Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rose Removalist

Is one of your friends moving house? Do they have a rose that the real estate agent hasn't specified in the property description? Then there's only one thing to do, it must be rescued and granted sanctuary in your garden. I've relocated quite a few roses now and this one was by far the easiest. Firstly its the middle of winter so it had more or less shut up shop for the year. Secondly it was growing in the rich and loamy soils of the Victorian highlands where the roots could be delicately extracted with a minimum of extreme violence. And third I only received two significant scratches. I have planted it alongside my other rescued roses in a spot where one that didn't make it used to reside. I have pruned it ruthlessly to reduce the transplant shock and create a more balanced spread of canes. This spring it will receive slightly less feeding and spraying than the others but I will be doing everything possible to keep black spot at bay. Unfortunately no matter how hard I fight against black spot, it always wins in the end. I just can't match its enthusiasm.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Winter Wierdness

Gardening can be an overwhelmingly seasonal experience. While balmy summer evenings may entice me out of the house to pick tomatoes in my underwear at 3am, absolutely sod all is capable of getting me outside for more than five minutes in this dead of winter. Remarkably however when spring approaches, the urge to emerge from my hole and attend to the new growth is reliable and overwhelming. For the time being it is necessary to be content snapping the odd photo of impending or well established states of plant dormancy. Apples seem to take their sweet time dropping their leaves for winter. Here we are at the start of july and they're only just starting to turn! The colours are well worth the wait, particularly the deep purple on the Pomme de Neige. Curiously the bare rooted apples on sale in nurseries have already dropped all their leaves. Maybe its where they grow them, maybe they "encourage them" somehow. The weirdest thing happening in the apple orchard is the disturbing winter apples that have formed on the Summer Strawberry. Not content with flowering in spring and exceeding all expectations with its first crop, this plucky little tree went on to flower again in late summer and produce a small clutch of winter apples (I think its clutch). How big will they get? Who knows. Is it a bad omen? Probably. Its certainly unwholesome.