Some people like to fish, but that requires equipment, bait, and a good place to drop a line, plus time away.
I was put in charge of selling my father's Ford Falcon station wagon, truly a triple loser, and one salesman said, "That would be a good car for fishing." I thought, "Yes, a veiled put-down in the form of a compliment."
I took Sassy out to water the newly planted roses. She sat in the front and guarded the yard against all intruders. Her nature is to watch and listen, so I pay attention when she goes on alert. That reminds me of the Louis Lamour novels where the hero faced away from the fire, to save his night vision, and relied on the horses to pick up alien sounds.
Sassy's radar extends one block, easily. She notices people outside, or unusual noises, or her favorite kitty pussy-footing across the lawn. She blocks out all birds, distant rabbits and squirrels.
Mrs. Ichabod asked, "You watered the roses? It rained hard yesterday." Yes, it did, I explained, but the canes like to be watered after lots of sun and steady winds. My shallow bird-baths dry up in steady winds, so that means the new roses are equally susceptible to drying.
Another advantage of additional watering is settling the soil around the bare roots. On planting day, the soil may be crumbly and go into the right place. On the other hand, I have seen pockets of air form when I needed a bit more soil around the plant. Mushroom compost and cow compost are handy for piling concentrated humus material on top for the soil creatures to work into the clay soil. That tends to wash into the voids.
The rose experts often say, "If you cannot plant a bare root rose right away, heel in the plant." That means digging a hole fast and tossing in the bush, throwing some soil on top. In other words, a quick planting is not fatal. If the roses are plentiful and the workers are few, the digging is not going to be as fastidious and fussy as we might imagine during our wintry dreams.
That reminds me of the old (bad) advice to dig enormous holes and displace gigantic amounts of soil. The real work is done by the roots growing and the soil creatures feeding those roots. To paraphrase the statement about political government, "The best soil management is the least soil management." As Shewell-Cooper wrote in his famous book, the organic materials place on top of the soil will be drawn down below until they are no longer needed. At that point the compost becomes mulch or the mulch stops being pulled down. Earthworms and all the other fantastic soil creatures do the work. The best we can do is favor God's Creation by cooperating with the divine plan.
|W. E. Shewell-Cooper was a famous British gardener.|
As Eric Hoffer wrote, "If you can shake one idea out of a book..."
His idea is leaving organics on top,
not stirring them into the soil like a porridge on a stove.
|California Dreamin' Rose.|
We never know if the roses are going to be as astonishing as they are in the catalogs. California Dreamin' looked like one I had to have, so I planted that last year. The real test is how established they become, and that takes time for all of them.
(Plant Patent #21388) The original Princess de Monaco rose introduced in 1984 still remains a favorite of many rosarians, epitomizing the beauty, elegance and radiance of its namesake. This new Meilland introduction captures all the great qualities of the original 'Princess', but is enhanced with strong citrus fragrance, even better flower form and more tolerance to common rose diseases. Why the name 'California Dreamin'? Simply because the exceptional rose climates of California and the dry West enhances every one of its fine qualities making it truly a 'dream' rose. Flower Size: 4-6". Fragrance: Strong citrus. Hybridizer: Meilland, 2009.
If a rose performs the first year, the next few years will probably far better. Here are my basic treatments for weaker rose bushes:
- Pour rain water on them whenever possible.
- Go back and give them extra water when watering, especially by washing off the canes.
- Add plenty of mulch around the plant, so grass or other plants are not competing for water and food.
- Snip off dead wood, crossing canes, and tips of canes. Pruning adds energy to growth.
- Remove spent flowers at once to push energy into new flowers.
- Cut back on buds to get fewer, better blooms.
|Paradise Rose cost me $5 each.|