A Gardening Year

The adventures and misadventures of an heirloom gardener

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Stronger Than Dirt

I'm always bragging about how tough (my) heirloom roses are. Today, I would like to show you how tough they are. I purchased two roses from Jackson & Perkins. They arrived in mid-April as dormant bareroot plants. I already had a spot for Sombreuil but they had arrived before I had had a chance to prepare a bed for Ballerina. I planted it temporarily next to my winter sowing containers which were located in an area I had dug out in the fall but had not planted anything in it.

The weather remained unseasonably cold and it rained. As hard as I tried, I just couldn't get Ballerina's future home prepared. The weather warmed and Ballerina started to leaf out. Every day, it seemed that I had something urgent to attend to and couldn't get out to dig the bed.

This week is my annual week that I take off from work to work in my gardens. I have a lot to do and digging out that bed would take up too much of my time. Since it was supposed to rain last night, I decided to take a shortcut and just dig out a hole in the lawn for Ballerina. Once it is settled in, I can dig out the rest of the bed at my leisure. Bearing in mind The Great Rose Massacre from last year, I carefully excavated the rose and replanted it in its new home. I also planted other (containerized) roses and did some pruning but didn't do any watering expecting that the rain would be sufficient.

Except that it didn't rain. I had my dates wrong. It was supposed to rain tonight, not last night. And it was 80 F (27 C) yesterday! I ran out of the house this morning, frantically grabbed the hose and saw this:

Looks pretty lively, doesn't it? That's one tough little rosebush. I hope it continues to do well. It's supposed to be shade tolerant which is why I chose it for this spot right on the edge of the shadow cast by the tree in my front yard.


At 8:00 AM, Blogger Ki said...

Roses are very tough. I read somewhere that bareroot roses were recommended over those already potted and leafed out. I don't know the reason but supposedly the bareroot ones are stronger. Maybe it's because the roots are not confined to the container when they start growing? Glad to see yours doing splendidly.

At 12:56 AM, Blogger OldRoses said...

Ki, I hadn't heard that about roses. I've planted both kinds this year so it will be interesting to note if any do better than the rest.


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