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My roses like me better now that I'm feeding them

14 years ago

I humbly apologize to all of you for all my belly-aching about leafless rose bushes, frantic whining about bare canes and general handwringing about my 'ugly' garden. Even a new mama knows that when baby cries, chances are he wants a bottle. But not this mama! This one kept checking the diaper every 15 minutes, scratching her head and wondering what could be the problem with the little dumpling. Thankfully, a very wise rose friend said, "Glory, honey, feed the child!" So four weeks ago I gave them all Miracle Gro. (Well, her actual words were, "In Florida MG is like crack for roses.") And ya know, in a few days their crying was noticeably less, and it seemed like they were getting a little chubby. Two weeks ago they got another MG feeding, and a few days later, sure enough, they were getting downright pudgy. Today I was in the front garden setting out sun-loving 'Red Ruffle' azaleas (my evergreen touch for a Florida rose garden), and don't ya know, they're so gorgeous and rosy-cheeked and FAT! Tomorrow they get another MG feeding. I'm SO happy to know I'm not starving my babies anymore and absolutely joyous at the condition of my summer rose garden.

I am here to tell everyone in hot, humid gardens (especially ones with sandy soil that leaches nutrients like crazy due to heat and heavy rains) that roses (Teas, Chinas, Noisettes and even a few moderns) DO bear leaves and make new growth and flowers (!) in the height of summer. And since I'm past the point of feeling utterly stupid, I am almost giddy!!!!!!!! Yippee!!! My garden has turned a huge corner - as has the gardener! Can't wait for the fall flush!! I think I might just cry.


P.S. Don't ask me why I have been hesitant to feed in summer. I don't have a GOOD reason. Mostly because I thought they needed to 'rest' in the heat, also it's too hot to be out there scratching under rose bushes with organics, and MG is (dare I say it?) synthetic. Well, in this Florida organic garden 'any port in a storm' is fine with me. And, of course, I know I'm not telling ANYone anything they didn't already know. It just made me feel a little better about myself to give some good advise about something that works.

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