To me, roses are in a special class to themselves, and that is why they were not included in the list of preferred plants in last month’s article.  There are three old roses that are especially good for the home garden.  Once established, they grow with little care and repeat blooms from spring through fall.  They can be planted now and, like all roses, they need plenty of sun.  

MUTABALIS has single blooms and is referred to as the “butterfly rose” because from a distance the blooms make the bush appear to be covered with butterflies.  The flowers start out a peach color, change to light pink, and then light red.  MRS. DUDLEY CROSS has a large double flower that opens as a light yellow and then gets a light pink at the end of the petals.  Both can grow to about 6 feet high and wide.  

Another old rose for the garden is NACOGDOCHES, sometimes called “grandma’s yellow rose.”  It has an upright form and can grow 6 feet tall.  The flowers are large, double yellow and are spectacular, especially in early spring.  One bush on Cedar St. had over 40 flowers at one time last spring.  Nacogdoches is also a repeat bloomer.  

There are many easy to grow native plants for the garden that literally can thrive on neglect once established.  The list is too long to include here, but a free list is available at the King William office.  We plan to provide a holder for the list outside the office door so the list will be available 24/7.  The list also includes adapted plants that are easy to grow in South Texas.  Plants on the list are not usually found at the big box stores, so call around to local privately-owned nurseries.  

Now is the time to divide iris and daylilies.  Plant them about 12 to 18 inches apart.  The top of the iris rhizome should be planted even with the soil surface.  Plant daylily bulbs 3 to 4 inches deep. 

We are still in Stage 2 water use restrictions.  Use of sprinklers is limited to 7:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., weekdays only, day based on your house number.  For more information call SAWS at 704-7297, or refer to the last page in the Sports Section of the daily paper. 

More of The Wit and Wisdom of Mark Twain: A Book of Quotations:  “It is not best that we should all think alike; it is difference of opinion that makes horse races.”

Garden Note: Gardening is cheaper than therapy...and you get tomatoes.