Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day in the Garden

My youngest son turned two on Saturday. We celebrated by putting up a fence to trap him in the yard. LOL. Seriously, my husband and his boss put up a picket fence to keep our 2 and 3 year sons out of the street. We live on a corner, and near a volunteer firehouse--the medics and firefighters often zoom by on their way to save lives. My boys DO NOT listen to me, and it's difficult to keep them away from the street. I spend most of my time outside shouting at one kid or another to stay away from ____. Now, with a fence, and some strings tied around the gate latches, I can take a deep breath and actually enjoy being outside. Likewise, the kids spent their first day in the fenced yard actually playing, instead of thinking of ways to push mom's buttons. Here's the fence from the front yard. We still need to fill the cement holes/fence post holes with topsoil and top them with grass seed. (Last night I extended this front garden bed all the way to the fence, pictures to come soon).

This is the back of the house:

Here's how we set the fence up against the house. So close to my roses and clematis...

Sunday was Mother's Day. I always have delightful holidays. My husband really knows how to spoil me. Mother's Day this year was no exception. He bought me some Moose Munch (chocolate covered popcorn), Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix, some baking sheets to replace the charred ones we were using, an external hard drive for my computer to save my photos, and a huge travel tote for my scrapbooking supplies so I attend classes and crops. Never mind the gifts, he made me breakfast, and took me to some nurseries I had never been to, then watched the kids while I planted roses. All the day after he built a fence. Yeah, my husband it just simply amazing.

I went to two nurseries in Madison. We live a trip from Madison, and while my husband works there, I only get up there 1-2 times a month. The first nursery I visited I was pleased to find a nice selection of coleus for a steal, $1.59 a 4 pack, or $4 for a large, more unique variety. I've said before, I overwinter my coleus, so I don't consider buying them a waste, as with some annuals. They also carried 4 packs of a rather hard to find annual (for me) verbena bonariensis. It gets 36-48 inches tall and has nice, tiny purple flowers. I'm hoping to figure out how to get seeds from this one, but at $2.99 a 4-pack, it wasn't too terrible a find. I also found Gold Sedge, one of the grasses on my wishlist (back of this box).

Most exciting for me, I found a nice selection of David Austin roses. I have done my homework with the Austins, though, and I was diasppointed the nusery sold several varieties that aren't zone 4 hardy--Madison is all zone 4. They were a few DA's for sale that were hardy to zone 4, and I could not resist coming home with this one:

The second nursery I visited was still rather flooded from all the spring rain. It was crowded, and I was a first-timer there, so I was a little confused, and frustrated, stepping in 4 inch deep water puddles trying to see where they kept what. I found the roses, and they were fair priced ranging from $14.99-22 for potted roses. Not bad! But they were not labeled yet. Just on the tiny tag on the plant. I was bending over and over again when someone approached me and apoligized, explaining she'd just put them out yesterday, and was labeling the rows today. She also said she had "pictures of the varieties in the Bare Root room..." She went on to tell me how to get to this room, but I was pretty zoned out, a room full of bare root things. This could only mean good things. I asked her again, as I focused, how to get there.
I walked in to the bare root room to find all of their bare root roses 50% off. Oh thank you, Gods of Mother's Day, for this special treat. I came home with three, a David Austin Mary Rose & Christopher Marlowe, as well as a Climbing Pearly Gates. Three for around $21. Yeah, a GOOD FIND. All healthy, not the least bit dried out, and with 4 or more strong canes & new basal breaks too.
Later that evening, while the new bare root roses began soaking, I planted some roses that had been soaking in cool water and Vitamin B1 since Friday. I cleared the sod, ammended the soil, and planted 12 roses with B1, rose food and bone meal. All, in about 4 hours! Three of the roses were potted: the Brother Cadfael (see above photo) I bought that morning, and two potted Walmart finds, Scarlet Knight and Rusty. In this bed I also included my good looking $2, yes $2, Walmart bare root roses as follows: two Royal Highness, two Oklahoma, an Iceberg, Europeana, Sundowner, Proud Land, and Christian Dior. Most of these roses are first timers for me, so I don't yet know if they succeed in my climate. If they don't, I'm only out $2. That's better than an annual! I'll surely take notes.
Behind the roses, on the fence, I put two clematis, a Miss Bateman I moved out of the shade, and a bare root Hagley Hybrid I found earlier this spring for $4. I am debating what to plant with them, either a low growing perennial ground cover with non-invasive weeds, or an annual?
Here I am all muddy and cold.
Hard to see, but here are all 12 roses in the ground.
More pictures to come of the front bed expansion soon.
I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day!

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