We had a few nights this past week with temperatures down in the 20's, so this morning I figured it was time to get my roses ready for winter. When the girls were little they used to say I was putting my roses to bed. Its hard to do here because we go from warm weather to hard freezes and back several times. The canes don't get much of a chance to harden. I don't fertilize after August 1st and I don't deadhead after Labor Day. Still, with no encouragement from me my "Queen Elizabeth" Grandiflora is taller than I am.
My "Fragrant Delight" Floribunda is putting out new growth like its June instead of November.
Some advocate putting off winterizing until the ground freezes, but I just wait until we have a few good frosts. I have eight roses bushes, so I can generally get this done in a morning. I remove all the summer mulch and fallen leaves back to bare earth. Then I mound up new mulch to cover the crowns of the plants and the ground out to the drip line. It helps to minimize the ground freezing and thawing around the plants over the winter months. In the spring after I prune back; I remove the winter mulch and with it any lingering leaves that might have black spot.
That pretty much wraps up my fall gardening chores. Next I'm heading to the kitchen. Why?
Well folks, its that time of the month already. (No, not THAT time of the month!) The theme is "Breakfast" and the recommended attire is pj's. WooHoo! That's what I'm talking about. Stumble home and you're ready for bed!
I'm bringing the biscuits and gravy. I think this may be a totally midwestern thing because I never experienced sausage gravy until I went to college. But I have to tell you I fell in LOVE with it. I know, totally laden in saturated fats, sodium,etc. but SO GOOD. Here, developed over time and with much trial and error, is my super secret Sausage Gravy recipe:
Crumble 1 lb. Jimmy Dean Sausage (regular) and 1 lb. Jimmy Dean Sausage (hot)in a pan and brown.
DO NOT DRAIN PAN.
Worry there is not enough fat and add 1/2 a stick or so of butter.
Sprinkle in 1/2 cup of flour.
Open a quart of whole milk, pour slowly and stir. Add milk until you get the desired consistency.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Now for the hard part:
Buy frozen Pillsbury biscuits. Throw them on a cookie sheet and bake them for however long it says to on the bag. Shamelessly pass them off as your own.