January Jobs

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Welcome to the longest month…

After all the excitement of the holiday season, we are left with this month of January which always seems to drag along. With Christmas put away, the house can seem so dark after the season of light!! Our last year was particularly dark. Our state meteorologist published in the beginning of the month that 2018 was the 5th wettest year in Connecticut, since they began keeping records. He also reported that out of the 365 days of the year, we only had 50 that were wall-to-wall sunshiney. So far, this year is starting out brighter! In our new home, we have many big windows on the east and south sides, so the sunshine floods in…I love that. So do my houseplants! Taking care of them is one of my January jobs, and as the daylight increases, I love watching them grow!


Collect Rose Catalogs

There are any number of rose catalogs to browse on line, but I love it when they come to my mailbox! Then, I can browse them for hours and decide what I need. Edmunds Roses is a great place to start. They carry roses from many rose companies and have a great collection to choose from. Over the last few years, I have fallen in love with Kordes Roses from Germany and Edmunds carries them. ‘Sunny Skies’ is a glowingly beautiful yellow hybrid tea from Kordes that is really simple to grow. ‘Savannah’ is a beautiful, soft pink with a fabulous fragrance. The beauty of the Kordes roses is that they have been bred to be really disease resistant. There has been no spraying in Europe for years…hence, they have developed this wonderful strain of roses that are easier to care for. David Austin Roses publishes a gorgeous catalog, full of beautiful pictures and descriptions. Looking through it is a confection for the senses, and I can almost smell the roses’ heady fragrances! Jackson and Perkins still publishes a great catalog, and I have been growing their roses for all my life. J&P also carries the Kordes roses. Make sure you read all the descriptions of the roses you are interested in. You will see lots of photographs, but unless you read the descriptions, you will not know how big the blossoms will be. I prefer big, buxom blooms, myself! Ordering new roses, bare-root, is another of my January Jobs. After they arrive, I will pot them up in big pots and grow them on in the sun for six weeks before they go into the ground.


Read a Great Rose Book

My friend, Peter Kukielski, published a great book in 2015 entitled ‘Roses Without Chemicals.’ Peter was the Rosarian Curator at the Peggy Rockefeller Garden in New York City. The city decided there would be no more spraying, so Peter researched and completely redesigned the entire garden with sustainable roses. The book is stunning and interesting to read, and is loaded with suggestions, pictures, and recommendations to get a budding rosarian started. His sense of humor also shines through. All rosarians should have this book on their bedside table. I have always sprayed my roses in my 40+ years of rose gardening, but if you wish to grow a sustainable rose garden, this is the publication for you. Reading this book was a January job for me this year.


So, take heart! The days are getting longer, the sun is shining brightly on our fresh snowfall, and there are snowy sparkles everywhere. My roses are sleeping peacefully in their new gardens, and I am sleeping deeply every night, on my road to spring. Once the sun is up early, I will be, too.


Meet Marci Martin

Marci Martin fell in love with roses when she was a little girl, and the love affair goes on. She has been growing roses for…

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