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  • Spring is here...or is it summer already?

    Florida weather has never been very predictable.  We have a few cool, breezy days in a row; then the mercury shoots right back up past 90 degrees  in the blink of an eye.  I know my calendar says we just had the first day of spring, but seriously, its starting to feel more like summer each day.

    Another sign of spring at Parkesdale Market is the greenhouses.  At this time of year, our greenhouses are filled with Gerber Daisies, Ground Orchids, Gazanias, Sunflowers, Amaryllis and the most fragrant Hybrid Roses you can imagine.  I dare you to walk by them and not stop to "smell the roses".  This is usually one of the things I do every morning.  I can't help myself.  I debate which ones I would like to bring home, meaning I'd like to bring one of each color!

    Last year I finally decided to give roses a try.  Mind you, I don't consider myself a gardener by any means.  I brought home three different types of Roses: a lilac rose tree, a peach drift rose and two Knock Out Roses (a yellow and a red).  I can proudly say my garden only suffered one casualty.  The yellow Knock Out Rose did not make it.  Not sure why because it was planted next to the lilac Rose Tree, which has bloomed and re-bloomed despite my lack of constant care and attention.  The red Knock Out Rose has at least doubled in size if not tripled.  Now I undersand why Knock Out roses are so popular.  They are much easier to not take care.  The drift rose is still alive, but not as big as I would have hoped.  I understand this is normal as they are recommended as ground covers because they stay very low to the ground.

    Given my odds from last year, 3 out of 4 is not bad, I decided to bring home two more hybrid roses: Granada and All American Magic.  Our backyard gets full sun, so I think I've found a good spot for them.  When I bring any plant home, I like to "test" their new home before putting them in the ground.  I've always heard about "right plant, right place", but I never really understood it until I found hoe and shovel.  I haven't met Meems yet, but I would love to.  Her garden, or better yet her desire for a front lawn without grass is very commendable.  Much like a lot of our produce, our roses are locally grown in Plant City by Mrs. Cruz from Cruz Nursery or the rose lady as I like to call her.  She recommended Bayer 2-in-1 Systemic Rose and Flower care.  It feeds and protects with one monthly application!  I sometimes remember to apply it.  When I do apply it regularly, I can see an improvement right away.  The blooms are plentiful and the plant itself looks so much more green.  Even with my sporadical use, I still get blooms and no bugs on my roses.

    What are your thoughts on Roses?  Are roses really worth it?

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