Thursday, October 18, 2012

Starting on My Newest Garden

According to my database, I have just over 300 roses that are still living in their temporary quarters in pots.  Some of these will be planted in existing gardens to replace roses that have died or that I will be removing.  Most of them, however, need to be planted in new gardens.  While I was on my trip to Sacramento, I had a brainstorm and I know exactly how I plan to deal with most of the remaining roses.

Behind my greenhouse and our garage is a relatively narrow space with good sunshine and an existing four-board fence.  I'm beginning to visualize this area as a long border, 10 feet wide and 200 feet long, with large-flowered once-blooming climbers on the fence itself, medium-sized roses in the center, and a row of miniatures at the front edge.  

In order to make this spot into a garden, I have to get rid of the existing grass and weeds.  Normally I do this with herbicide, but it's too late in the season for herbicide to be effective.  Plan B is to lay down black plastic and let the sun do the job for me without chemicals.

Here is the first sheet of plastic, 10 feet wide and 25 feet long.  (If you look carefully, you can see Daniel in the background hiding and eating grass.  I hollered at him to stop.)

Ruby sticks close by ... taking her her job as quality control inspector very seriously.

Here it is with two sheets of plastic, all weighted down at the corners and edges with concrete blocks, scrap boards, and the tops of a few nursery benches.  I don't want the wind to blow it away.

This was the easy part.  Now I have some crap to clear out of the way (piles of landscape edging, timbers, bricks, pots, etc.), and I will continue my march down the fence laying plastic and preparing the bed.  Unlike my idea for the Labyrinth garden, which I abandoned because it's truly too far from the house, I fully intend to get this one finished ... I have to, the roses in pots are depending on me.


  1. Planting is the fun part. Preparing--not so much. I'm near Dallas and I just had some beds dug on the south side of the house.

    The hard part for that will be amending all the soil and then actually picking what roses to plant (and some native plants too).

    Any suggestions for a good, low shrub rose? Less than 3 ft in ht?

  2. I wondered what ever happened to the plans for the labyrinth garden, since I never saw an update on it. Closer to the house has to be more convenient, especially if you need to water them, right? Unless you had a secret watering solution for the labyrinth, I also wondered about that. I know around here you can't always count on the rain, which seems to show up when you aren't counting on it, more than when you are.

  3. Ohhh I love this idea....sounds like another one of the ESPN deals with us....I have done the same exact thing down is it we do that? Loved spending time with you out in California....think about Spring 2013, its time for a Va. trip!

  4. That is going to be one gorgeous rose garden, Connie! Prep work is always the worst part. Planting all those new babies will be so much fun! Can you just imagine what that fence will look like in a couple years? Wow..... :)

    xoxo laurie

  5. I can only dream of having that much space to plant roses! Wow! I don't envy the prep work you have to do but the black plastic will make short work of it. And you'll have a gorgeous row of roses before you know it! I'm excited to see the progress as they go in.

  6. Ruby is beautiful! ... and, you just insist on giving yourself more workload, don't ya?!

    I'm sure it will be beautiful when you're finished.

  7. Face it Connie. At your rate of rose acquisition, the Labyrinth garden WILL happen, it's just a matter of when :)

  8. How are you going to water your new garden? Drip?

  9. What a wonderful idea! I can already imagine it. It will look fabulous! And smart thinking about the black plastic. I wonder if that will work on our Bermuda grass.

  10. This is so exciting. Can't wait to follow along. :) I am starting a new exhibition bed myself.

  11. I'm doing the exact thing in the front garden at the greenhouse. Well I'm doing it for the weeds. Good luck with the rose disease.


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