Friday, April 8, 2011

The Upheaval Begins

The weather's permitted me to begin digging up some of the treasures I am taking to Minnesota with me. We are fairly certain to be signing a lease on a rental house that encourages gardening- and has flower beds that need cleaning up. I am sooo the woman for that job, and I'm sure my plants won't mind sharing the beds with theirs. My husband sent me tons of pictures of the yard, and I'm really excited. The rental house has a vegetable bed, and I've decided to scale down the edibles this year to just cukes, maters, and peppa's, so I can put all my dahlias and zinnias in that bed. The owners don't minds if I dig up some grass for my roses, so I have two walkway beds in my head- with my arbors, clems and roses. Feeling so much better! So, I went outside yesterday and looked at my dormant roses and decided I should start potting some of them up for the move. I don't know why, but I started with Eden, I luscious, semi-hardy climber with pink and white blooms that reaches 10 feet here even after a hard winter die back. Here, I have maybe 6-8 inches of green cane on this girl, so I know in Minnesota, where temps go even 10 degrees lower, she could be toast. I love her so much, I decided she needs to be in a container, and get overwintered either in the garage, or basement. I began digging, and digging, and wow... these roots were deep. I thought I was hitting some sort of tree roots only to find they were Eden's root- massive- like 4 feet wide tap roots running in every direction. I nearly killed myself removing dirt, and pulling as hard as I could. I used the hose as a pully, and pulled under the roses roots and literally let all my body weight hang from the hose, and still- this stubborn Eden would not budge. I had to resort to cutting through the tap roots with my shovel. She's potted up in her new permanent home, and being watched closely for growth. No signs of breaking dormancy yet, so I'm worried. So, turns out being an awesome gardener, with really strong plants and roots, is sort of coming back to bite me in transition. lol. Let me just say, digging up your garden is significantly less fun than planting it! I was REALLY worried all my roses would be that large! I decided the next rose to pot up would be Sexy Rexy. Just purchased last year, he's proven to be super hardy with no die back at all! It also looks also to be the first rose breaking dormancy. I was so pleased to find a much smaller root ball on this one. Thankfully, I looks like some of the roses I'm taking with me are going to be easier than others. I also potted up two other plants I know will be overwintered in containers in protected shelters- my small japanese maple, and 'blue satin' rose of sharon. I stuck some less than hardy perennials in those pots, logically thinking wherever I protect these plants, the less than hardy perennials could sit along with. Feeling pretty smart. :) Today, if the rain holds off, I'm potting up a butterfly bush for the same treatment. I've also plan on continuiing the process of removing a few beds. The new owners of our home have never gardened, and I don't want them to feel overwhelmed and immediately turned off from gardening. I've been sort of collapsing a few beds, returning the space to grass by sprinkling seeds. I'm dividing the plants in those beds, and leaving some in the empty spaces left from things I'm taking with, and then potting up the extras to either take with me, or sell. I'm so not in gardening shape yet- and my legs and butt are hurtin'! I leave you with a picture of Castor Bean flower heads from last season. I have a packet of seeds to grow these again this year. They are poisonous, so I always keep them away from the kids and edibles. I find them perfect for the inferno strip along the front sidewalk. Excellent red foliage and obviously, great flowers!
Happy gardening!

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