Thursday, June 19, 2008
What rain does to roses
Previously on this blog and on Garden Rant, I have commented on what a great season for roses it's been. Can I take that back? Our great April sunshine and May rains created a floriferous crop, but now a mid-June rainy season has outworn its welcome.
Too much water on rose buds and blooms causes them to "ball", i.e., turn into sad little droopy balls. The excessive dampness can also promote diseases such as blackspot and mildew. And physically, the really hard showers simply beat the blooms into the ground. In such a case you just want to cut what you can and let it develop inside, where it's relatively safe (though our cat is also an enemy of cut flowers).
Like anything, gardening is wrought with danger and heartbreak. Many I know have given up on their first flush of roses and are hoping for better rebloom after the next sunny spell. It's a mixed blessing. I am happy not to worry about watering. But no more wine in the garden until this lets up.