Rose Rosette….sad for any of us who love to incorporate roses into our gardens as there is possibly a catastrophic disease spreading throughout America attacking old and new roses alike.

Rose rosette disease is a viral rose disease spread by a tiny insect. The virus is specific to roses with Rosa multiflora being its primary host. 

Symptoms of the disease –

• The plant's leaves will turn red in an irregular pattern. Eventually they will become deformed and brittle. 

• Many deep red, succulent new shoots will suddenly emerge. 

• The plant will be much more frost tender. 

Rosa multiflora being the rose most vulnerable to this disease, will exhibit the most severe symptoms. Other rose varieties will most often exhibit thickened stems displaying many more thorns than usual when infected with the virus. 

The virus is spread in 2 ways: 

• By grafting.

• And by a wingless mite that blows about on the wind. 

The nearly invisible eriophyid mite will infect new plants between May and mid July in the U.S.

What to Do If Your Rose is Infected -

• Shovel prune it 

• There is no cure for this virus. The infection will kill a small rose bush within 2 years. A large rose may survive for as long as five years. But if you allow an infected plant to remain in your garden you risk the virus spreading to your healthy roses. 

• There is no treatment but you can prevent your roses from becoming infected in the following ways: 

o Plant cultivated rose bushes as far from known stands of multiflora as possible 

o Treat the plants with Sevin, insecticidal soap or horticultural oil sprays weekly during the summer months to control the mites that spread rose rosette. 

Top Things to do in August 

• Pray that Rose Rosette does not come to your garden. 

• Water – of course! 

• Move pots and baskets to the shade to give them a break from the sun and heat. 

• Cutback things that have lots of brown leaves…like spirea or perennials…remove dead plants – your beds and pots will look better. 

• Drive around and look at gardens that are performing well in these extreme conditions. 

• Look at how your irrigation system is performing – you may want to modify coverage this fall.

• Look forward to September – and the break in the “heat dome”.

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -

No matter where you live, August is undoubtedly the hottest month of the year and depending on which part of the country you live in August will be the “worst” month of the year. We just have to grin and bear it and try and keep everything alive –that’s all we can really hope for. Amazingly with some TLC, September comes and suddenly with the cooler nights and less hot days the plants begin to grow and thrive again. So don’t throw the hose in – Indian summer is just around the corner. If you are lucky enough to live in a part of the country where August is a wonderful month to be outside – I’m jealous!

Top Things to do in August

  • Adequate water is a must – you will likely need to water your containers every day.
  • Adjustments to your automatic sprinkler system may be needed – remember to water early in the day – not at night.
  • If you do need to water during the heat of the day – be careful not to get water on the plant foliage.
  • Continue to dead head your annuals and perennials.
  • Continue to support your roses and climbing vines.
  • Go on a holiday to a cooler part of the country – or better yet – try spending 10 days in Scandinavia – lucky me….I just returned from the best vacation ever!

How to garden in August

Believe it or not this is a climbing hydrangea – I have tried to grow these for years – and they never grow for me….this was remarkable – photo taken in Oslo, Norway.

August Gardening Tips

Look at the size of these delphiniums they were over 5’ tall. During the summer months in Scandinavia the sun is shining until well after 10:00 p.m. – in fact it is still light at midnight – thus the “land of the midnight sun”….anyway – that’s why the plants grow so tall so quickly – the spring / summer growing season is only 4 months long.

Top 10 ways to take care of your garden in August

Marstrand, Sweden – Swedish seaside cottage….look how the blue in the lobelia pops against the pale Swedish yellow of the house – and the fuscia is fabulous and rich looking sitting below this quaint flower box.

Gardening Tips

Always love to see perfect color combinations – blue and orange are perfect together – opposites on the color wheel!

Summer Gardening Tips

This retaining wall spotted in Oslo is doing it’s job….what a wall of hydrangeas – these looked like something found in a flower shop!

Gardening Tips For Summer

Another example of really tall flowers – hollyhocks. I have never seen them grow to this height in the U.S. – these were spotted in front of a wonderful restaurant in Gothenburg, Sweden – the singer Pink was also spotted in this restaurant – along with the paparazzi!

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -

As a gardener, if you are living in the lower south, the Midwest or the plains – July and August are not your favorite months of the year. Many years ago when I met my future husband he asked me about the weather in Oklahoma City. I told him there were two months he was not going to like….he said…”January and February?” “I said NO – July and August!”

So now it’s here, the dreaded heat that begins well before noon and lasts until midnight! July will show no mercy on plants put in late (after the end of May), the wrong plant in the wrong spot, or plants that love cool weather. July and August are the “acid test” for your garden.

Plants put in late have less of chance to establish a root system before the heat just bakes the soil all day long…they have not stretched beyond their growth that was confined by a container.  I always tell my clients that the very best time of year to plant is in the fall….when the earth is warm for months but not too hot – roots have a long time to stretch and grow without just being “baked”.

Wrong plant – wrong spot….I could go on and on about this…but the quick story is….delicate plants or plants that don’t like hot afternoon sun will not be happy with the long hot summer days that July brings. Dogwood, azaleas, hydrangeas, hosta, clematis, Asiatic lilies – ground covers like ajuga, lamium, and woodland phloxes.

Plants that love cooler weather – of course you may already know this….roses, geraniums, petunias, lobelia are good examples of plants that looked fabulous in April, May and June but now look a little “under the weather”! Of course if you live in the Northwest part of our country – they are gorgeous this time of year.

July and August are good times to really evaluate your plantings and overall design, and decide if any changes or editing need to take place – and if so September is just around the corner.

Top Things to do in July

  • Adequate water is now a must – but please still pay attention to the weather. 
  • Water your containers every morning…this can be a must to get them through the day.
  • Adjustments to your automatic sprinkler system may be needed – remember to water early in the day – not at night.
  • If you do need to water during the heat of the day – be careful not to get water on the plant foliage.
  • I hand water newer plantings like roses and some perennials if needed.
  • Evaluate your garden – do you have the right plant in the right spot?
  • Are your petunias or geraniums looking bad in your containers – you can still refresh your containers with heat loving plants like Angelonia, Purslane, lantana and blue daze.
  • Continue to dead head your annuals and perennials – they will reward you with fresh blossoms – especially Nepata, Penta, and roses.
  • Continue to support your roses and climbing vines – they are still putting on new growth even if they aren’t blooming…this fall you will understand why you did this. 
  • In addition to dead heading your cone flowers – be sure to take the seed heads and cut them up and sprinkle the seeds around your existing plants – there are literally several hundred seeds in each head of a cone flower!

Best of the Season

  • Crepe Myrtle, Vitex (Texas Lilac), carpet and landscape roses
  • Bermuda Grass – bring the heat on!
  • All Ornamental Grasses – flower plumes are emerging
  • Perennials –Perovskia (Russian Sage) Cone Flowers, Hosta
  • Annuals – Perinwinkle, purslane, penta, lantana, dusty miller, blue daze scaveola

July Gardening Tips

This tree form crepe myrtle is beautiful – and still very young - watermelon red!

Pruned correctly this spring – not hacked off.

Gardening Tips for July

You would never know it’s nearly 100 degrees when you see this Vitex in all of it’s

lavender colored glory.

July Landscaping Tips

Cone Flowers love the heat – remember there are thousands of seeds in each of the heads – before dead-heading don’t forget to spread all the seeds – they are free and will really spread your stand of this wonderful perennial – Echinacea!

Happy Gardening -

All My Best -