Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mother Nature in the Garden with the Polar Vortex

Winter Casualties

No matter what kind of winter weather visits the upper midwest there's always a few losses in my garden and I was expecting more than a couple this spring. I took this photo last October right before the first frost, never thinking it would be the last roses from those bushes. Gulp. 


This was my rose/clematis arbor last summer. Apart from my less that stellar pruning, those rose canes always had a mind of their own. These roses along with the clematis are history now. How could prolonged subzero temperatures destroy them after they survived the last decade of our typical Amazon jungle summers and Siberian winters? Could it really have been the Polar Vortex?

So why did this Peace rose survive but not the Knock-Outs? Honestly, I neglect them all equally.

Ten years ago I decided to turn my backyard into a cottage garden. So I dug up the grass and installed an arbor with a winding path. It doesn't lead anywhere special, just to the rest of the backyard with a lawn, some trees, a rickety bench and hundreds of bloodthirsty mosquitoes. 

These roses came from a bush planted by my great-grandmother. They only bloom once a year but just the fragrance alone is worth it. Our spring was late and chilly this year so they have only just started to open.

The foxgloves and hollyhocks were lost too, but just today I found some replacements that will definitely bloom this summer. Hopefully they will give it that cottagey look again. As for the arbor, the Morning Glory vines might cover it this year but it is a garden so there's no telling what will come up.

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