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Another one bites the dust

14 years ago

A few days ago while walking the garden for my morning tour, I noticed that Gertrude Jeckyll was listing to one side. We'd just had two very welcome inches of rain, and I blamed the wind. The next day a suspicion occurred to me and I took a closer look. Yes, gophers had severed it at the ground. This is one of my many roses that are not in cages. Darn. Gophers were not a problem here the first few years I gardened. For some reason they started moving in over the past few years and now are everywhere. Many of my older plantings are completely vulnerable. I took cuttings, soaked them in water to rehydrate, and planted them in a pot in the ground to see if I can root them.

I also lost my Autumn Damask. Not the gophers this time, I think. It had been declining for the past several years after peaking about five years after initially being planted. I suspect bad placement was the cause. One of my flaws as a gardener is underestimating the eventual size of a plant and not allowing enough room. I had done this with Autumn Damask and each year had to prune very heavily. I think such heavy pruning over and over was harmful to the plant and eventually lead to decline. I've decided not to replace it. It's a nice rose really, but a bit rough-and-ready for my front garden. I'm debating two candidates for the space.

WS2000 is gone, too. This time it was a deliberate decision on my part. The flower is quite pretty and the plant is healthy, but I dislike octopus roses when what I really want is a shrub. I moved my knee high Cl Crimson Glory to the spot. If it makes it, fine, but I didn't bother with a cage for it. In five years it never grew more than 18 inches high, despite lavish care. Pretty flowers, though, gorgeously fragrant. Now in Cl Crimson Glory's old spot right by my front gate, I have in place a new Cl Crimson Glory from a different source. I've seen the amazing ClCG grown by Jon of Wessex; I can never be content with a knee high version now.

More changes to come as the fall progresses. I have a couple of roses coming from Vintage, a couple from Pickering, and already got a couple from ARE as well as some cuttings from a kind friend that I am attempting to root. Meanwhile I have my winter vegetable garden planted. Back when I lived in Pennsylvania the idea of a winter vegetable garden would have startled me, but here it is the right time for cool weather crops. Need I say that our vegetables, fruit trees, and blueberries are all planted in gopher cages or raised beds with gopher wire on the bottom? I'm a slow learner in the garden, but eventually I do get it.


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