A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Great Rose Migration

The first batch of roses that I ordered arrived yesterday. Today I began the great rose migration. There are a number of roses in the wrong places in my yard. They are just not getting enough light and are steadily dying. My goal is to move them to more favorable sites. This is an experiment for me. I've never transplanted roses before.

The first one I moved is nearly dead already. How it has survived this long is a mystery. Reine de Violettes consists of one long spindly branch and one short spindly branch. It's been "growing" along the back of the house which only gets the morning sun. Obviously not enough for this rose.

I moved it to the Purple Garden. I think it looks much happier here, don't you?

Next up was the tiny blaze rose that I rescued many years ago but has never done well. It was in the semi-shady garden. Again, not enough sun. I moved it to my sunniest border along the neighbor's ugly fence and right next to my composter.
The red flowers should show up well against the dark green and hopefully it will benefit from the compost. In its place in the semi-shady garden, I planted my new Zephirine Drouhin which tolerates shade. It looks really healthy with lots of leaf buds. The Seven Sisters that also came is green but has no leaf buds. I'm concerned. That one has been planted at the other end of this border where it can sprawl across "my" fence. I have fence issues with my neighbors and have to be very careful not to grow anything on "their" fence.

The last rose to be moved (for now) was the Apothecary rose. It has been struggling under the double whammy of shade from a maple tree in my (other, nice) neighbor's yard and being smothered by the Harrison's Yellow which I planted too close to it. The Harrison's Yellow is aggressively reaching for sunlight and completely covers the Apothecary rose as seen here:

It has been moved to its own section of the sunny border. That's "my" fence miraculously left intact by my neighbors when they erected "their" new fence last May.

I've decided that in addition to blocking the view and some of the noise from their six dogs, that the dark green color will provide a great background for my roses. I will definitely be planting more along here.

I have two more roses to move, The Fairy and General Jacqueminot. I'm going to create a whole new bed along the walk in front of my house and move The Fairy there. Then I'm going to move General Jacqueminot forward in its current bed which they are sharing. I want to center it more in the bed once The Fairy is gone.

Later that day: Reine de Violettes is no longer looking happy. It is drooping terribly. I'm hoping that it is just transplant shock.


At 1:20 AM, Anonymous Reading dirt said...

You sound like me in the spring -- just can't wait to dig and plant!

Full sun is certainly where you want the roses. Make sure they're getting plenty of drainage in their new spots, but they also need plenty of water, because you can't help but do some damage to the roots when transplanting. Kelp solution or kelp mea., if you can find either one at a garden center, helps a lot with transplants. It's a good fertilizer, and has hormones that help stimulate new root growth.

At 9:24 PM, Blogger kerry said...

I am where you were some years back when you initially planted these roses. I have lots of roses in pots and am now trying to figure out where to put them. Fortunately I don't have neighbor issues but have been down that road in the past and it can be quite a bumpy ride.

Keep us posted on how your plant friends like their new homes. I have LOTS to learn about roses.


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