Friday, April 25, 2014

Turning My Attention to the Next Garden

My spring reclamation work in the rose gardens continues with a vengeance.  The current object of my attention is the mixed miniature rose border along the fence behind my greenhouse.  (This garden doesn't have a real name yet.  It seems like too much of an oxymoron to call it the Miniature Garden, when it's 11 feet wide and 150+ feet long.)

Now that I think about it, I may not have ever shown this garden to you.  It's relatively new, laid out and planted last summer.  I designed it to hold a little over a hundred roses that had been living in pots for longer than they should have.  There are Ramblers on the fence, Climbing Miniatures on tripods, classic Floribundas, and Hybrid Teas down the center, and Miniatures in the front.

June 2013.  Landscape fabric laid, potted roses arranged and ready to be planted.

One week later ... timber edging installed, roses planted, irrigation in place, mulch along the fence.

I got off to a great start with this garden, with the landscape fabric and timber edging in place and the roses all planted.  I lost steam, though, after I had it about half mulched.  A garden this large requires a LOT of mulch!  To be honest, I don't remember exactly why I stopped working on it.  

Fast forward to the present ... Just like I did in the English Garden, the first thing to do was deal with the weeds.  Fortunately, the weeds are not as widespread in this garden because most of it is already covered with landscape fabric.  I have a few miniature roses, though, that looked like this:

Let me show you my new favorite tool.  It was an impulse purchase a few weeks ago, catching my eye as I stood in the check-out line in Lowes garden department.  It cost about $10, if I remember correctly.  Worth its weight in gold, I assure you!

To use it, I pull the weeds back with my hand, chopping the soil line with the notched end of the tool, and the weeds come right out.

It only took a few minutes to turn that weedy mess into this:

Next step was to sprinkle some Preen on the bare soil and cover it with newspaper.

Then comes the mulch.  This is Truckload #4 ... brought to me this morning by my dear husband, while I was weeding.

I scooped and toted and spread mulch until mid-afternoon ... laying a thick layer on the bare places on the landscape fabric, and a thin layer to refresh the areas that already had mulch from last year.  Stepping back as I finished for the day, I was very pleased with my progress.

That's about 60 feet of garden finished, 90 feet or so left to go.

I'm gonna need more mulch.


  1. Oh! THAT is a big job but going to look SO nice when you are done. Yep- LOTS more mulch needed there, Connie. I love it- You got your mojo going on this Spring- xo Diana

  2. Your gardens are really going to be beautiful! And I have that same tool, and I love it too! I was noticing this afternoon while it was raining that the weeds have really grown this past week--time for me to get busy outside! ...Actually, I guess it's past time! :-)

  3. I have a smile on my face reading your blog Conny. You are writing about a miniature garden and see how large it is. I have only a garden of 100 m2. I am happy I have found your blog.
    I wish you a wonderful weekend.
    Greatings from Holland

  4. Looking good! Looking good! I plan on doing a lot of that this week.

  5. Must. Find. That. Tool.
    And then get my weeding done and sit back (haha) and wait to see photos of your roses emerge in your lovely gardens.

  6. I'm going to look for that tool too. Thanks for telling about it.

    I can't wait to see this garden, well all of your gardens in full bloom.

    You inspire me to no end.

    Have a lovely weekend ~ FlowerLady

  7. Just look at you go. You have already accomplished so much this Spring. We have been busy in the yard, too.

    I can imagine how gorgeous this space is going to be when the roses begin to grow and bloom.

  8. Connie, I truly appreciate the amount of work you are doing. The end result is so very rewarding.

  9. Your gardens are amazing and it's due to the hard work you put into them.

  10. Wow that's an incredibly big job you've taken on! It's going to be fabulous! I admire your ambition!

  11. Wow you are one busy lady with all those roses. If you ever feel the need to work on more rose beds I have a much smaller one that could use your expertise!

  12. I feel for you.. that is a big job but so worth it in the end. Can't wait to see it in bloom! take care, maryann

  13. Holy moly, girl! You are really making a dent in that garden! I can't believe all of the work that you've put in to your gardens already this season. You are amazing! :) This one is looking so good! So, let me get this never ever dig up sod when you plant your roses? Just use the landscape fabric and newspaper? The weeds won't grow through that fabric eventually??...[she asks incredulously because she hates digging up sod and has always done it that way.... lol]

    xoxo laurie

  14. I am thoroughly impressed, Lady! I only have a few roses, and I cannot even manage to keep them alive. I have to admit something. Shortly after I decided to stop growing roses, I came across your blog. You inspired me to keep trying. I have to visit you and learn from you how to care for roses.

  15. Connie, you put me to shame! I love your new bed and can't wait to see it in bloom. P. x
    P.S. I don't know why my latest post isn't appearing in your blogroll.

  16. Pam, I don't have your email address to contact you directly ... as far as I have been able to tell, there is an unpredictable delay with new blog posts appearing on the reading pane of the Dashboard and in blog rolls. It can be a few minutes, to hours, to a day or two. It's Blogger's problem, not ours, and there seems to be no solution in sight, according to the research that I have done through Blogger's help system. Our blogrolls are none of their concern.

    I am anxious to see flowers in this new garden, too!!

  17. Wow Connie, this garden is HUGE!! You certainly have been working hard lately. I can't wait to see pictures when everything is in bloom :)

    A note about the blog rolls. There's also a problem with blogs showing up in RSS feed readers. A good friend of mine with a design blog ( had issues where none of her posts were showing up in her reader or my blog roll. Then all of a sudden she posted one thing, and then all of her posts since January showed up on my feed reader. She didn't change anything, it just happened.

  18. I had my first hand hoe/cultivator from Big Lots. It wasn't that sturdy and I wore it out!

    I upgraded to a nice one from Barnel tools. My husband bought me one he found but it was tooooo heavy. Barnel is sturdy but not too heavy. I've converted a couple of other gardening friends too. I also like products from Rogue Hoe.

    I like the hand motion of using the hand hoe/cultivator. I think it's easier than a garden trowel.

  19. The size of your garden boggles my mind. Can't wait to see the growth there! And that's the best use of The Free Lance Star I've ever seen. (I live in Stafford, so I'm sort of a neighbor.)

  20. Glenna, dear, no email address with your comment notification, so I can't send you a personal response ... I will leave it here and hope that you see it.

    What's hard about putting newspaper under mulch is that I inevitably find interesting stories that I had missed at first, and I have to sit and read to satisfy my curiosity before I can cover the paper up.

    It's always great to hear from neighbors! Please stay in touch and plan to come by when the roses are blooming to how they are doing for yourself. I will let everyone know when that is, as soon as I have a guess, here and on the Hartwood Roses FB page.

  21. Thank you for your response! I used the FL-Star (and the recycled Post and WSJ from my office) to line my rabbits' cages, and it takes me forever to do that chore because I stop and read too. I'd love to come see the roses when they are blooming! I struggle with my own house's grounds, and you make your grounds upkeep and planting look so easy when I know it is not easy at all! In fact, our yard has become such a chore that we contemplate living at Falls Run just so we don't have to deal with it any more.

  22. I NEED that tool! Will be stopping by Lowes this weekend. I've never considered using landscape fabric until I saw this post. I always assumed that it prevents air circulation, nutrients, etc but now I'm re-thinking it. I have used newspaper in the past but it works, well...alright.
    Do you bother with any weed preventative before laying it down? Thank you Connie. :)


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