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Oct 3, 2010 5:45 PM CST
|After the torrential rains we had this week, tropical storm Nicole moved out of the area Thursday night. Friday morning I was amazed at how fast the remnants of the storm's clouds were blowing across the sky, like giant high-speed cotton balls. I don't think I've seen clouds move that fast before. In their wake there was nothing but clear blue skies that lasted all weekend, but also significantly cooler temperatures. Today's high only reached the low 60s despite abundant sunshine. Cool temperatures and more rain are forecast for the next four days, so I decided today was a good day to transplant some "short climbers" that have either outgrown their space or are blocking smaller roses behind them from view. |
With 175 roses on a small lot, I have almost no more space for digging any more holes for roses, with one exception: a very steep hillside along the western facing side of the house, where I thought I might be able to transplant a few of the short climbers. The challenge of planting anything there is that when our lot was developed 20 years ago, the developer filled in the steep hillside with massive slaps of rock the size of tombstones, and then dumped topsoil on top of them. So whenever I dig holes there, I inevitably have to unearth enormously heavy rocks with a 25-pound iron pry bar and pick axe. And sure enough, that's what I had to do today. But I decided to use the rock slabs to my advantage by moving them into place to form a staircase-like progression of stone-encased holes going up the side of the house. The rock slabs are relatively flat, so it's possible to use them like "walls" around the terraced holes.
I filled the holes with a combination of garden soil, peat moss, and compost, and successfully moved climbing Handel (shown in photo) into one of the holes, right beside the chimney that goes up the side of the house.
(Speaking of tropical storm Nicole, it just occurred to me that Handel looks a lot like the rose Nicole). Handel is now supported by a bamboo trellis that I placed there to support it, made from canes that I harvested from a wild grove near our house. I think I'm going to move Golden Celebration over there, too. Its blooms nod so much that I might be able to see them better if they are situated higher than my eye level as I look up the hillside at them. Presently, they just end up in a big tangled mess facing downward where they're situated now, so I'm eager to find them a better home.
I also prepped a hole there for one of two climbing Alohas that I have on order from Palantine. They'll arrive in November, along with three Lavender Lassies that will join their hybrid musk cousins, two Bouquet Parfaits, on the eastern side of the house.
Now I have to figure out where I'm going to find space for Distant Drums and Incredible, which I received from Chamblees this week.
Oct 3, 2010 7:54 PM CST
|What fun! I love to find spaces to plant roses. I'm glad you were able to get around the rocks. I dug up a lot of Alstroemeria today. It's so invasive and it gets so tall here that it flops over and covers everything within 3 or 4 feet of the center of the clump. When it dies down, I invariably find poor little roses along the perimeter of the Alstroemeria clumps that are ailing because they haven't had a bit of sun or water for months. From now on, I'm only going to grow the fancy cultured Alstroemeria. They stay nice and short and they don't multiply like rabbits.|
Oct 3, 2010 8:29 PM CST
|Oh, I love the Peruvian Lily. I assembled a bouquet of some mixed in with other flowers for John's and my 15th anniversary two weeks ago, and only this morning did I have to eventually toss them out - they lasted that long in the vase!|
Oct 3, 2010 8:39 PM CST
|Happy anniversary, Mike and John. Fifteen years! That's impressive.|
Oct 3, 2010 8:43 PM CST
|I Googled Alstroemeria - they all looked so innocent...|
Oct 3, 2010 9:37 PM CST
|They're really beautiful, Porkpal, and they're used in florists' bouquets because they last so long in a vase, but the species Alstroemeria get very, very tall here and live forever, spreading like crazy year by year. If I had the room, I'd keep them, but I just don't have the space for great big clumps of plants. I'm going to take out some Crinum next. They also spread and spread and never die.|
Oct 3, 2010 10:03 PM CST
|We have Crinum growing in a square pattern in one of our pastures where it used to outline a house that has been gone for at least three decades. Sturdy plant!|
Oct 5, 2010 8:29 PM CST
|Wow, that's longevity!|
Oct 20, 2010 4:41 PM CST
|UPDATE: Over the past two weekends I moved 21 roses around the garden, like pieces on a chess board. Several roses right on the edge of the garden path were too tall and vigorous for their location - not just the short climbers mentioned above, but some Buck shrubs, a couple of Traviottas, a Red Queen, and a Glowing Peace, among others. So I carefully dug them up and moved them into locations where I previously had shorter roses situated toward the back of the border, and moved those shorter roses up front. But it wasn't an easy one-for-one swap. It was more like moving Rose A where Rose B was, and moving Rose B to where Rose C was, and moving Rose C where Rose A was, etc., etc., until I was satisfied with the balance between color, size, and proportion. There were also some roses that simply got crowded out by their neighbors, and weren't really flourishing, so they got moved, too. |
The only one that resented being moved was Moore's Striped Rugosa, whose leaves drooped and dried out after being relocated; but I suspect it will bounce back next spring, especially since it's growing on its own roots. All the others have done quite well, with minimal drooping, due to the amount of autumn rains we've had, the cool temperatures (already dipping into the high 30s here at night), and my watering them in deeply after transplanting them. I'm looking forward to seeing how it all comes together next spring when they bloom in full.
In the meantime, I still have plenty of roses blooming, and just gave a bouquet to my elderly neighbor this afternoon, after she finally returned home from the hospital and nursing home after falling and breaking her hip this past summer. It was the first time I had seen her in months, and she's slowly making her way around with a walker. The roses brightened her up.
Oct 20, 2010 8:36 PM CST
|I love big projects, and I especially love completing big projects. I hope you have a good way to celebrate the completion.|
The rains are expected to arrive here this weekend, so I'll be planting and transplanting like crazy for the next two days.
Oct 20, 2010 9:35 PM CST
|Wow, I wouldn't dare move roses right now|
Roses are one of my passions! Just opened, my Etsy shop (to fund my rose hobby)! http://www.etsy.com/shop/Tweet...
Oct 20, 2010 10:06 PM CST
|Such ambition! My roses tend to stay where ever I first plant them whether they fit or not. Which is one reason I won't be likely to post a garden tour. I still enjoy them but they are not as scenic as they could be with better landscape design.|
Oct 21, 2010 2:14 PM CST
|I got tired just reading the descriptions of the ABC move!|
Oct 21, 2010 5:46 PM CST
|Sue, remember those sliding puzzles we played with as kids? That's what it was like, moving all the roses around!|
Oct 21, 2010 9:45 PM CST
|Shucks! I was hoping your puzzle would really work...|
Oct 21, 2010 11:13 PM CST
Speaking of puzzles, here's one for you:
Oct 22, 2010 8:18 AM CST
|Ratz! My computer wouldn't let me see it.|
Oct 22, 2010 12:47 PM CST
|You should be able to tell your computer to let you see it. It's a puzzle of a rose image, you can create your own puzzle too using any of your images.|
Oct 22, 2010 4:05 PM CST
|All I get is a box of code, no picture. I'm pretty clueless when it comes to computers so I don't know where to go with it.|
Oct 22, 2010 5:48 PM CST
|Did you scroll down? I got a box of code, but the puzzle was below it.|