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What have I done.....

11 years ago

I just put in an order for 118 roses to Petrovic in Serbia. While some may not be available given the lateness of the order, I'm quaking at the thought of digging a hundred holes, and deep ones as the roses are grafted and I want to have a few inches of dirt over the graft. My husband, whose knees are still in excellent shape even though he's in his late seventies, will do most of the digging, while I mix the soil and compost and put everything back together when the roses are set in their holes.

Every morning we go out and spend and hour or two digging Johnson grass out of the most recently created garden, a long job that's going to continue for some years even if we get the bulk of the rhizomes out this fall. We're still planting the plants started last fall: a few roses, a good supply of rosemary and woolly lavender, odds and ends of phlomis, artemisia, caryopteris, symphoricarpos, and so on. The rosemary and woolly lavender, which has a reputation for being somewhat tender but has always been perfectly happy in my garden, are in considerable part going for hedges here and there, while all the plants are serving to fill in the beds and help protect the roses from the blast of summer heat and wind. I'm digging a lot, amending and slightly terracing the compacted gray clay, and also re-digging and amending the soil around numerous roses which I did a poor job of planting the first time. We're also moving a good number of roses that are growing in the wrong places, hoping they'll like their new homes better.

Meanwhile we have perfect weather for propagating which I'm not taking full advantage of, though I have taken some cuttings, more rosemary, phlomis, caryopteris, Salvia griegii, lemon verbena, and so on, while hybrid lavender (lavandin), ceanothus, more phlomis, of which I have several varieties owing to my gardening buddy Paolo who collects them, more ornamental sages, more everything, are still awaiting my attention.

I feel a bit frantic when I think about it, but the work goes forward and gets done somehow. I notice that my operations have expanded to the point that I'm practically a nursery all by myself. With my husband approaching eighty and being my chief labor force, I'm in a hurry. But I can sense that in a few years I'm going to be ready to slow down, do more maintenance and less (a lot less) expansion, spend more time getting to know my roses, and, while still continuing to buy and propagate plants, not do it on the current scale. This year so far my husband has planted about twenty-two plants of rosemary, all grown from cuttings I took last fall. There are only so many plants of rosemary a person can fit even in a big garden, so eventually the garden will have as many plants of rosemary as it needs, or nearly so. The same goes for other plants I'm propagating in generous quantities.

Slides and slumps are a very real concern in our steep garden, so anchoring the ground with deep-rooted trees and shrubs has become imperative. I leave all the oak seedlings I find that are not truly inconveniently placed--I always feel anyway when I pull up an oak seedling that I'm strangling a crown prince--and we have an order coming for seedling flowering ash and hazelnuts, both sturdy ground-holding natives. They won't require the big holes the roses do. One section of the garden has resumed slumping this fall, and it hasn't even rained heavily yet. Scary.

The weather so far has been quite warm, gray and humid, though it hasn't rained for a while. I'd like to see the sun for a change, but it's perfect weather for digging and planting.

Well, off to tackle the Johnson grass.


Comments (29)

  • jeannie2009
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow..sounds fantastic.I can certainly relate to your feeling. I placed a crazy big order last year and then one almost as crazy this year. Gary and I planted and dug more holes then we ever thought possible. On the positive side the financial drain will slow down finally.
    You probably remember Jeri Jenning's numerous posts about spacing...leaving loads of space. Well I thought that since the weather here is so much cooler we shouldn't leave that much room.
    A stroll through the gardens ...Zephie (2 years old) is now 6' tall, 6' wide and 6' deep. Mons Tiller planted this passed spring has the word monster in his genes. I could go on and on but you get the idea.
    This being the Pacific north west one would expect rain.
    Since 7/1...maybe 1/4 inch. Last night finally 1/4".
    There will be many bushes and shrubs moved next spring.
    Hope I'm not sounding crabby its been a beautiful summer as usual. Gary and I laugh when people ask how we can stand all the we are worried about fire.
    you enjoy every minute.
    If you are ever back in this area..we'd love to have you spend time.


  • floridarosez9 Morgan
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh, Melissa, I'm overwhelmed when I order ten at the time! You have my utmost respect and envy for that energy. It's just me here and a helper for about 6 hours a week as my 82 year old husband has severe COPD, but I would never have the gumption to order 100 roses at the time. Of course you're not having to nurse those pots through a Florida summer, either.

    You go, girl!!

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  • hoovb zone 9 sunset 23
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Shouldn't johnson grass be something like giovannifiglio grass there? Seems like such a mundane name for such a historic, exotic place.

    I'm amazed and impressed by your gardening ambition, good luck and good weather and good health to you!

  • sherryocala
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Melissa, you really are a gardening dynamo, and I admire you, too. I think your posts are an inspiration to us all. You have singlehandedly just lifted my spirits 100% and invigorated me about the work I have to do this winter. I had been disappointed that I am replacing so many roses this winter but that is what gardening is, right? Digging and more digging, pulling out and planting new, moving to a better spot, finding something that likes the old spot - even counteracting slumps. It really is very exciting. The job you have set before yourselves is monumental, but I'm confident that you will get it done - one rose at a time, one day at a time. You certainly won't be bored. Will you be receiving your roses soon for planting now or in the spring?

    Enjoy yourselves and your garden, and be careful of your bodies. For some reason these old things are sensitive to even slightly awkward positions that send sharp twinges to the spine and down the legs. Do your digging and reaching square on - no awkward, leaning reaches that so sneakily whack your back. I need to keep that constantly in mind and retrain myself.

    We would really love to see more photos of your gardens, Melissa. That would be a thrill.


    Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

  • Tessiess, SoCal Inland, 9b, 1272' elev
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hey Melissa!

    One hundred eighteen roses? Wow, I feel daunted at the prospects of planting 20 at once, so I'm in awe.;) Post the list--I'm most curious about which roses you decided to buy (and why).


  • anntn6b
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Is the damned stuff everywhere?

    As a child, I didn't know it existed. (Virginia)

    Then in New Orleans, I discovered it around the concrete slab that was our back yard. The Foxes owned our house first and Mrs. Fox (according to the lady next door) thought Johnson Grass was corn and if she fertilized it enough, it would make ears of corn for her..........which it never did......although it grew under the six inch thick slab of concrete and came up twenty feet away.

    Then we bought the farm, aka Johnson Grass central. Where I continue to loathe it.

    Now I read you have it, as well.

    Just darn that grass and whatever scientist decided it was a good forage for livestock.

  • ogrose_tx
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow, I am super impressed, too! Good luck, bet it will be beautiful!!

  • seil zone 6b MI
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    OMG! I'm faint at the thought! I think the biggest order I even made at once was 10, lol. But it does sound like it's going to be a gloriously beautiful rose garden!

  • ogrose_tx
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    We want PICTURES, before and after!!

  • jerijen
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    AAaaahhh -- Melissa I want to see it all, and I can never make it there -- so, as you can, photos would be gratefully received.


  • TNY78
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Oh wow!! I think I ordered about that many this year, but almost all were ownroot so I just have most of them potted in 1g containers right now. That's the thing about grafted roses when they arrive, time is of the essance...I just can't deal with that! I think the most grafted I've received at once is about 10. But, pictures, pictures when you get them in the ground!!!!!


  • melissa_thefarm
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Thanks for all the encouragement, folks! Jeannie, thanks for the invitation, though I don't anticipate getting back to Washington state. Let me say that you're welcome to come here, too.
    'Monsieur Tillier' is our 'Archiduc Joseph' and you're right, this rose is a monster. I have one I'm trying to get to climb through a persimmon so that it doesn't get shaded out entirely (I don't know if it will work) and another that suffers badly in its current spot that I'm trying to persuade my husband to move. But it's big too. It sounds like you're treating your roses well.
    I need an enthusiastic photographer to come pay a visit...and then upload the photos to the Internet. I do think that using a camera is part of my future, but it doesn't come naturally to me.
    Floridarosez, it's not gumption, it's one of those things where you try not to think too closely about the consequences of your actions. The roses will get planted somehow. Prayer helps.
    Hoovb, actually I don't know what the name is in Italian. It's called Johnson grass in the U.S. because in 1840 a Mr. William Johnson introduced it to the States from the Mediterranean area--so says my useful Golden Guide to Weeds. So evidently this is part of its zone of origin. What a pest it is, anyway. I think we're almost done with round one of the work of elimination, and will soon be able to turn our attention to other things for a while, like digging planting holes. Meanwhile the remaining rhizomes can resprout and show us where they are. At least we can tidy up a bit so that that section of garden looks more like a garden than like a construction zone. The wild boars have been digging there too.
    Sherry, I'm glad my post gave you a boost! Yes, you're right, there is a lot of moving plants around in gardening, we all just have to get used to the idea. I've been moving a lot of roses out of areas that the roses have proved aren't suitable for them. They'll be replaced by different shrubs and trees according to the site and what's already growing there, and the result will be--I hope--a garden of more thriving plants with a greater sense of rightness to it.
    By the way, DH is the dynamic one: he leaps out of bed every day at 5 a.m. full of bounce and cheer and ready to dig all the holes I could desire. I trudge. Still you're right that I'm determined in the matter of my garden.
    I've been surprised that I've been able to dig as much as I have recently: it was by digging that I ruined my knees several years ago, and I never thought I'd be able to do as much as I have been doing this fall. I do pay attention and stop if my knees begin to feel sore. Also I try to walk at least once or twice a week, usually the five miles to town. I think that walking strengthens the back and legs in a way that reduces the chance of injury.
    I've requested that the order arrive before Christmas. I try to plant before the end of the year so that plants have a chance to establish roots before the summer drought. November-December is the ideal planting period here.
    Melissa, I'm putting my order at the bottom of this post. As I said, I don't know how many will be available. The order is not very selective. I ordered all, or nearly all, the Albas, Gallicas, Damasks, Centifolias, Mosses, and Portlands that I don't have, plus a good number of Hybrid Perpetuals to try, two Bourbons of the SDLM tribe, a handful of mostly warm climate climbing roses and a few Teas and species. The Warner roses are moderns with a blotch--I want that blotch. I'm collecting, basically. Petrovic offers mainly roses for temperate, not warm, climates, and specializes in old and older roses. I didn't get Bourbons because I don't like them that much, and Spinosissimas and Rugosas don't seem to like my garden. I have a passion for the once-blooming old roses, and Petrovic has one of the best collections around, and at very low prices. I hear that their quality lately hasn't been so good, and hope it isn't true.
    Ann, too true, but at least the Johnson grass is mainly in one part of the garden, and I think can be kept under control. It would be a nightmare to deal with if it had concrete to shelter its roots. We've been digging up bits of it that have shown up elsewhere and I think will be able to eliminate it in most of the garden for good. How are your roses doing? Has fall arrived?
    Ogrose, thanks! I need a photographer. I have thought about hiring my daughter for this, as she's more technically minded than I am and an artist as well. I don't know if she gets the garden, though.
    Seil, this order is about twice the size of the largest order we've ever made before, so it's formidable for us too. But we'll survive somehow, and so will the roses, which are plants with a great will to live.
    Jeri, I'll keep it in mind. Actually I may be more motivated to take pictures when the garden looks more like what I want it to be, the garden of my imagination. I'm still figuring out basic cultivation--you'd think I would have mastered that by now--and putting work into soil preparation that I should have done five and eight years ago.
    qty. class and name
    1 Warner Rose �Bright as a Button�
    1 Warner Rose �Chewdelight�
    1 Warner Rose �Eyes for You�
    1 Alba �Amelia�
    1 Alba �Blanche de Belgique�
    1 Alba �Jeanne d�Arc�
    1 Alba �Pompom Blanc Parfait�
    1 Alba �Sappho�
    1 Alba �Suaveolens�
    1 Centifolia �Paul Ricault�
    1 Centifolia �Reine des Centfeuilles�
    1 Centifolia �Rose de Meaux�
    1 Centifolia �Rose de Meaux Blanc�
    1 Centifolia �Tour de Malakoff�
    1 China �C�cile Bruenner�
    1 China �C�cile Bruenner White�
    1 Damask �Blush Damask�
    1 Portland �Delambre�
    1 Portland �Indigo�
    1 Portland �Marbr�e�
    1 Portland �Rembrandt�
    1 Portland �Rose du roi a Fleurs Pourpres�
    1 Portland �Mme. Knorr�
    1 Gallica �Aimable Rouge�
    1 Gallica �Anais Segalas�
    1 Gallica �Antonia d�Ormois�
    1 Gallica �Assemblage des Beaut�s�
    1 Gallica �Belle des Jardins�
    1 Gallica �Bella Doria�
    1 Gallica �Belle de Crecy�
    1 Gallica �Belle Hel�ne�
    1 Gallica �Belle Virginie�
    1 Gallica �Burgundy Rose�
    1 Gallica �Camaieux�
    1 Gallica �Comtesse de Lac�p�de�
    1 Gallica �Conditorum�
    1 Gallica �Cosimo Ridolfi�
    1 Gallica �Cramoisi Picot�
    1 Gallica �D�Aguesseau�
    1 Gallica �Daphne�
    1 Gallica �Duc de Guiche�
    1 Gallica �Duchesse de Buccleugh�
    1 Gallica �Georges Vibert�
    1 Gallica �Gil Blas�
    1 Gallica �Gloire des Jardins�
    1 Gallica �Hippolyte�
    1 Gallica �Kawkaskaja�
    1 Gallica �Nanette�
    1 Gallica �Oeillet Flamand�
    1 Gallica �Oeillet Parfait�
    1 Gallica �Onex�
    1 Gallica �Orpheline de Juillet�
    1 Gallica �Paeonienrose�
    1 Gallica �Pompom de Panach�e�
    1 Gallica �Rote Krimrose�
    1 Gallica �Sissinghurst Castle�
    1 Gallica �Surpasse Tout�
    1 Gallica �Tricolor de Flandre�
    1 Gallica �Tuscany�
    1 Tea �Lady Hillingdon�
    1 Tea �Rosette Delizy�
    1 Species Rosa haemospherica
    1 Species Rose d�Orsay
    1 Climber �Bouquet d�Or�
    1 Climber �Cl. Crimson Glory�
    1 Climber �Gloire de Dijon�
    1 Climber �Cl. Souv. de la Malmaison�
    1 Climber �William Allen Richardson�
    1 Moss �A Longs P�doncules�
    1 Moss �Baron de Wassenaer�
    1 Moss �Capitaine Basroger�
    1 Moss �Celina�
    1 Moss �Comtesse de Murinais�
    1 Moss �Crimson Globe�
    1 Moss �Deuil de Paul Fontaine�
    1 Moss �Duchesse d�Abrantes�
    1 Moss �Gabrielle Noyelle�
    1 Moss �G�n�ral Kleber�
    1 Moss �Gloire des Mousseux�
    1 Moss �Goethe�
    1 Moss �Golden Moss�
    1 Moss �James Veitch�
    1 Moss �Jeanne de Montfort�
    1 Moss �Laneii�
    1 Moss �Little Gem�
    1 Moss �Malvina�
    1 Moss �Mme. De la Roche-Lambert�
    1 Moss �Mme. Moreau�
    1 Moss �Mrs. William Paul�
    1 Moss �R�n� d�Anjou�
    1 Moss �Robert Leopold�
    1 Moss �Sophie de Marsilly�
    1 Moss �Soupert et Notting�
    1 Moss �Souv. de Pierre Vibert�
    1 Moss �Zoe�
    1 Bourbon �Kronprinzessin Viktoria�
    1 Bourbon �Lewison Gower�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Baronne Prevost�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Sydonie�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Yolande de Aragon�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Anna de Diesbach�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Empereur du Maroc�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Eug�ne Furst�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Fisher Holmes�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Georg Arends�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Gloire de Ducher�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Gloire Lyonnaise�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Henry Nevard�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Heinrich Munch�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �John Hopper�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Mrs. John Laing�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �La Reine�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Marguerite de Roman�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Mme. Louise Piron�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Paul�s Early Blush�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Souv. de McKinley�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Souv. de Mme. Corval�
    1 Hybrid Perpetual �Souv. de Dr. Jamain�

  • melissa_thefarm
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Tammy, thanks. I do wish these were own root, but they won't be. Usually we have good planting weather when our orders come, which helps considerably. Potted roses offer their own difficulties.
    What did YOU order?
    For everybody: I had no idea the computer would make such a hash of the punctuation of my order. I don't know if it's because of my Italian keyboard or what, but you have my apologies.

  • harborrose_pnw
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    You are making a rose forest on your land, you and your husband. I hope your forest begin to bloom some next year to reward you for all of your labors this fall. And anyway, even if your daughter doesn't "get" roses, she'll see you have big dreams and work hard at accomplishing it. That is a priceless gift, just showing her that. I too hope there are photographer-friend-visitors that will come to visit you. I'd love to see the fruits of your labors. Gean

  • rosefolly
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Melissa, your garden must have evolved enormously since Tom and I saw it several years ago. I suspect we would scarcely recognize it now, and even less so in a few years as your new roses develop.

    I still remember a certain enchanted glade out by the old barn. I'm guessing it remains the same.

    Best of luck with all your endeavors, and please pass our very best regards along to your husband.


  • melissa_thefarm
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I appreciate all these good wishes and this interest. Gean, when I read the word "forest", I think of all the oak seedlings sprouting all over the garden which I pray are going to keep it anchored and stop it sliding down to the bottom of the valley, with our house following. But, the roses, yes. We started with a scrubby field, open and weedy and steep. I see, one day years from now, a garden dotted with trees, more shady, more protected, less exposed to wind and sun, and with roses blooming and climbing and fountaining everywhere. It's entirely possible this may never happen, given our age and the extremely slow rate of tree growth in our garden, but who knows? It's a lot of fun trying.
    I understand what you mean about my daughter. In fact, my own mother had an absorbing interest, not directed at earning money, to which she dedicated a lot of time and energy. She died in 1977 but people still remember or know of her because of the work she did. I don't know whether people will remember me for my garden, but you can tell I learned from my mother and am reproducing her behavior in my own sphere of activity. And so will my own daughter learn from me. I sometimes wish my own mother had been more maternal, but I learned from her to respect and pursue my own interests, and that's a valuable lesson for a woman.
    Paula, hello! Yes, the shade garden is much as you remember it, still enchanting. We haven't been down there much recently, as it has been cloudy, mild, mosquito-breeding weather, and the our most urgent work has been down in the big garden; but we will be back in time. The garden has expanded greatly since you were here, and I hope that next spring will show that we've also improved our methods of cultivation. I'm feeling rather optimistic about the garden at the moment. I've passed on your greeting to Ottavio. Say hello to Tom for me; I hope you're both doing well. Enjoy your garden! Isn't it lovely that summer's over at last?

  • sherryocala
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I was just wondering. Do you plant the different areas of your rose garden with a design in mind? How will you lay out all of these new roses? I'm very curious. If you do have a plan, is it a big part of your excitement/joy?


    Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

  • Kippy
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    I sure wish I had the $$ to travel! I have my photo gear ready.

    You don't have to be a serious photographer to document the experience of planting these roses. Just grab a point and shoot camera and take a few photos every morning before you start for the day. The transformation will be incredible to follow over the years as the new garden matures

  • melissa_thefarm
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    What a satisfactory question!
    Graham Thomas said gardeners tended to be primarily either collectors or designers, but I seem to be about equal parts of each, seeking variety in my plants but then subordinating them to an aesthetic plan. These are two fundamentally different aims that it's my task to synthesize. The garden when it has reached its full size will be about 2-2 1/2 acres; not all of it is yet planted. We started working on it about ten years ago and I hope to get most of the basic planting finished in the next few years.
    I plan the garden in large chunks, each chunk big enough to have its own personality and to allow me to see how it will function in the context of the entire garden. For various reasons, sometimes I have to step back and rework parts of the garden, always trying to make the new design work as part of the whole. I also only plan enough to allow me to do the basic planting, leaving plenty of room for additional details as they occur to me or as I get the plants I need. One of my original difficulties was learning to plan a garden on a larger scale than what I had been used to before, coming from my yard in Washington state, but I'd say that I've been successful, at least as far as I can tell with most of our trees and shrubs still immature.
    For planning how to lay out the roses, I keep in mind a few things. The once-blooming old roses from temperate climates--Gallicas, Albas, Mosses, etc.--have a different character than the warm climate roses--Teas, Chinas, Noisettes--and generally I plant them in separate groups, sub-gardens or plantings within the garden. Roses of mixed ancestry, like the Hybrid Perpetuals, Bourbons, Hybrid Musks, etc. etc. get placed according to their dominant character, and some can go either way. Another consideration is that roses are not structural plants and are rather similar among themselves in foliage and a kind of brambly character. They need to be interplanted with shrubs and subshrubs that offer variety of foliage and flower color and texture, and backed up by trees and shrubs of a more solid character and that give greater height to the garden. I tend to plant roses in long borders, usually two roses deep, often with low-growing shubshrubs in front and with taller shrubs and trees behind them. This order from Petrovic is going to continue a double line of roses that runs along the side of our big slide of several years ago, that we are working on turning into a woodland, our future "romantic ravine" (since I couldn't thing of anything else to do with it). Then we will plant the rest in a double line on each side of the tractor road that continues on through the garden up to where the garden reaches the paved road. There should be plenty of room left for more roses in the future, as I plan on propagating my own plants. The double line of roses with be backed up, in future plantings, by shrubs and trees, and interplanted with herbaceous plants and small shrubs; at least, that's the plan. Two triangles of land on either side of the tractor road are still open for whatever ideas I come up with. There is a garden of warm-climate roses that still has room for more roses; and the big allee that also goes down to the paved road, meeting the tractor path, has room for a line of Teas and Chinas as well. So I have a good deal of room to add roses, both new varieties and self-propagated ones, as most of my varieties are represented in my garden by a single plant, an insecure situation and one I want to change.
    You know, I'm so busy making up orders, digging holes, and pulling weeds, that I don't have the energy to be excited. This is still a period of heavy investment. Perhaps I should take more time to smell the roses. But the garden certainly engages a large part of my resources of energy, time, and attention. And the design of the garden is extremely important to me.
    Kippy, I know. It's just that cameras and I don't get along. It was the same way years ago when I tried to learn to sew: I couldn't do it; while I'm thoroughly at home in the kitchen or with a pair of pruners in my hand. But I accept that a camera is part of my future.
    If you ever come up with travel money, get in touch.

  • mendocino_rose
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Best wishes Melissa. I know you'll enjoy these plantings.

  • fogrose
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    All I can say is WOW. You are a one woman antique rose preservation society Melissa. Please document the whole process with photographs so we can be properly awed.


  • pipercraig
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    i would like to see the picture.

  • melissa_thefarm
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Pam, thanks. Diane, that's the idea, in part. Somebody needs to be growing these roses, and particularly when economic times are tough and growing old roses is the last thing on most people's minds. Of course I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't think they were beautiful.
    Pipercraig, hello! Your wish is noted.

  • User
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hi Melissa - well I am a camera dimwit too and have so far failed to upload a single picture to the PC BUT, having bought a little digital camera, at least there is a record of how my garden looks over the year. Admittedly, I have to squint at the tiny screen but no matter, they exist. Get a camera NOW and just point away. At some point, either you or someone else will figure out how to print out these photos but until then, at least having a record of growth somewhere is worth having. I have taken almost 1000 garden and allotment views this year and I know that I will be screwing my eyes up at the camera screen in February. Just do it - no-one expects the results to be submitted to Magnum or Time-Life - they are a wonderful document of a garden life which you would be mad to miss out on.
    Hey, looks like I will be getting to grips with some acreage soon for what will be, I hope, my life work and legacy. Good Luck with yours - you are quite a bit further on now so it must look fabulous, at least mostly (sorry for dodgy grammar and nonsense statement).

  • sherryocala
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Melissa, I should have known, but I'm glad my question gave you the opportunity to express your gardening perspective. I enjoyed it. Come to think of it, I do think you've shared it before, but refreshing my memory is always a good thing.

    At a girl, Suzie!!! I'm so proud of you!!! Excellent advise for the camera-impaired.


    Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

  • cupshaped_roses
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Ouch planting all those roses Melissa! To your rescue:


  • ladyg8r1
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Wow Melissa, you are my kinda gal....Sherry sent me this link today and said Hey Cyd....I think you and Melissa have something in common! And boy do I think we do! Enjoy your roses....wish I was there to help you get them all in the ground. Maybe you can find someone who has an auger on their tractor to help you out!

    "Preserving History One Rose at a Time"

  • sherryocala
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Hey, Cupshaped! That is a very cool contraption!!! A little like cheating but who cares! I love it. I want one.


    Here is a link that might be useful: If only sweat were irrigation...

  • melissa_thefarm
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 9 years ago

    Good luck with your new home, and have fun gardening!! I know you'll have a wonderful place. I wish you the best.
    Our garden has grown very slowly, partly because of poor preparation, partly because of summer drought, but when I look at it at least I can see there's a garden there and not the sun-blasted field we started with. I'm hoping that all the digging I'm doing this fall will improve rose growth significantly. The trees need to grow!
    Your remarks about the camera are noted. Actually for documentary purposes I could send out my husband with the camera; he likes to take pictures.
    " life work and legacy". Yes. Exactly.
    Sherry, I enjoy talking about garden design, thanks for inviting me to do so (again). Actually, Pam would be a good person to hear from, as she has a very large garden and many roses and is interested in garden design, I think.
    Oh, Niels! your photo the ground is so flat....and the dirt is so soft....and the grass is so full and free of weeds and so very neatly mowed! Obviously you live in a different rose universe than the one I inhabit. Your suggestion is a good one. My husband is talking about hiring a digger for the holes, and I think it's a great idea.
    Cydney, so, tell us about your garden! Where, what, for how long, why? We need information!