Rose Cuttings – December, 2010

Busyness in the Quiet Garden

The quiet garden at the Antique Rose Emporium. Photos courtesy of Mike Shoup.

Your garden agenda needs to be put on alert! Spring in Texas starts soon. Gone (or, soon gone) are the Christmas shopping sprees, the last-minute gift card purchases, the overstuffed meals, New Year’s parties and football marathons. Gardeners can now begin to focus on outdoor gardening plans.

Before the spring frenzy really gets under way, contemplate the subtle indicators of the season’s change.

1.  What we have now:
• The winter color of roses, whether that be the lively foliage or the colorful hip display
• The fragrance of narcissi and jonquils
• Camellias taking center stage in
otherwise colorless landscapes
• Garden centers filling up with roses and fruit trees, soil amendments, and racks of vegetable seeds.

2.  What we can do now:
• Train climbing roses on structures.
• Transplant roses to new locations.
• Add new roses to the landscape to create spring color.
• Mix compost into new beds and
vegetable gardens.
• Add mulch to established beds.
• Weed. (Unfortunately, we can do this all year round.)

3.  What to wait on:
• Pruning roses – wait ’til February
• Fertilizing – don’t feed synthetic fertilizers until February. Compost and mulches are fine all year round.

Most importantly, enjoy the peaceful quiet that our dormant gardens provide this time of year. Before you know it, spring will be beckoning you outside to play.

About the author: Mike Shoup is the owner of the Antique Rose Emporium. Visit his company’s Brenham and San Antonio display gardens for endless ideas on landscaping with roses. To order roses online, visit

Posted by Neil Sperry
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