The back door. It's always been my escape. Not just from work, but from everything. When I step through that threshold into my garden. Everything else melts away. Just me and the cool morning air. The sweet tinge of yellow clinging to my cheeks as the sun rises over the horizon. It's okay to take my time out here, because it is my time. It always will be.
Kneeling down I typically take the time to look over each plant before moving onto trimming, nutrients and watering. It's important to take a good look at your lower leafs close to the ground, as well as the leafs that rest higher on the plant. It's easy for slugs and rabbits to sneak in early in the morning or late at night and try to eat away at your greens. It's the cycle of life, but I prefer to keep my garden pristine. Anything chewed at gets removed. Slugs get the salt treatment, and rabbits stay away from the soap and vinegar mixture. These things are supposed to be staples and work frequently, but any good gardener knows it takes more work than that.
Fences, barriers, professional sprays, anti-vermin and bug pellets, insecticide and more. These are all good tricks sure. I found nothing quiet beats using the natural methods. Roses are fragile and need to be treated in the right way. That's why as a recommendation most gardens should include other plants and flowers to not only complement the roses, but to protect them from insects and regular wildlife. Brunnera for instance otherwise known as jack frost to most gardeners; is a perfect companion to roses. It carries hardy but beautiful silver leafs with deep green veins, this creates a striking contrast to the deep red and pink roses I like to plant. Resting closer to the ground it acts as a natural thick bush covering the lower sections of the roses. The thick leafs of jack frost give the rabbits something else to chew on and keeps the slugs away from higher places.
It's truly amazing the things you find in a garden. How a garden can be so stunning yet be so low maintenance that even the gardener barely touches it. That's what the low key tougher plants have always been for me. Munstead lavender and Russian sage finish filling out my garden. The light purple flowers from both match with the silver leafs from the Brunnera perfectly. Keeping the lower areas of the garden with a thick bush of silver and purple brings the eyes upward to the roses when in bloom. They rise and bloom with the sun, the roses melds together with the lavender producing a sweet aromatic fragrance. Strong enough to cover the more pungent smell of the sage below them. Personally the musty scent of the sage and soil mixes well with the sweeter scents emanating from the roses and lavender.
It reminds me of home. Years ago spending my early mornings with either my mom or dad. Together we would dig up old plants, cycle the soil and plant for the new season. The gloves I had back then aren't very different from the gloves I have now. Torn up, old, and riddled with holes. Many times a thorn has managed to sneak through and land a mighty blow against my fingers or hands. I couldn't imagine ever replacing them though. I left the first pair behind because I outgrew them. But, I don't think I could ever throw this pair away. Every year these gloves handle the work in my garden, and without them the love would be gone. The love from my parents who instilled a love of plants into me, who got me my first pair of gloves, who bought me my second pair, this pair. These gloves have seen the love of many, and can give that love to the plants they touch. In return the plants thrive, live and bloom. Creating a place of peace for my heart, my garden.
My Garden. A place for me to create and build something with my own hands. A place of growth and beauty. Barely moving I remove the trimming sheers from my pocket. A few nibbled leafs here or there is normal. Tracing the stem of each leaf back to its base, that's where I make my cut. Snipping the leaf off with little hesitation it falls into my hand. Double checking the cut, I watch the small amount of liquid pool around it. This is the worst part of gardening. Having to hurt each plant by pruning and trimming off leafs and petals. Talking each plant through the process is a good way to avoid stunting their growth. It's a necessary pain for them to truly achieve greatness.
As the sun reaches for the heights of the heavens, warming the morning to day. The sheers go away and I'm done trimming. Nutrients are easy, a little nitrogen, a little sulfur, some phosphorous, potassium, trace amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, and more. Some natural compost are some nutrient pellets spread across the soil do the trick. With a quick measurement and a little water the nutrients seep down through the soil into the root system. Personally a root feeder with a nutrient solution is the best way to go for roses in a bigger garden. I want to ensure each plant gets the water and nutrient level it needs. A little extra nitrogen and the proper alkaline or acidic solution can really make your flowers a rich color against the deep greens leafs they should produce.
The beauty is not only learning about the life cycle of plants, but being directly a part of it. As the sun lowers reaching the end of my day. The gloves come off. I shake the dirt loose from the finger tips, beat the extra dirt off the outside and set them down in my little red toolbox. Setting the sheers down on top of the gloves. I close it up for today, close it for this weekend, until the next it calls, until the next time I need my gloves. Until the next time my plants need a little love.