Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Making of the Rose Field

Sarah, across the pond at Modern Country Style, is having a link party ... inviting us to share our gardens at her Garden Party.  She asked me, in her lovely English way, if I would please join in.  It's winter, and it was really cold and windy yesterday, so let's see if I can make everyone feel a bit warmer with a dose of summer roses.

Gratuitous rose photo that has nothing to do with this post.  :)

I was sorting through the photos here on the laptop, trying to decide what to write about since almost all of my posts are driven by the pictures ... and I thought you might be interested to see the story of how my Rose Field came to be. 

When we moved to this house in October 2007, the area where the Rose Field is now was a former vegetable garden, 80 by 160 feet (24 x 49 meters), and it was completely overgrown by blackberry brambles, honeysuckle, and every other manner of weed.  It required a lot to prepare the area for its next life as a rose garden.  We had to use a bushhog to mow down the thick brush to a manageable height, spray everything with herbicide, plow it ...

... disk it, till it, raise the individual rows, and let it all settle so the latent weeds would germinate.  After a final application of herbicide, and the prescribed waiting period, the ground was perfect!  (I hired the plowing, tilling, and sculpting part of this.  I'm a menace on the tractor and I avoid using it if at all possible.)

There are almost 300 roses planted in this garden, laid out in rows by class.  One Saturday in June 2008, my friend Robert came over to help me start planting.  We consulted my carefully-scribbled plan and laid out the pots of roses in their designated locations.  (See our neighbors' beautiful vineyard in the background?)

Robert dug holes, and I planted roses in them.

We got to about the point in the photo below, when my neighbor came over and offered to dig the holes for us ...

... with his tractor-mounted auger.  This made the work go SOOO much faster.  This auger dug a hole that exactly fit a one-gallon plant, and the backfill was all powdery and ready to put into the hole around the rose. 

By the end of the day, Robert and I had planted about half of the field.  By the end of the summer, I finished planting the rest of the roses myself. 

 By April of 2009, things were filling in quite nicely.

I hired a strong young man to line all the paths with crushed stone.  It took three dumptruck loads of stone to do the whole field ... all of which was hauled one wheelbarrow load at a time.

In this photo, you can see the tubing for the drip irrigation system that waters the roses.

After all the paths were finished, and the rows of roses covered with mulch, I was really pleased with the way this garden was coming together.

In the center of each row of roses is a pair of crossed rebar arches that form a tunnel down the center aisle of the garden.  The pipes you see are driven about two feet into the ground, and the arch is slipped down into the pipe. 

By late summer 2009, the roses didn't look so much like babies anymore.  At this point, we still had a few arches left to do.

In spring 2010, at the beginning of their third year in the ground, the roses were poised to put on a spectacular show.

I wish someone would invent a way for me to include the fragrance with these photos.

Looking at these photos, and remembering all the pleasure that I get from this garden, makes me wish even harder that spring were here.  Most mornings while the weather is warm, I can be found wandering the rows, coffee cup in hand, spending quality time with my roses.  This time of year, I stare longingly at them through the window from my warm house.

I can't wait to see what this year brings!

Now that you have seen the development of my garden, run over to see what others are sharing at Modern Country Style.  Thank you, Sarah, for hosting ... and for giving all of us such a lovely dose of summer.


  1. Now I know what I'm missing in our garden: one of those tractor things and 'the hiring of a strong young man'!!!!! Love that!

    This was so encouraging seeing how long it took for your gorgeous roses to flourish.

    I always want my plants to shoot up the moment I plant them.

    Patience isn't my middle name!


  2. I loved the step-by-step chronicle...and looking at the last couple of pictures, it really is amazing how far the garden has come.

  3. Amazing chronicle of the rose garden. You've done an amazing amount of work. It's gorgeous.

  4. All of your work and patience are now rewarding you with a fabulous garden! I love to look at your photos

  5. Wow! I can just imagine walking through during the summer. One of my favorite place's is a rose garden.

  6. It's 23 degrees here right now. I could use a good dose of springtime, so thank you for the garden shots!


  7. Oh my goodness, it's gorgeous!! All your hard work certainly paid off. How very lovely!

  8. Wow! This is a spectacular rose garden. And it will only get better and better. What an inspiration! Alison

  9. Seeing all your hard work come to fruition must be a very pleasing experience. Your roses are gorgeous. I love the arches in the center.. How wonderful they will be when filled with the trailers. Thanks so much for sharing.

  10. Connie, how great to see your rose field again. I wish I could visit you in person and smell the roses! What a lot of work and how wonderful it turned out.

  11. BEAUTIFUL!!! And to think, I don't have even one rose bush! My hubby did mention last year that I should have roses, so maybe this will be the year!
    Gorgeous photos, oh my, what a lot of work, though. I know you must feel like it is so worth it, though. I love that you walk in your garden with coffee cup in hand, that is exactly what I would do, go out in the morning and just breathe it all in.
    Thanks for a look.
    Hugs, Cindy

  12. I love it!!! Thanks for sharing all the photos beginning to end :)

  13. I really enjoyed your post. It has me daydreaming about summer, sunshine and roses now.

  14. How beautiful! I love all your space and the scenic views there. I would love to have a garden space that huge!

  15. Dear Connie, I love Before and After pictures, and with the steps in between described, this is a wonderful posting. I would like to see your gorgeous gardens for myself one day. P x

  16. I am completely in awe of you. This is a lovley rose field. I lost five of my nine roses this winter so I give up. My talents are elsewhere. You have the roses down however. Well done. ♥O

  17. This is so amazing. I like seeing the beginning and then these gorgeous roses and I also wish there was smell attached! So beautiful.

  18. Very impressive stuff!! & what a stunning garden for your daughters wedding, it will be amazing, I can just imagine the scent. I look forward to seeing future pics.

  19. That was very hard work from nothing to a flourishing rose garden! Amazing and very impressive indeed! Wish could smell them here...:)

  20. Connie ~ love your pictures. How much work you put in to get to the end result. Amazing! Can you do a post sometime on how to prepare the soil, what roses like, etc?
    Thanks for sharing your wisdom and experience with us ~ Cindy

  21. My first visit. I wish I could come and see this place. Love roses. What a wonderful job you did and a beautiful place.
    Drop over visit my blog sometime..

  22. Your roses are gorgeous! All of your hard work has been rewarded. I love how you have chronicled your step by step process. It is very inspiring. We are heading to spring and I look forward to seeing pictures of this garden in full bloom again this summer. You have really made me yearn for an early spring. Thank you for this wonderful post.

  23. If I could smell the fragrance I know it would be intoxicatingly delish!!! This is something to hang your hat on here....

  24. Love the series of pictures- what a result!!

  25. Oh my mercy, your rose garden is stunning. Simply beautiful!

  26. Oh what a joy to be able to see this pictorial diary of the making of your gorgeous garden! The "befores" and "afters" are just amazing. I would love to be able to grow roses. Unfortnately they don't like the humidity here in the tropics. I usually manage to get a couple of seasons out of them and then they just succumb to black spot. Thanks so much for letting me drool over yours. ;)Sharyne

  27. Wow! What a beautiful post and what a beautiful rose garden!!
    Patricia :o)

  28. What joy you must find in your rose garden. I wish I could figure out how to get such beautiful roses to grow here in Florida.
    Just beautiful.


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