Saturday, December 31, 2011

Open! Open! Open!

...and Open! Open! Open! Open! Open! Open! Open! (That's 10!)

Praise God for the warmer days this week! We've had 40 degree swings in the temperature (low 40s at night, low 80s during the day). That has helped stir the energy flow of plant. Buds I thought last week would surely be lost are opening...and I'm cutting.

There are 10 buds on on the bush. Soon to be in a vase.

How can this be, on New Year's Eve?

Ah well. I must get to the annual pruning on the rest of the bush. It's the last one, and it needs its winter rest.

Be safe tonight. Tomorrow is the Lord's Day.

Enjoy...just don't end up like Ted Hanover (from Holiday Inn, 1942, one of my favorite movies!)

The weather on Monday should be great for the Rose Bowl Parade. We had massive snows in the mountains last week, so the views should be spectacular.

Someaday I'll have to take the youngin's and camp out on the Colorado Boulevard again! Now they allow small hibachi's and grills for heat...something they didn't do 22 years ago! Back then 50s felt temperate to this midwest transplant. Now I wear a coat! LOL I guess that official makes me a Californian.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Got Milk? The Board of Unnecessary


Have you seen the recent Got Milk commercial? It's called The Board of Unnecessary. A rich corporate owner/Chairman of the Board is seeking ideas from his Board members (all appearing to be old unnecessary men) on what to do with his money.

Most of the ideas are quite humorous - turning the internet into a book (rejected by because it was too practical), and continuing to (literally) burn his money (dismissed as too easy).

If money were no object, what would you do?

The third suggestion, by unnamed old man in a suit, is to "make milk out of something other than cows, like beans... or nuts." (An obvious slam on soymilk and almond milk.) An obivously unhealthy man breathing with a respiratory treatment protests in a murmur, "But milk comes from cows!"

"That's the idea..." he replies.

The Chairman's eyes light up. Presto! The Board has discovered the perfect cause to waste bushels of money on!

No, I'm sorry, milk alternatives are quite necessary.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) between 30 and 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant, and it's estimated 90% of Asian-Americans and 75% of Native- and African-Americans suffer from the condition.(1)  And around 7.3 million adults in the U.S. are vegetarian or vegans.(2)  Combined, that's up to 57.3 million people who shouldn't, can't, or won't drink milk. Many of those poeple may choose to drink an alternative milk, like soymilk, almond milk, or rice milk, et al. 

I do

In 2011 the Dairy-Alternate industry has estimated to have done $1.33 billion in retail sales.(3)  

With a wave of the Calfornia Milk Processors Board's hand, millions of people buying non-dairy milk, and the industry, are reduced to "unnecessary!" This statement is insulting at worst, half-baked at best.

Sorry, gentlemen. You missed the mark on this one. Maybe you should burn money by researching the impact of cow flatulence on the atmosphere!

Monday, December 12, 2011

How to Care for Roses: Annual Pruning - What to Look For

Let's go over the details of to prune your roses. (Click on any photo to expand to full size)

We are starting with this: a mass of healthy stock, dead stock, some roses, some dead heads, green leaves, dead leaves still on the plant, and some dead wood. The goal is to thin this out, removing all dead plantlife and even some of the living plant. It's time for the plant to rest so it can grow well next year.

Below are some things to look for. See the change in the texture and color of the stem? See the funny light spot? See the dark thin branch above my finger?

The thin branch is dead. The funny discolored bark is dead. And the death is creeping DOWN the plant, into the healthy, smooth bark (that is close to the roots). We're going to cut all of that off.

Yes, there is a green branch, obviously living, coming from the dying section. We're going to cut off, TOO. It's growing out of a dying section. Leaving it will only allow the death to creep more, killing more of the healthy stock.

(My right index finger is pointing at a potential new growth. We'll talk about that below.)

Roses die from the branches down, not the roots up. Keep that in mind when examining your plant.

Here are more examples of deadwood on roses:

When your eye becomes accustomed to what you looking for, you'll see it even easier. It will seemingly jump out at you!

Look at these...there it is...right in the middle. You can see how the plant has died on one side of the branch between the two thinner branches. That's the almost black coloring.

And down low, again in the middle. An example of creeping death (after a cutting) headed to the root:

Here's another example of plant death in the middle of the plant. This is also the sample plant we'll be pruning in this series. (The dark grey shape is part of the watering system.)

Creeping death can show up on a rose plant in a few ways. If there a tear in the plant (like a rose was broken or torn off), or damage to the branch, disease will likely enter. If you cut above the optimal place (we'll cover that below), the plant will kill the part above the optimal place (that's what you see in the picture directly above).

You can save the plant by trimming off the dead part(s). If you don't, the plant will die as the disease creeps down the plant and reaches the roots. It may take a year or so, but it will happen.

Give it a healthy prunning. It will grow back. Living plants do that!

(This is part of a series of posts on How to Care for Roses. Click on the label "Rose Care" to see all the posts.)

Sheryllyn McClintock

Saturday, December 10, 2011

How to Care for Roses: Annual Pruning - The Goal

I grow roses. A lot of them. About 2 dozen. I put them in when I was pregnant with my first child (external nesting?). I pulled out all the boring and ugly landscaping along my unit, drought tolerant though it may have been.

The neighbors were appreciative. Users of the pool (my unit borders it) always thanked me for making it more delightful to the eye.

I get lots of compliments and questions about rose care. Many think roses are difficult. They are actually pretty easy. You:
  • Prepare the ground and plant;
  • Water;
  • Cut off blooms (keeping them for your table or tossing them), and
  • Annually prune back the plant and prepare the ground, coming full circle.
When you cut your plants correctly (also known as dead heading), it takes about 35 days for new growth to reach blossom stage. In my experience, rose bushes last at least 10 years. Several of mine are pushing 17 years.

As I posted the other day, I'm past due for the annual pruning. Now is the time to buy and plant the bare root roses. I've got a spot or two to fill.

The goal is to go from this (click on any photo to expand it to full size):

to something like this:

You may be asking..."Why, if I have blooms, even in December, do I need to cut back my roses?"

Because they need to rest. God gave everything a time of rest. He gave you one day a week (the Lord's Day) and he gave plants a season. He even gave the ground time off (to lay fallow one year every seven years).  'To everything there is a season...' Eccl 3:1.

Allowing your roses to rest helps them to be strong, healthy, and prevents disease.

Which makes them more productive, and more beautiful.

I've let mine go before, and the results are not good. Weird, thin growth, less blooms, greater leaf diseases.

Wack 'em back each year. They need it.

(This is part of a series of posts on How to Care for Roses. Click on the label "Rose Care" to see all the posts.)

Sheryllyn McClintock

Friday, December 9, 2011

How to Care for Roses: Annual Pruning - Tools & Preparation


First, put on some jeans or other heavy duty pants (you could get dirty and may catch a thorn or two); and a suitable shirt (one that you don't care if it get's caught and torn by a thorn). Some prefer long sleeves, I prefer short. I'm more aware of my arms being near thorns that way (and you can tell by the clothing tears which polos I use for gardening!). I highly suggest you wear your "gardening gear" every time, even if you "are just cutting" for the table. Many a non-gardening shirt has been torn this way (thus joining the 'gardening gear' collection!).

Let's start with tools. Choose which fits your budget. (Click on any photo to expand it to full size.)

There's the Basic Set of Tools:

Heavy Duty Pruner, Hand Held Pruner, Leather Palmed Gloves

Or choose the Advanced Set:

Add Stool, Valarian, Ibuprophen and preferred Adult Libation

To the basic set of a long handled prunner, hand prunner, leather palmed gloves, I've added:
  • A stool (for comfort while getting in close),
  • Valarian Root (an herb that relaxes the back muscles, and they tell me smells like marijuana, take before going to bed)
  • Ibuprophen (good for relaxing muscles and relieving pain)
  • Preferred Adult Beverage (also good for relaxing muscles and relieving pain; ingest only afterwards!)
  • Warm Up Exercises (not shown)
  • Hand Salve/Cuticle Cream (non shown)
I already tweaked my back the other day and it still hurts, so I took Ibu's before I started gardening today. And I did some stretching, to warm up my muscles. You will be bending, squatting, crouching, and lunging, so warm up first!

It's easiest to begin with the large pruners. Let's go!

(This is part of a series of posts on How to Care for Roses. Click on the label "Rose Care" to see all the posts.)

Sheryllyn McClintock

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Will SOMEONE Tell My Roses to STOP GROWING?!?!

Today is December 8th. Yesterday was the 70th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor. We have had frost warnings for two nights, and it has been very cold. VERY cold for So Cal (we get frost warnings maybe every 10 years).

And I'm late cutting back my roses. It's pleasant during the day, probably 68 degrees, and out I go to do the hardest work of being a rosarian.

Guess what I found? Fresh blossoms! Now I have fragrant roses on my table!

Of my 3 roses inside my garden, I have 8 buds (you can see 7 in the photo). Including the roses along the sidewalk, there are probaby a dozen more buds.

THIS IS DECEMBER!!! I should have cut them back by November 30th, I know. Blame the weather or whatever, I didn't.

I knew the landscapers had cut back some of the plants. With this unseasonable cold, I thought the rest would be a mess of death.

I certainly did NOT expect fresh blooms!

I blame Dr. Joel Wallach. I do. I really do. It's his fault.

10+ years ago I heard Dead Doctors Don't Lie. I loved it. His information changed my life for the better. His information have kept me and my family in abundant health.

But one thing stuck in my ears...he had a soil additive for gardens. I have thought about for years. Honest.

In August the company I have worked with for 8 years (Financial Destination, Inc. (FDI)) merged with Dr Wallach's company (now FDI-Youngevity). His headquarters are down the road, in San Diego. First time I visited HQ, I bought some things, turned to leave, then remembered...the SOIL ADDITIVE! Of course I took some home!

I applied Blooming Minerals on August 30. And I'm STILL getting incredible growth and blossoms! Blooming Minerals is AMAZING. I highly recommend it if you grow ANYTHING...veggies, flowers, grains, fruit trees, nuts...ANYTHING.

I've got lots of pictures to post and more to tell. That will be in other posts.

Contact me about how to get some for your plants!

Sheryllyn McClintock

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Cincinnati: Yet Another Irony!

I was talking with my dear friend David Biren of Clifton, about tv show Harry's Law. He wasn't familiar with it, and wasn't aware there was a show set in Cincinnati. (David owns D. Raphael, my favorite shop in Cincinati. He has the most unique items! I found the store and met him when I was a freshman in college, and have been friends every since.)

I told him when it was on (with the time change, it was already off), and then he mentioned he didn't have cable.

That made me pause...why would he need cable?

Then I remember: Cincinnati DOES NOT have broadcating NBC affiliate!

Does NBC know? Has anyone with Arbitron figured this out? The town that should be glued into their local show can't watch it because it isn't broadcast!

Irony of Ironies...this is rich!

At some point, the stations played musical chairs. It used to be that WKRC was the ABC affiliate, WCPO was the CBS affiliate, and WLWT was the NBC affiliate.

Now WKRC is CBS, WCPO is ABC and WLWT says they are NBC. Why did they switch? More important, why isn't WLWT broadcasting? Why are they only on cable? Has holding a broadcast license in the public gone away?

Ah...something to dig into when I've got the time. As prince George says "You have to remember that in the microcosm of Cincinnati, Ohio through northern Kentucky..."

Here, here! So very true.

And the older he gets, the more he looks like his dad, Nick. Who will forever be, in my mind, the face of local news. For my children, it will be Chuck Henry. For me, Nick Clooney.

When you go up in a microcosm, it stays with you!

But that's not irony. Just a bunny trail.