Monday, October 31, 2011

Redo, relocate

The weekend rose festival really got me psyched about working in the garden. Unfortunately, garden work almost always involves shopping, so I may have spent more time in the stores than I did in the garden, but as they say, it was quality time. Yesterday I moved a Rain Lily and a Coneflower out of the path, but mainly I got Climbing Souvenir de la Malmaison out of the ground and into a pot. I only cut enough to allow me to get in under her wild and crazy canes plus a couple that were curved way around the post or through the fencing on the post, so she’s pretty big. I think my every limb and my ear were pierced and/or scratched. She didn't go quietly.

I’m giving her to Cydney Wade of Rose Petals Nursery from where SDLM came originally. If Cyd wants to trim her more for the sake of travelling up the road, that may be the wisest course, but I have found that these roses don’t suffer much from transplanting. I haven’t ever left this much growth untouched before though. I like doing it this way rather than chopping her down to a stump. I think she’ll be fine for a while where she is, but we’ll see, won’t we, if my method is a good one.


Some of her leaves were a little limp today but not bad. There’s a lot of new growth on her that I hope survives. Leaning on the old fencing that E. Veyrat Hermanos vacated (he went to Rose Petals, too) keeps her upright, and I’m sure she appreciated today’s rain, cool weather, and the shady spot.


Her former home is right there in the middle where the black dirt is - also right in the middle of the planned new path ergo her departure.


I figured that loosening up the 4x4x10 post wouldn’t be too hard since it was only in sand, perhaps the only advantage to Florida gardening. A little pushing and pulling in all directions did the trick. Getting it up and out of the hole was a bit trickier. I got it up the first time but ran out of arm length and/or body height before it was out of the ground. The second try worked better, bear-hugging the thing up and out. Then came the matter of getting it to the horizontal and balanced. Just call me Wonder Woman - ooh, did you hear that music? I don’t know what a damp pressure-treated 4x4x10 weighs, but it ain’t light. I managed to get it laid beside the house while missing the bedroom window and a heart attack by a good three inches. I might be getting more coordinated, but I doubt it. It was definitely divine intervention. What a blessing not to have a broken window with the rain we had last night. Here’s the two-feet deep hole left behind. It had been in there two years. Only in Florida, I think. Isn’t my black sand beautiful?


Since I’m feeling unambitious after having a tooth pulled this afternoon and can’t yet eat, I’m going to make this a quick recap of the work done over the weekend.  I got the old pine bark mulch from the wide path loaded into two blue plastic pots plus a pile leftover, because I decided to use the two-season-old, well-crumbled pine bark to amend the replacement soil that would be going into the widened bed areas. That was a truly enlightened idea though I’m sure it’s not original. Bulk plus acidifying capability.


I removed about six running feet to a depth of about twelve inches since it’s only daylilies that will live there, and they don’t care about pH or sand. The crappy soil filled the wheelbarrow, so I had to stop and finish this section. I broke up the bottom of the trench, sprinkled a good bit of soil sulfur in the bottom, moved the pile of mulch and the topsoil (well, the dirt under the weed cloth was a little blacker than the sand so I saved it) into the trench, a shovelful each of Milorganite and Holly-Tone and mixed it up. Step three was salvaging that black compost from the surface of the path, because the path would be the dumping ground for the crappy stuff. Another bit of enlightenment. The alternative would be to wheel the stuff down the slope to DH’s waiting truck, shovel it into the truck, drive it to the other side of the retention area and then un-shovel it – or would that be de-shovel it. Regardless, I really didn’t want to do that so this turned out well. I didn’t even need the bagged soil yet.


So I managed to get the trench filled up, edged with nice tumbled bricks, and the new path smoothed and edged on one side with the old squirrel-chewed plastic, "stone" edging. No photos because at the stroke of dusk the mosquitoes had murder on their minds and took no notice of the repellant I had poured on myself. So I hurriedly grabbed the items that would rust and the open fert bags and took cover inside without taking photos. I thought about going out quickly to water the pot ghetto (I have one now – seven roses and two asiatic lilies) but in another enlightened moment decided I didn’t want to die. And then this morning we awoke to rain. Wasn’t that nice? I would have died a horrible mosquito-death for nothing.

The mosquitoes are awful now. DH said they’ve made the news. I was relieved to hear they're more widespread that just our neighborhood but still felt guilt, because I think I single-handedly exploded the mosquito population with my five or six water-filled containers of daylilies. I did put BT rings in them last week so maybe – hopefully - there won’t be a next generation.

I’m very excited about my progress. Finally! Excited to be back shoveling in the garden, and I wasn’t even sore today. Yes!! Old age is a myth!!!


  1. A lot of work in the garden, Shelly ! I like this, the plants are easy to see now, and the changes are so exciting . Have a nice week !!!

  2. The cooler weather does make it easier for working outdoors. You sure are busy in your gardens. Glad your roses went to a good home.


  3. This is the same way I transplant my roses! I cut them back just enough to make them safe to work with, binding the canes with bungie cords if necessary, and I dig it up and drag it to its new hole. Lots of water and TLC, and I let the rose decide which portions of it are no longer served by the remaining roots. I have great success this way.

    What is it about the end of October that creates such a burst of energy? I'm itching to get right back outside, but it's a bit too chilly in the early morning so I have to wait a bit. That greenhouse isn't going to built itself, you know.

    Your dirt looks great, sorry about your tooth, and I hope it all comes together exactly the way you envision it.

  4. You have done a lot of work! But I can see how beautiful it is going to be! I hope you get to feeling well soon, and am soon back in the garden again - with no more rain for a while.