As we stand outside amongst the roses, it begins to dawn on us just how much work is going to be involved with getting this garden into shape. Years of neglect have taken their toll. Roses left to run riot with little or no pruning, an irrigation system that looks like rather decrepid and has cuts to the pipes from careless lawn mowing, plants that seem like they have never been fertilized, some dead standards that need to be dug out and replaced... the list of tasks gets bigger every time we look.
The usual time to prune roses in this area is July, so we are already well behind before we have even started. New growth and buds are appearing, so we can't put this off for much longer. Our secateurs aren't going to be up to the job with this, so it's off to the garden dept at Bunnings to grab more. 3 pairs, small medium and large. The biggest set has extendable handles with a ratchet... we are going to need these when it comes time to get the climbers pruned.
While it's aways satisfying to look back on a job well done with pruning, the actual doing part of it is not so much fun. In fact, I find my love of roses seems to decrease dramatically as my number of cuts, scratches, and emebedded thorns increases. No matter how careful you are, there is simply no way to avoid these. Ah well. Just have to realize that this is a number of years worth of old wood we are removing, it should be easier next year.
This is always one of the fun parts with a new garden, what roses do we actually have? No matter how experienced you might be, it can be difficult to identify roses with degree of certainty. We have climbing Iceberg, that one is easy. Also the white Banksia, no mistaking that one either. The only other that I'm 100% certain of is Kentucky Derby. Not because it has any unique characteristics, but because it still had the original tag on it! As for the others, I have a few ideas but I'm not confident enough to pin a name on them just yet.
But who better to identify the roses than the person that originally planted them? With that in mind, we have managed to find out the name of the lady that had the house back when the garden was planted, she still lives in the area. If we manage to get in touch with her and I find out more rose names, I will be making up some tags to put on them.
As these are our first few weeks in the new place, gardening can only be part time. There is still unpacking to be done and the million and one little jobs that need doing in a new place. So pruning what we can, spraying the weeds and spreading some "rooster booster" around the garden is about it for August.
Follow our journey to restoring our rose garden to it's former glory. Each month, will mean a new installement of what (if anything) has been achieved, progress reports and photos, and anything else that we think might be worth reading about.