside the house)

I've written before about views out my windows.  But I didn't realize just how important those glimpses of the garden truly are.  For a gardener that can't go outside, being able to enjoy blooms and beauty from inside the house is both a Celebration - and a Lesson.

I'm joining Donna at Gardens Eye View for Seasonal Celebrations and Beth at Plant Postings for Garden Lessons Learned.

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