Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hose in Hand

Roses and cactus are both known for thorns. Okay- roses are not cactus when it comes to water. However, if you have abandoned roses because you think they are water hogs, think again. Specimens are stumbled upon along remote roadways and in long abandoned gardens. Roses are survivors.
The June issue of the Weeks Roses Newsletter comes out in a few days. One of its features this month is a lesson on watering roses. The subscription is free. Sign up at

Cindy McNatt, garden columnist for the Orange County Register penned a nice entry about the merits of hand watering on the newspaper’s Homebody blog on May 15th. Link to it at

While most of my landscape is on an automatic irrigation system, I agree with Cindy. There is still something to be said to be walking around the garden with a hose or watering can.
The timers make sure there is enough water to keep the garden alive. But if you rely totally on them, they can rob you of the restorative interaction that comes from walking with hose in hand. Up close, you can spot when rust or a pest first appears, and pluck the offenders out before it has a chance to spread. You can spot the wonder of a single water drop rolling off a leaf in slow motion. Up close, you can observe caterpillars munching on leaves- and know the butterflies are on their way.

Thank you to photographer Gene Sasse for the top three photographs.

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