Roses forum→If you couldn't grow roses...?

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Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York
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Mike
Oct 10, 2020 8:45 PM CST
I've heard of crows and ravens bringing gifts to people who feed them... like shiny or colorful objects. It's quite remarkable.
Tuscany, Italy
bart2018
Oct 11, 2020 3:50 AM CST
Lola, you have charming crows and a beautiful landscape indeed! It's a shame the possums are such great climbers. My own fence is wire, around 6 feet tall (the height varies since my garden is all on steep land),and encloses a larger area than does yours. But foxes and cats-both of which can climb-do get in (they climb up the wooden support poles); fortuneately neither seems to cause real damage. Besides, having a couple of non-destructive,small predators around is not a bad thing, methinks; they keep the vole population under control. The steep slope, with this tall-ish fence,seems to keep deer out pretty well; when I find a point where it's vulnerable to deer, I attatch very long branches vertically to that area so to them it looks like a thicket of trees that they can't jump through. The garden is in the midst of a woodland,so there are not a whole lot of open areas conducive to jumping deer.But I don't know if any of these ideas would help with possums. However it does sound like you new neighbour will be helpful in getting the situation under control. Maybe in the meantime you could protect the individual roses with wire cages or something of the sort,just to give them a bit of respite...
Name: Margie
NY (Zone 7a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner 2020
MargieNY
Oct 11, 2020 4:00 PM CST
I don't know what your climate is compared to mine but I wanted to tell you about my dahlias. Last Spring (2019) I planted some dahlias and placed about 2 inches of mulch around them. I was suppose to dig them up in the Fall and stores them away for the winter but I forgot about 2 of them. The following Spring (2020), much to my surprise, I discovered they survived.
If I was to replace my roses, I would grow irises and dahlias. In the past, I dabbled in hybridizing irises of which I derived much pleasure. I acquired a variety of irises in an effort to extend the iris growing season - dwarf's bloom early, than the Intermediates, than the Tall Bearded and finally the Siberian and Japanese irises. There are lots of rebloomers to chose from as well. Here is an example of one of my irises. In the last photo you can see the diamond dust and gold edging around the outer edges of the standards. This cross involved a historic iris from the 1940's and one from the early 2000's.
Thumb of 2020-10-11/MargieNY/b3ee81


Thumb of 2020-10-11/MargieNY/7bc93a


Thumb of 2020-10-11/MargieNY/ff9c07

Observe, observe, observe
We are fortunate to "see" & appreciate nature in ways others are blind.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Oct 11, 2020 4:40 PM CST
Beautiful home-breds, Margie!
Porkpal
Name: Mike Stewart
Lower Hudson Valley, New York (Zone 6b)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner 2020 Garden Photography Roses Bulbs Peonies
Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Dog Lover Cat Lover Birds Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: New York
Image
Mike
Oct 11, 2020 6:10 PM CST
That's really exquisite!
Name: Margie
NY (Zone 7a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner 2020
MargieNY
Oct 11, 2020 9:45 PM CST
Thank you
Observe, observe, observe
We are fortunate to "see" & appreciate nature in ways others are blind.
Name: Lola
Tasmania
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
Image
LolaTasmania
Oct 11, 2020 9:46 PM CST
What a lovely iris! There is an iris breeder/seller not too far from me called Iris Splendor (great website) and I bought a couple of irises from her last year so they should flower this year. I know both irises and dahlias are critter resistant so if the roses don't come back I can at least have some colour around the place. I feel better now knowing that I can leave the dahlias in the ground because I really am quite a lazy gardener. I enjoy snipping things here and there but I loathe big tasks that take a lot of energy. I'm really hoping my new neighbour has kids or grandkids looking for some farm/yard work because I'm getting too old for all the upkeep of this place.
Name: Margie
NY (Zone 7a)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Photo Contest Winner 2020
MargieNY
Oct 11, 2020 9:58 PM CST
Wow! What a beautiful selection of irises.
https://iris-splendor.com/inde...
Observe, observe, observe
We are fortunate to "see" & appreciate nature in ways others are blind.
Tuscany, Italy
bart2018
Oct 12, 2020 4:00 AM CST
Margie, that is beautiful-my compliments! Actually I myself hope to get started with bearded iris this year myself. Word of warning, however: iris are NOT totally critter-resistant; porcupines love to eat the rizomes. Sad to say, from what I saw on Internet,porcupines can climb fences,but I do have a lot of wild bearded iris in my fenced-in garden, and at least up to now they haven't bothered these,whereas they promptly ate the ones I tried planting outside of the fence. Besides, I don't know if you've got porcupines in Tasmania, Lola...
Name: Lola
Tasmania
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
Image
LolaTasmania
Oct 12, 2020 1:56 PM CST
I don't have porcupines but I have echidnas. They eat ants and other small insects and don't generally have to upend any bulbs to find them so they're not a pest.
Thumb of 2020-10-12/LolaTasmania/0d0f07Echidna outside my kitchen door.
Thumb of 2020-10-12/LolaTasmania/461634Bandicoot in my possum trap. Edit: this is a potoroo, not a bandicoot.
Bandicoots are a small marsupial like a tiny kangaroo. They dig up bulbs and eat them but they can't get into my garden so they are fine too. Edit: Potoroos are just big bandicoots with a white tip on their tails. They hop whereas bandicoots run.
Thumb of 2020-10-12/LolaTasmania/0c491cPademelons are are easily fenced out. I have at least 50 of these every night.
Thumb of 2020-10-12/LolaTasmania/22d2faRingtail possum.
Possums are the bane of my existence. The one above is a smaller ringtail possum but I usually have the larger brushtail possums. This one and his mate were just passing through via my kitchen pipework.

[Last edited by LolaTasmania - Oct 13, 2020 3:04 AM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Oct 12, 2020 4:10 PM CST
They're all so cute!
Porkpal
Name: seil
St Clair Shores, MI (Zone 6a)
Roses Garden Photography Region: Michigan
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seilMI
Oct 13, 2020 7:45 PM CST
Love to see all the unusual critters, Lola! Nothing like that around here.

K_Quinn
Oct 31, 2020 2:40 PM CST
Hi Lola,
We don't have possums in Canada but we have a lot of deer where I live. We finally put up a high fence this spring so I could grow roses but before the fence we had a beautiful garden filled with deer resistant/tolerant plants.
Another thing I would suggest trying is a pest repellant that you spray on the plants. We have two popular products up here (I'm sure they have different names where you are). One is made from pigs blood which keeps the deer away since they think a predator is around, not sure if that would work on possums though. The other product (Bobbex) is a mixture of yucky smelling stuff which most animals don't like (garlic, rosemary, wintergreen, etc.). I'd highly recommend trying something like that to protect your roses.
Here's my deer resistant plant list: irises, peonies, poppies, rosemary, lavender, heather, agapanthus, lady's mantle, red hot poker, alliums, daffodils, snowdrops, hardy geraniums, euphorbia.
Good luck, they sound very persistent!!
Name: Lola
Tasmania
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
Image
LolaTasmania
Oct 31, 2020 6:12 PM CST
We have a product called 'Poss-off' but it doesn't work. I have little bags of blood and bone fertilizer hanging from my fruit trees but they don't really work either. I think your list of plants is where I will be headed to next. I actually ordered some irises from Iris Splendor yesterday and I will dot them among the roses so if a rose doesn't make it I will still have something to admire when I wander around the garden of an evening. I have planted a lavender hedge on the driveway side of the garden to help repel the possums but the pademelons (very small kangaroos) sit on the baby plants and stomp on them with their huge feet and I may have to replace some of them before too long.
Tuscany, Italy
bart2018
Nov 1, 2020 4:30 AM CST
Wow, what unusual (for me) animals! I never even heard of echidnas before. Aromatics like lavender sound like a great idea; I think that strong-smelling plants help discourage animal pests because it makes them nervous to hang around in a place where the ordour of the plants can mask the ordour of predators. You could also cage the younger plants until they get big enough to handle some stomping; in my climate at least, rosemarys can get to be really big. I myself have considered trying camphor trees (Cinnamomum camphora),though they could be invasive in some environments, and my garden may be too dry for them anyway.Then there's melissa-that stuff spreads by underground roots and isn't easy to eradicate, but you could plant it outside your actual garden, as a sort of barrier. Again, some protection might be necessary while the young plants are getting established.
Name: David Tillyer
New York City (Zone 7b)
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BigAppleRoseGuy
Nov 1, 2020 8:39 AM CST
The only pests I have in my garden are rats. Well, dogs pee through the fences.
Rats don't seem interested in plants, except for the occasional crocus bulb that
obstructs burrowing. I've long made my peace with them. I will get a frisson
when one darts across my path, but generally they just make dangerously awkward holes and hollow spaces in the garden. I do get an obscene kick out of putting the
hose on full blast and aiming it directly into a rat hole. Amazingly, the holes
never fill up! I mostly just leave them alone and they mostly reciprocate.
Name: Rema
Montreal (Zone 5b)
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Rema
Nov 2, 2020 6:25 PM CST
Lola, dear. I really understand your despair. Here have already said everything that can be offered. There is also a funny grandfather's trick. I haven't tried it myself. You need to take a dead possum, douse it with something fuel and burn it. People say that this smell is the smell of death for them and they leave. Just don't scare your neighbors. Blinking
[Last edited by Rema - Nov 3, 2020 1:27 PM (+)]
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Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member Dog Lover Cat Lover Keeper of Poultry Keeps Horses I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Plant Identifier Raises cows Roses Farmer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
porkpal
Nov 2, 2020 6:39 PM CST
I wonder whether it works on Tasmanian possums as well as it does on grandfathers' possums?
Porkpal
Name: Rema
Montreal (Zone 5b)
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Rema
Nov 2, 2020 7:32 PM CST
Lola will tell us if she wants to risk running like 'a shaman' ))) around the yard with a charred opossum.
Lola, there must be something they are afraid of....
In the meantime, please advise me how to get rid of scarabs. The trap only collects a small fraction of these voracious critters.
I even had no time to come to the forum. All summer I collected them in a jar of water.
Name: Lola
Tasmania
Keeps Sheep Roses Cottage Gardener Garden Photography Birds Farmer
Image
LolaTasmania
Nov 2, 2020 8:04 PM CST
I had to look up scarabs and I'm really glad I don't have them. It seems much easier to battle a few big critters rather than thousands of small ones. I have trapped 11 possums since starting this thread on October 8th. Leaving dead possums in the garden doesn't deter others at all. They probably see it as an empty territory that they know will not be defended. Only one of those 11 possums has been female but I don't know what to make of that fact.

Most of my roses have grown new leaves and some have new buds on them. I had to cut away a lot of black stems and dead bits but I think they will survive until the next attack. A small number that had tiny buds left behind by the possums have put all their energy into those buds so I have a few small, early, scrawny blooms that look quite pitiful hanging on to the naked branches. I have taken out all the other plants that didn't spark joy for me so that I have the remaining roses and a couple of other treasured plants in order to begin again with a fresh slate. I have ordered some irises and planted some dahlias and osteospermums to see how they go but I won't be buying anything to fill gaps with unless I really love it.

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