2-02-06 Valentine’s Day & Rose Pruning
In This Issue:
- Love is in the Air
- Gardenerd Note Cards
- Rose Pruning
1. Love is in the Air
There’s one sure thing about Valentine’s day. You either love it or hate it. So in order to be the all-inclusive Gardenerd Newsletter to the knowledge-thirsty among you, I will avoid talking about Valentine’s day in the culturally obnoxious sense of the word. Instead, let’s focus on the lore: St. Valentine.
According to some legends, Valentine, who was jailed for assisting young lovers to wed during the ban on marriages of Roman soldiers by Emperor Claudius II, passed a “love note” to his jailer’s daughter on the night before he was to be martyred. It said, ” From Your Valentine.” Legend has it that St. Valentine used a leaf upon which to write his love letters. I find that a fine use of foliage, don’t you?
In pagan ritual dating back to ancient times, February was dedicated to Fertility Festivals. If you were thinking about incorporating this ritual into your Valentine’s Day festivities this year, here is what you would do: Sacrifice a goat to the gods, drink some wine, and then run through the streets carrying a goat skin above your head, touching anyone you happen to pass on the street. Women touched by said goat-skin-baring person would then believe themselves to be fruitful and would have an easy time in child birth. So if you’re thinking of having kids, this may be the thing for you!
Whatever your take on Valentine’s Day, rest assured that there are plenty of ways to celebrate, or avoid it, especially in the garden. If you love it, take your special someone to a public garden like the Huntington in Pasadena, CA or go all out and fly to London to visit Kew Gardens! If you hate Valentine’s Day, pull weeds. It’s a great tension release. You can also come to my garden and take out your frustrations on the gophers that have eaten all my lettuce. I would love you for it.
2. Gardenerd Note Cards
Okay, let’s say you have a friend, who’s maybe more than a friend, who happens to like gardening. Maybe that person is you. Maybe they/you need notes cards to send you/them nice sentiments every once in a while. Maybe they/you need a nudge to remember that note cards and nice sentiments are not a luxury, but really a necessity for healthy conversation and meaningful dialog in relationships. Don’tcha think they/you need Gardenerd Note Cards? They are blank inside to allow room for all your ruminations.
Buy Gardenerd Notecards here.
3. Rose Pruning
They say you have to work pretty hard to kill rose bushes. I would like to believe that. I would like to believe that if I prune my roses back in February (instead of January like I was supposed to) that they will go own thriving and produce succulent blooms come May or June.
With all the tomes about how exactly to prune rose bushes, it’s easy to get caught up in the fear of maiming or killing your prized Mr. Lincoln or Just Joey. There are a few simple rules, however, that should help you stay on track and guide your roses to bloom once again:
1) Remove all the leaves
2) Cut away any horizontal branches
3) Cut vertical branches (canes) above a bud about half an inch away
4) Make your cuts on an angle away from the bud (so water runs off the cut end when it rains)
That’s really all you need to know. They say the more vigorously you prune, the stronger your plant will become. So be daring, if you haven’t already taken the plunge. Let’s all hold hands as we reach for our Felco pruners and dream of fragrant blossoms in the spring.
Here is another interesting article on the trepidation of pruning roses:
Stay tuned for more tips and tidbits from the Gardenerd. Happy Gardening!