1. At this time of year, my main focus is on my responsibilities as the manager of the rose collection at Hollywood Cemetery in Richmond. (Our rose volunteer day is March 19, six days from today.) In February and early March, I use whatever nice days we have to go to the cemetery to visit all of the roses to assess their condition and to note make notes about what work they need. As of now, all of the roses have been evaluated, and their location is verified on the cemetery map. All that's left to do is to type up my notes and turn them into instructions for each volunteer team next Saturday.
Dorothy was helping me work on the map.
2. Last weekend, I attended the American Rose Society Colonial District Pre-Spring Meeting. I love having the opportunity to get away to be with my rose peeps, to listen and learn at the presentations, and to catch up with friends. During one of the breaks, I was approached by the District Director and asked if he could appoint me to be the Old Garden Rose Chair for the District. I agreed ... the appointment was made ... and now we'll see exactly what this position entails. I'm pretty excited about it.
3. On the way home from the rose meeting, I stopped by one of my favorite stores, Old Covesville Store on Route 29 south of Charlottesville. There are always amazing and wonderful things in there for sale. On this trip, I spotted a large Steiff tiger that is similar to a smaller one that I had when I was a child. No hesitation ... I scooped that tiger up and happily brought him home with me.
Here he was in the store.
and on the seat of my car.
4. I have known for a while that the windows of my greenhouse needed some work. The glazing compound in most of them is dry and cracked, and largely missing on some of the windows. (This can be the downside of using salvaged windows for a project.) This winter, as some of the window panes began to fall out, I knew that the job of reglazing the windows needed to be pushed to the top of my list. Turns out, when these windows were made in the 1960s, the manufacturer only used glazing compound to hold in the glass ... without glazing points to mechanically pin the panes into place.
The only way to finish a project is to get started, and I did just that on Wednesday. It takes me about an hour to do one window ... to scrape out the old glazing compound, reset the glass, and put down the new glazing compound. This is a project that I will work on a little at a time. Hopefully, by the end of summer, I will have most of the 46 windows done. (My REAL dream is to finally have the greenhouse glazed, sided and trimmed, and painted by fall.)
Not perfect, but good enough. I will scrape and prime the windows once the glazing compound cures.
I saw this reflection as I was working.
5. My other outside project is the reclamation of the Rambler Fence. It's the same situation as the rest of my gardens, where weeds sprouted in unnatural concentrations and took over in what seemed like the blink of an eye. With the Ramblers, there was the added complication of their rampant growth ... and they became hay stacks on the fence while my attention was elsewhere for the past couple of years.
Little by little, I have been cutting back the Ramblers and training what remains onto their wires on the fence. They are small and kind of pitiful right now. I have also dug out a couple of duplicate Ramblers, and one that had Rose Rosette Disease last year, and replaced them with ones from my stock pile of pots.
When I originally designed this garden in 2007, I planted Tea roses between and in front of the Ramblers. Some Tea roses can be a bit winter tender ... the winters of 2013 and 2014 were brutal and losses to these roses were catastrophic. Instead of lamenting their loss, I see this as an opportunity and space to plant eight new roses in the empty spots.
Ramblers cut back, dead Tea roses dug up, and the beginnings of landscape fabric laid in this part of the garden.
Yesterday, I finished the landscape fabric and laid mulch around the roses themselves. I have to get more mulch in order to finish ... which should happen over the course of the next week.
6. With nice weather comes convertible season! I was out in my Mustang twice last week, practicing with its new stick shift. I'm getting much better at it ... and I almost don't panic if I have to stop and then pull out on an incline.
I have been using the uphill part of our long driveway to practice.
All in all, it was a VERY good week. How about you ... what have you been up to?