Friday, April 1, 2016

... and on Friday, She Rests.

Those of you who are familiar with my gardens will be in shock over the changes on the Rambler Fence.  It doesn't look like this anymore, at least for now.



Like some of my other gardens, the Rambler Fence was overlooked for a while (years, in fact) and it became like this:



In my imagination, I could see that it could be beautiful this again, but it was going to take some drastic measures.

Old photo, when 'Leontine Gervais' was nearly perfect.


How's this for drastic?



For the past few months, I have been clearing the fence by cutting the ramblers back to only a few canes.  Duplicate roses, like 'Albertine' and 'Paul Transon', were removed ... replaced by 'Queen of the Prairies' and 'Shower of Gold' from the Pot Ghetto.  Dead Tea roses have been dug out.  (The winter of 2013 was much colder than average, and my tall, mature Tea Roses were cut almost to the ground by freeze damage.  2014's winter froze them again and few of them recovered.)  I replaced some of these right away (more roses out of the Pot Ghetto) and other empty places will be filled with roses from last year's propagation ... which aren't ready to be outside on their own quite yet.

Last fall, I realigned and expanded the east end of this garden.  It used to follow the fence in an eight-foot-wide strip.  Now, the fence makes a corner and the bed continues straight ... which gave me room for ten new roses in that space!  I planted the roses last fall.  They're really small, but they're already putting on some new growth.

The part of the bed to the right of the red line is the new section.


Yesterday (Thursday), I faced a situation where I had no choice.  My truck was full of a new load of two yards of mulch, rain was predicted for Friday, and I need my truck to be empty for a nursery run on Saturday.  It will be no surprise to you that I challenged myself spread all that mulch to empty the truck by the end of the day ... by myself, because there was no help available.



First, I freshened up the old mulch from last fall in the expanded part of the garden by adding a scant one-inch of fresh mulch over the old.



I wanted this LONG garden to have a unified look when I was finished, instead of the patchwork mulch that was there when I started.

Last year's faded mulch, last month's not-quite-so faded mulch, and last week's load of new mulch.


You can see the new roses a little bit better in this photo ... they're so tiny.



Four-and-a-half hours after I started, the truck was empty.  I allowed time for water breaks and lunch, but I was still completely spent by the time I finished.



What I have now is a large expanse of what looks like bare mulch.  I don't like it like this.   I hold onto the promise that it will soon be filled with roses, and that this emptiness will be a thing of the past.

Panoramic photo of the finished bed.  My new iPhone totally rocks!


As I said in the title of this post, today I will rest.  Moving so much mulch by myself probably wasn't a wise thing to do.   It wore me out, and my shoulders are protesting. It is raining today, which forces me to do things other than yard work.  I welcome the break ... as I look out the window and see the results of my effort ... and I am raring to get back out there and do more ... as soon as I can.  It's spring, and this is how I roll.

29 comments:

  1. Whew! That's a BIG job! I hope you recover nicely over the next couple of days. πŸ˜ŠπŸ‘πŸΌ

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    1. Everything around here is a big job. That's the price of having gardens as large as I do. I'm okay with it. Today's day of rest has done me a lot of good.

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  2. It will be worth it I know,but a day of rest is much needed! I love your roses and your dedication to them.
    hugs,
    Linda

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    1. I have trouble sitting still unless my body screams at me to do it. I'm much happier in motion, accomplishing something. You already know that. :)

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  3. That's a lotta work for one person! You are awesome! I'm so looking forward to photos as this rambler fence area grows in. Can't wait!

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    1. This one person is very stubborn and pretty much refuses to consider the possibility that something is beyond my individual capabilities ... until I'm hip deep into something like yesterday. The feeling of accomplishment, though, as I swept the last of the mulch from the bed of my truck, was awesome!!

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  4. You do have honour of your work, it looks so nice and tidy and I can already imagine how it will be when it's full of fragrant blooming roses.

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    1. I won't take long for the fence and the rest of this garden to look good again.

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  5. You've motivated me to tackle some of my outdoor projects!

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    1. You're welcome! It feels so good to go outside and do something that makes us physically tired, after being cooped up for most of the winter.

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  6. That's a big undertaking! Enjoy your rest day :)

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    1. It WAS an enjoyable day! I did awesome things like buy new windshield wipers, play ball with Ruby, and sit on the sofa and read.

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  7. Such a lot of work, but it's going to be just lovely.

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    1. I hope it turns out to look like the vision I have of it in my imagination. (fingers crossed) :)

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  8. Connnie, your gardens will be gorgeous again. A truck load of mulch is a lot of work for most folks, but not for Wonder Woman! You are a rock star! ♥

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    1. Normally, I would allow a couple of days at least to use that much mulch. Now I know that I CAN unload 2 yards of mulch in one day, but I doubt that I will try it again anytime soon.

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  9. OMGOODNESS!!! That IS drastic and a lot of work...but just think how beautiful it will be when it has new growth and is full of life and vigor again. Good job, Connie!!!! xo Diana

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    1. No other way to do it, I'm afraid. The ramblers on the fence had become enormous haystacks, and weeds were taller than I am. The existing ramblers, even in their current threadbare state, will put on a modest show of flowers this year and will be awesome next year. The newly planted roses will grow pretty quickly, and should achieve some appreciable size by fall.

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  10. I'm exhausted just hearing about all your hard work! Once again, my hat's off to ya!

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    1. I got worn out all over again just writing about it. I had no idea what I agreed to when I answered Yes to my husband's "Do you want me to go get a load of mulch for you?" question on Wednesday afternoon.

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  11. No wonder you are exhausted. Forking, wheeling, dumping, raking, etc. That's a lot of work. Look how beautiful it looks though and you will be rewarded with beautiful blooms.

    Job well done dear Connie ~ FlowerLady

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    1. It's a good kind of exhaustion, though ... the type where I look out from the house and smile at the promise of a better year for the roses. Learning to garden here has been one lesson after another. I'm not quite confident enough to say that I have it all figured out, because I'm sure that I don't. What I DO know is that I am well on my way to FINALLY having a sustainable rose garden ... one where I can maintain, instead of constantly feeling as if I am correcting something.

      I live through photos from my warm-weather friends at this time of year, till my own roses open their buds in May.

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  12. Oh man...I am in awe. First, that you have a rambler rose fence. In the town where I grew up, there was a fence like this along my walk to school, and I loved to stop there in June. I've tried to recreate it here in Virginia but my climbing roses always die. I have a tough time with black spot and Japanese beetles. Your rose fence looks amazing. I like using one kind of mulch too, for the unified look. Really looking forward to more of your posts! - Jeanne from Home Garden Joy

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    1. What I love best about roses is that there is such a wide variety to choose from, and there is almost always at least one rose that is PERFECT for any given location and use. For my rambler fence, I chose roses descended from Rosa wichurana. They produce long, flexible canes that are easy to train and they are almost completely immune to blackspot. They bloom profusely in May and June, and their shiny leaves provide a nice background (and a bit of privacy) during the rest of the year. Japanese Beetles can be a pain, but I control them with traps and by hand picking and drowning them in a bucket of soapy water ... which I refer to as the Bucket of Death. (I apply NO insecticides in my garden.)

      You're relatively local, so mark your calendar for Open Garden on Memorial Day and see the gardens in person. If that doesn't work for you, we can set another day for you to visit. In the meantime, are you planning to attend Lynchburg's Rose Festival at the Old City Cemetery?

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  13. WOW. You have got to be exhausted!
    but I understand how it's a good tired, to be able to accomplish so much.
    I can see your vision and it's going to be amazing, like everything you do!
    xoxo

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    1. I always say that the way to accomplish a project around here is to do whatever is necessary to make the object look like the picture I have of it in my imagination ... if that makes sense. We'll see how long this lasts, till another unexpected challenge surfaces and chaos takes over again. (I"m hoping it doesn't.)

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  14. You are a true inspiration in both your vision to see what that great space can be, and to have gotten all that work done by yourself!! I will look forward to seeing the photos of what I know will be a beautiful garden! Hope you're resting today, and staying warm -- What happened to 80 degrees?

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    1. My husband says that my 'vision' is one of the most dangerous parts of my personality. :)

      80 degrees was SO 'last week' ... roller coaster is the weather for this week. We're gonna get whiplash from all the up and down and back and forth. When I did laundry yesterday, I had fleece-lined work pants, regular jeans, and a pair of my cargo shorts in the same load. THAT'S the kind of weather we've had.

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  15. My sweet friend it looks so beautiful! Next year come conference time it will be a sight to behold♥

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