Friday, May 29, 2009

The killer roses

That's how we refer to these roses because walking through the garden gate can often be a treacherous endeavor. This is a "New Dawn" in all it's glory. It covers the entrance arbor to the garden and about twice a year we have to hack it back severely to be able to get through the gate! I love roses, but I'm just too lazy to grow the high maintenance kind. I only grow a few climbers and some of the new Knockout roses. I go for low (as in NO) maintenance types.

When we first moved here, the garden area was a big flat place where the elderly owners had planted for many, many years. The soil was not so great. When I decided to put in raised beds, I spent weeks digging out the aisle ways, heaping the soil into beds and then adding composted bedding from the sheep pens and the chicken house. Now the soil is almost too good. Not only does it grow great vegetables, but the weeds grow fast and big too. Since I'm trying to raise plants as naturally as possible, I don't use herbicides on the raised beds and have had to come up with a method for controlling the weeds without spending every waking moment out there weeding. Right now I'm putting layers of newspaper down around the plants and then mulching heavily with straw. This seems to do a better job than anything else I've tried. When I started planting this year, there were a few beds that still had the coverings from last year and NO weeds at all. I once read that every time you turn the soil over, you expose more weed seeds. Disturbing the soil as little as possible supposedly gives less weeds to deal with and this method seems to accomplish that. Every year my husband tries to talk me into letting him get in there with the tractor to flatten the raised beds and plow the whole thing up. His arguing point is that it will be much easier to keep the weeds in check if we can just run the rototiller between the rows. It's such a man thing to want to use a big machines to accomplish a task instead of doing it by hand!

I don't know what variety this rose it, but I just love the color. And it must be hardy or it wouldn't still be here!


  1. I can relate to the garden and weed issue you're having. I don't want the plows in ours either. We have been trying to build up the soil in a similiar manner. I don't think I've thrown away a cardboard box in a year - it all goes to the garden to try to block weeds- with old sheep hay layered on top. Beautiful rose picture!

  2. I've wanted to try that, but don't seem to get organized ahead of time. Can't believe with all the rain we've had, how dry the soil is already.

  3. Wow, beautiful roses!

    Your granddaughter is so cute and I can tell she is so excited and proud. What fun! Thanks for sharing.

    So much to catch up on over here.

    Take care,
    susan anderson