Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rush for Roses

Point on the Center Circle
It's raining today, a light, consistent dropping of rain, saturating the earth with badly needed moisture. I worked this week in the center circle on the point. Last year I had a plan: a variety of ornamental grasses colored with day lilies. I purchased the grasses  that looked nearly dead way early and planted them way late because they looked so nearly dead. I didn't get the day lilies  transplanted from the Icky Place because it got hot and I lost interest, fighting weeds instead and making my weekly pilgrimage to Lowe's Garden Center to buy up their bargain perennials to fill the rest of the center circle. The day lilies would wait for another time to be moved--like the next year.

Icky Place

So I got a good start this week. Spent a couple of days weeding and making the point neat and ready to receive plants. The grasses didn't survive the winter. Bummer. New plan scratch the grasses. Instead I found a box of oriental lilies at the super market, so I planted them instead.

The Head Gardener helped me dig up the day lilies form the Icky Place and they are now transplanted not only in the center circle point, but also in a fresh new bed out by the chicken coop. We have a very nice collection of day lilies that we started years ago at the Old House purchased from Oakes Day Lilies. I did not want to lose them, so it was a priority to dig them up and give them new ground.

Loaded with the day lilies, the EZ-Go makes hauling gardening stuff around so much easier.

While I worked in the Center Circle, the Head Gardener tore up the sprinkler system (again) out by the barn. He had made quite a mess, but only to reconfigure what the previous owners screwed up had done. By the time he is finished, he will have fewer zones, eliminated one changing of a valve in the middle of a watering cycle, and he will have better coverage, hopefully eliminating some dry spots. Who needs a membership to a health club when you can dig in the dirt?

Rush for Roses

For the third year, we have made the early morning drive to the Flower Bin south on I-25 to Longmont, CO to purchase roses, about a 45 minute drive. We first discovered this garden center three years ago looking for David Austin roses. Like all ritualistic shopping ventures, this one requires getting up early to be first in line when the gates open, to beat the rush, to get ahead of everyone else wanting to do the same thing; however, I slept in a bit, drank my one cup of coffee, dressed, and brushed out my hair while the HG put out the dog, fed the horses, and opened up the chicken coop. We arrive just as the gates were opening. Perfect timing. (Isn't their giant goose a hoot?)

So here are my beauties that will replace the lost roses in the front court yard:

 Brandy, a hybrid Tea, new to my collection radiates a peachy color. I think I will like this one. She replaces Gertrude Jekyll. I wasn't really happy with Gertrude for she was a climber that I had planted in the wrong spot and seemed to struggle where she was, so I won't replace her, even though I loved her luscious pink blooms.

Midas Touch takes St. Patrick's spot, who also struggles last summer and then succumbed to the killing freeze last fall. While the Saint did have wonderful yellow blooms tinged with green as they opened, he just was not a hardy as he needed to be. So we will see how the king does.

 First Prize, a replacement for the one that I lost over the winter. She will have huge, fragrant blooms that will last a while in a pretty vase. My garden will never have enough pink as it is my favorite color.

Finally, my gorgeous Veteran's Honor red rose. Planted first in line, she had such gorgeous dark red blossoms. I hope this one does as well.

Colorado roses took a beating last year; the rose loss was heavy. The 9news Arborist reported on the damage to the pine trees that the early freeze did to them, explaining that the temperatures dropped 77 degrees in 30 hours. One day in late October it was in the 70s and by the next evening it was -18. Little wonder that my weak grasses and tender roses failed to thrive. Judith at Lavender Cottage suggested planting the roses below the graft. I asked the nursery man about doing that and while the rule in Colorado always has been to plant just below the graft, leaving the graft exposed, now there are two recommendations: to plant bury the graft by 2 inches or use rose cones to cover the exposed graft in the fall. I haven't decided yet just how we will plant the roses. I may opt of the rose cones and mulch in the fall. What would you do?

 The roses will be planted here in the front court yard near the front door where they will be enjoyed by everyone who comes to the front door: Me, the UPS guy, the milkman, and the tenant who comes to pay her rent.

Favorite Climbers: Clematis

Just outside the door to the rose room at the Flower Bin sat a cart of lovely clematis. I had to pick up this one to plant at the end of the berry trellis in the vegetable garden. Mrs. P.T. James (anyone know she might be?) will bloom June through September, have blooms 6-8 inches, grow 9-12 feet (wow), and belongs to pruning group B1.

The HG decided to go back to pick another clematis for the other end of the trellis: Niobe, also a June-September bloomer, will grow 6-8 feet with blooms 4- 6 inches (impressive), and belongs to pruning group B or C. Both climbers will add needed color to the vegetable garden.

The HG also picked these sweet little violas to plant around the garden, too, perhaps by the chicken coop.

Child's Play

We weren't done garden shopping, I guess.  As we headed home and approached our turn-off at the Ft. Collins exit, Jen called, wanting us to meet her at Bath Nursery-- always one of our favorite garden stops--to help herd the girls while she looked for plants. I had blown my gardening budget for the day, so I was perfectly content to sit in the sun and watch the girls play in the little playground the garden center has for children. How smart is that! 

Life does not get any better than bare feet, a sandy play spot, and a swing. 

After a really busy, crazy week, this one looks to be a bit quieter. We will continue to work on our various garden projects. We have a lot to do. The center circle remains my top priority, while the HG wants to finish the irrigation system. Soon it will be time to plant tomatoes and the rest of the vegetables. The Icky Place needs a lot of work, too. 

Here is a sneak peek at the kitchen back splash, due to be tiled this week. I am excited to see how it will look. I think we chose really pretty tiles to accent the granite. Next week the grand reveal.

 I hope you have a fine plan for the week. I wish you rain if you need it, sunshine when you want it, and lots of good gardening.

PS Check out more mosaics at Monday Mosaic hosted by Judith at Lavender Cottage. Oh and in the header my precious bleeding heart bloomed for the first time this spring. She is preserved here as a lovely water color using the Waterlogue ap on my iPad. I love technology.


  1. Your roses will look so well in your front courtyard. It would be hard to find roses hardy enough for a climate like yours. Beautiful clematis. Beautiful grandchildren.

  2. Hello Ann, how similar my post would be, if I did one... Preparations for the wedding must get the priority and the garden, of course. Finally, we too have long waited rain and everything has gone green within 2 days only. Those temperature drops must be killers --- we too, have big changes now from one day to another but what you write seems radical! Here the climate is rough due to the Ardennes and many of the English roses are struggling when the winter is really cold. Our rose expert always advises to plant roses 6 inch deeper than the level of soil, in a hole of 16 inch. If a rose is replaced, change soil in a 23 inch hole. We always use very old horse manure to mix with soil and once the rose is planted, add a full watering can of water immediately. Last year,I bought for the first time Australian roses and am very pleased how they survived but our winter was very mild. Clematis is another plant we cannot live without ;-). Bought last week 'Princess Kate' and a 'recta' as well as many other perennials which wait to go into the ground. I wish you good luck with your new roses and clematis - Gertrude is one I love and would not want to be without. Have a great week and enjoy this particular time of year. P.S. All that piping looks great - I first thought it is part of the irrigation system. As I said: it all looks like here :-)))

  3. I love the look of your court yard area at the front door and the roses will look great. The day lilies could be difficult enough to dig up and move so I'm sure that took some time. Things are looking so pretty!

  4. Hello, your gardens will be looking gorgeous from all your hard work.. I love the roses and the pretty clematis.. Cute shots of the kiddies.. Wonderful post! Have a happy day and new week ahead!

  5. Weeds, I just hate them. I am always so full of hope in the spring then they take over. Why does it seem some people don't get them? Run for the Roses! wow, can't wait to see them. I was never happy with Gertude Jekyll myself. But really miss my yellow Graham Thomas and pink Mary Rose, need to replace them at some point. Have a great week!

  6. It seems odd that your ornamental grasses didn't overwinter - they weren't the warm season ones that don't come up yet I hope. The cool season grasses are showing some growth in my prairie garden but I must admit, it's a pain when the middle dies out of the clumps and a strong person is needed to divide and conquer. (not me!)
    I like the roses you chose Ann and I have C.'Niobe' on the front arbour in the butterfly garden. I've found it to be a very slow grower, been in the ground at least 4 years and not many stems yet. It could be our clay that it's planted in but others have done well in this soil.
    My David Austin surprised me with hardly any die back at all so I look forward to some good blooms this summer so I can take a photo.
    Thanks for linking to Mosaic Monday and happy gardening!

  7. Oh those roses will look perfect in that courtyard...and that goose is a hoot!

  8. Ah --your roses are beautiful! I am beginning to feel that everyone is getting summer flowers before we are. I live at a high elevation so spring is late and flowers are scarce. We've laso had too much rain the past few days--my basement flooded ;(

  9. Isn't it wonderful to be working out in the yard again after this nasty winter? And your rose choices are gorgeous. I'm a little uneasy to buy new roses these days, as I keep finding rose rosette disease in my garden. I hope you escape this!

  10. Goodness - that was a long post - you sure have plenty to post about this week. It's just that time of year isn't it when there is so much to do - so many decision about what to plant - keeping on top of everything. Your lovely roses will be a treat for anyone coming to your front door. We have rain at last today - I don't think it has rained for the whole of April so it was sorely needed - unfortunately this week we have had a lot of frosts too - so I have been covering and uncovering the new crops that are breaking through.

  11. Don't let me loose in a garden The urge to acquire new plants this spring is intense. Are you or were you totally sure those grasses didn't make it? I had a few that looked like they kicked the proverbial bucket, and whooooa there they are now.


  12. Don't let me loose in a garden The urge to acquire new plants this spring is intense. Are you or were you totally sure those grasses didn't make it? I had a few that looked like they kicked the proverbial bucket, and whooooa there they are now.


  13. Hi Ann! Wow! Your garden looks great already! We are planning and doing seeds here now.