Ray utilizes the space in his yard to the fullest extent possible. I’m very impressed by how fully he makes use of that space and how well it is cared for. Awhile back he decided to revamp some of his plantings, eliminating some to be replaced by new interests, and in some cases, removing duplicates. He asked if I’d be interested in a few rose bushes. From his screen name, I’d guess that roses may have been his first passion.
Those ‘few’ rose bushes wound up being nine large and mature beautiful varieties, some or all of which are show varieties. It also grew to include four 4 yr old apple trees. This wound up being no quick and simple project!
I planned out where the roses would go and started clearing their overgrown garden area here back in December, and worked until the cold finally found its way here in January. But it wasn’t as simple as just clearing the area; that has been one of main bulb and perennial plots. So, in order to transfer the bulbs, I’ve been working on also cleaning out plots that were originally designed, but since abandoned, by one of my daughters. Neither one of these were easy to do because both have been areas where wild blackberries, poison ivy, trumpet vine, and dog fennel have been fighting me for possession. Removal of the bulbs meant that I could go deep and rip out the mazes of roots which had been previously inaccessible. My determination to give these roses and apples a good home spurred me to dig deeply into the hard clay beneath those gardens and rip out every hiding root system those annoying vines had laid down.
Preparing the spots for the apples was much simpler. They went into what has been a four square area put in by one of my sons. In the center of each square was a large forsythia bush, surrounded as forsythia tends to do, with many small forsythia plants. It was easy for me because I just ordered my crew (the guys here) to go dig out those bushes and move them to a hedgerow along the road. I didn’t have to lift a finger. My work in that area came after the trees arrived.
Four of us headed to Ray’s place to dig up the roses a few weeks ago. I thought the project would take the greater part of the day, but it was super quick and rather easy. It’s interesting that even though we only live 10 minutes apart, Ray’s soil is so different from mine. He’s closer to the rivers and I’m on an elevation near the lake. Ray already had everything heavily pruned back, since they’d finally gone dormant, and our shovels practically glided through his dark sandy loam. So different from the rocky red clay that I have to force my way through!
Last weekend two of the crew returned to Ray’s and dug out the apple trees. They were barely gone an hour. His soil is THAT amenable to shovels. Can you detect a bit of soil envy on my part? Those went straight into their highly amended planting area. It’s not just the mounded hole that I amended, but a foot or more down throughout their entire area. I wanted to make it as easy as possible for the root systems to recuperate. And it would be more difficult to work the surrounding area later than to do it now.
I’m still working on parts of the bed where the roses have been placed, and continuing to rework the areas where bulbs have been, and are still being, transferred. These aren’t areas that I feel comfortable having anyone else work. There are too many things that can be damaged. I’d rather be angry at myself if I mess up than angry at someone else.
All but two roses have now been planted. I’ll be working on that this afternoon. The trees are still looking good. Last week my family said there was nothing they could give me for my birthday that could come close to Ray’s gift. But they did their best and gave me their labor and 1 1/2 cubic yards of garden soil!
Thanks, @rayrose !