Saturday, October 5, 2013

Roses and Daffodils

Muggy today and overcast, in the 70s. Damp, but no rain, and we need it badly now. It has been two weeks since we got rain while we were away in N. Carolina.

Yesterday I moved the carpet roses. I like them, and I loved their delicate scent as I went by so close on the walk. But they were too close, encroaching on the walkway despite frequent pruning.  They look manageable here, but I am after them all season long, and the fronts were getting too flat-shaped from all the pruning.

And they want to be 4 feet tall, maybe more. Too much for this space, and the thorns were a snag hazard rounding the bend. These are sharply thorny roses.

The weigela on the left has room and sun now to fill out. The sparse clump of Green Spice heuchera will bulk up now also. And the tiarellas at the foot of the sweetbay magnolia have some room and some sun too. I like the openness below the tree -- you can see its shape.

For the time being I stuck a white flowered vinca in there. I'll put in brighter annuals in summer next year.

The roses are now at the back of the Drive By Garden. They will be background shrubs, with a pop of color from a distance. I'll have to make a point of going around behind that strip to get a whiff of their scent.

Here's the thing with roses. They don't dig up with any kind of root ball and soil. The same thing happened with the rosa glauca I just moved -- after hacking off the long running roots, the remaining roots near the stem are paltry and don't hold soil when dug up.

The rosebush gets wrested out of the ground as a bare root plant, with no soil at the roots at all. But easy to carry to its new site that way. I hope the transplants take.

After the roses, it was time to plant more daffodils. This is what is still left to plant -- a bucket of bulbs -- but I only got about 20 in the ground today. Still more to do.

It has been so dry, and the compacted horrid soil on the slope where these are being planted is cement hard. All the asters and brambles and deep rooted grasses need to be clawed away, a small hole hacked out, dirt added, and then the bulb. Takes a lot of time and wrist strength.

So, more to do. Time to stop and admire the coloring foliage for now.

I love my blueberry farm at this time of year.

The funny orange sassafras, right in front of its still green partner.

The back hill, screening the road behind.

Red maples on the hill. They're not scarlet, not wine red, but rather a pinky blue red.

Looking east, from the dining room window, a lot of russet and gold.

Staghorn sumac turns clear red and shows a neat kind of shape.

You need a blue sky, not an overcast day, to show the reds at their best.