13 July 2016
On a recent sunny morning, before the summer heat rose, I cleaned up our rose bed a bit. My experimental planting of herbs among the roses was a wash-out . . . literally. Spring rains drowned the sages, bee balm and marjoram, and nearly killed the oregano, in spite of a new drainage system. I noted that herbs in terra cotta pots survived, even thriving. So I dug up the barely-alive oregano and placed the two plants in pots. Hopefully they will come back strong. The basil and bay laurel came through the flooding just fine, as did the mints in pots.
I also cut back the roses. Since the spring floods, wild animals had eaten all the leaves, their normal grazing areas being under water. Former owners of the property had strung tiny fairy lights just inside the patio roof, giving off just a wee bit of light. We sometimes leave these on instead of a porch light, giving light without excessive bugs. We discovered that if we leave these lights on all night, animals leave the rose leaves alone. So I cut back the bare stems, fertilized, and watered them (we are in a hot, dry period now). It seems to have worked; we are now getting some blooms with lots of healthy leaf growth.
Afterwards, I sketched my garden tool bag -- I liked the shadows! That crumpled bit of blue in the bag is a very large IKEA bag that I use to gather cuttings into. Makes it easy to carry them to our burn pit without getting nicked by the rose thorns.