|Falling in Love - Fragrant pink - is now the star of the main rose garden.|
Contenders in the memorial row are Veterans Honor, Peace, and Queen Elizabeth.
Friday, Edmunds Roses emailed me to expect the ordered roses on Saturday - by 8 PM. I was hoping that meant earlier in the day, so I followed the package via the Net.
"They're on the truck!" I said to Mrs. Ichabod.
"We have to go shopping!"
We left and came back to the box perched on the front porch.
I already had three barrels filled with water. I was out of rainwater, so I used tap-water, which aerated overnight. I knew rain was on the way - or hoped it was - so I was not worried. Sunday or Monday the rain was due, so I had Saturday to plant.
Sassy came out to supervise, and our helper came over to mulch the maple tree rose garden. I should have soaked the clay soil the night before, a big lapse. Thorough soaking the day before will yield a good texture to dig in. Too little moisture is like digging in a heavily used parking lot. Too much water means slopping through and sitting in mud. I ended up with dry and hard soil, perfect soil for planting, and muddy gooshy clay.
However, I thoroughly enjoy planting roses because of their potential. Once again I was digging in the lawn because Mrs. I said, "No more grass!" Those tough grass and clover roots will be turned into compost as we cover the green areas with cardboard, newspaper, and shredded wood mulch.
Sassy came out to supervise. She walked down the row and sniffed at each new hole. After some time she became restless to see the neighbors. We walked to the corner to talk to our neighbors, who are part-Indian brothers. Sassy is great friends with them. Mike suggested rain was coming soon, and he was almost correct.
After we talked about rain, Sassy and I crossed the cul-de-sac to talk to the four S sisters. Their names all start with S, so we often call them the Four Esses. The girls were chalking the sidewalk and doing cartwheels. S-3 is especially fond of Sassy, so our dog got some thorough petting. Sassy also scratched her back on the sidewalk and erased some chalk. Everyone laughed.
|Fragrant Cloud's color is hard to define.|
I have seen it written up as "brick" and "dark red."
The fragrance of one bloom will fill a room,
and the bush produces flower after flower.
Next we talked to a Laotian-American, Nicky, a recent college graduate, one of the first people we met when we moved in. His mother is friends with Mrs. I, so I got my wife to come out. Meanwhile, Nicky wanted a tour of our berry plants, so we took Sassy and Nicky's dog over to see the backyard. We have wild strawberries, beauty berries, raspberries, blackberries, blue berries, pokeberries, elder berries, and goose berries.
The informal neighborhood gathering started to break up as the wind increased and the clouds darkened. I had plenty of planting left, since I stopped to soak the clay every so often. Soon I felt like the freezing man in Jack London's To Build a Fire. My sweats were boggy with cold water and clay mud. I threw off my gardening gloves, which were caked with mud. I washed off my clippers, brown with mud.
I also had a few more Falling in Love roses than I needed for that new row, so I began digging around the maple tree circle. I knew a few places were open, so I began flailing at those dry and root-plagued spots. Rain began to fall.
Like a lot of projects, careful digging and placing of the bush ended up as flying dust and smacking the bush down with wads of soil tossed on top. My bags of composted cow manure were handy to finish up the job, since the material was heavy and easily pushed into place, holding the roots down.
The motivating rain stopped, but we had a windy night. The front yard looks promising, although it needs a lot more cardboard, newspaper, and mulch. All the neighbors are excited about the expanded rose garden.
|Peace has remained a popular rose.|
My experience is seeing the entire bush burst
into bloom at once, with large elegant blooms.
Roses Need This Kind of Treatment
- They are the queen of all flowers, so treat them royally. They stand alone. Do not crowd them.
- The grow best without toxins, whether insecticides or fungicides or chemical fertilizer.
- A heavy organic mulch will block weeds and turn former lawn grass into compost.
- Red wiggler earthworms will do all the digging needed. Sell the rototiller.
- Roses do not belong to the cactus family, so keep them watered between rainstorms.
- Pruning energizes and beautifies roses, so prune often. a) I let KnockOut roses remain for color, then prune them all off at once. b) I cut roses for the altar, for doctors, for friends, for neighbors - my favorite form of pruning.
- Expect aphids, but think of them as beneficial insect food. The next round of blooms will be protected by spiders and beneficial bugs who prey on aphids.
- Blackspot is omnipresent and not a big deal. Do not spray for blackspot: it is a racket.
|We wanted one rose in the lavender color range.|
Barbra Streisand is a good producer.