I have had a rose garden for at 6 years and before that, the roses lived for 3 years in pots. These roses I’m sorry to say, have been neglected, abused and have know thirst and still, they bloom their hearts out.
When they were in pots, I just kept them watered. I never fertilised them and I was amazed that they actually had a nice crop of blooms. Once we finally had a place to plant them, I basically picked a spot that we made a bit of a bed for them and they got put into the ground.
They were happy campers and bloomed even more. Still no fertiliser or chemical sprays and in the heat of the summer they sometimes forgot to be watered.
Remembering back, I might have had black spot once or twice, but nothing too problematic and they still bloomed wonderfully.
I buy my roses based on smell and the aroma they put out is aromatic when picked. The ones I like the best are hybrid tea rose and I have 4 of those and 2 that were miniature roses but they’ve grown much bigger and I’m not sure what to call them now.
My sister gave me my fourth tea rose last year for my birthday and it sat all summer in a pot, so I decided that finally, it was time to plant it and fix up the rose garden, giving the roses a little love.
I had to extend the existing bed as I didn’t have enough room for the last rose, so got some old bricks we had laying around and made a wall at the end of the garden.
Then I weeded the entire bed as it was full of unwanted plants (weeds) coming into bloom and dug a hole at the bricked end for the new rose.
Pulled the rose out of the pot and took my handy dandy little tool that I can’t live without and proceeded to attack the compacted root system. Breaking all the roots apart I put steer manure into the hole and planted the rose making sure to keep the crown out of the dirt.
The tool that I’m using I purchased at Lee Valley and I believe it’s called a long handled Ho-Mi Digger. It’s really sharp, great for between plants and cutting out weeds.
Then we decided to finally finish off the rose bed. Dug a trench and put in a 15 ft board by 2 inches thick from the sawmill at the back of the roses with some landscape cloth underneath to stop the dreaded weeds. Then stealing dirt from another garden I did a little backfill and finished off the other end of the bed with another board to make it a complete box.
Having some extra steer manure I cover the bed for some much-needed fertiliser. The roses are not going to know what happened with all this tender loving care.
Taking more landscaping cloth I covered the top of the bed, cutting around where the roses were and the tulips that I never planted. I’m waiting to see what colour they are.
I got the first two pieces of landscaping cloth down and it started to rain buckets. So I ran and got some bark mulch to quickly hold down the corners and came in for a rest.
Between rainstorms, I succeeded in finishing off the cover and topping with the bark mulch and I’m so happy to get it all done.
Six years really isn’t all that long. I have other projects that have waited much longer and someday… I’ll get to them too.