Archive for January, 2009

Roses In January


2009
01.28


Roses blooming in January are a rare site for zone 6 gardeners. I had to go to hardiness zone 10, warm and sunny Orlando, to smell these yellow roses. And yes, I not only took their picture, but really did stop to smell the roses’ light fragrance.
Yellow roses were my fathers favorite and I think they are my favorites too. That may be the reason yellow varieties tend to find their way to my garden.

Roses in EPCOT, Jan 2009


Rose petals have been found in fossils millions of years old. Hybridization has added disease tolerance and winter hardiness to the ancient rose.
I love the color variation of this rose which is about 4 inches across in full bloom. The buds start out a bold sunny yellow. As the bloom opens the color lightens to a soft pale lemon color.
Roses do well through out most of the country. Some are more cold tolerant, or can take the heat or maybe even a little shade if they have mostly Sunshine, Water, Good Drainage, Regular Pest and Disease Control, Fertilizer and Dormant Season Pruning.
You can find a suitable variety for your zone 4 to 10.

Prune to remove dead, diseased, and damaged canes in early to mid-March just before growth starts.
Find more Rose information at American Rose Society .

Click for the U. S. Department of Agriculture Cold Hardiness Zones

Zoning out in Florida


2009
01.14

Hibiscus Hedge
Cabin fever drove me to zone 10.

Orlando, Florida to be exact. Even when the zone 10 natives think it is cold, 56 degrees, zone 6 tourists have yet to break out jackets. What they take for granted – blooming trees and shrubs in January – make zone 5 or 6 Midwesterners giddy .

This beautiful woody shrub is grown as a hedge in warmer temperatures. In zone 6, hibiscus make a showy addition to my patio. The bright yellows and reds bloom until frost if I keep the shrubs well watered.

Sometimes called rosemallow, the big beautiful blooms of hibiscus are similar to okra and cotton flowers, all members of the same Malvaceae, (mallow) family.

Hibiscus is also a primary ingredient in many herb teas. The flowers are used to make a beautiful clear red tea that tastes a bit like cranberries. Vitamin C rich hibiscus tea is shown to lower blood pressure Drinking three cups of hibiscus tea lowered blood pressure in pre-hypertensive and mildly hypertensive adults according to the USDA Agricultural Research Service.
photos by Patsy Bell Hobson

Hibiscus enthusiasts can learn more about these beautiful flowers at American Hibiscus Society.
AHA has a great link to Hibiscus 101. Worth checking out, if you want to grow your own.

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