Sunday, 14 April 2013

Beat the rain drops

We were driving back from Leeds yesterday in the pouring rain and I must have been the only person for miles around who said - "I am glad its raining".  A couple of days ago I had planted a couple of things out and had done some weeding and discovered that parts of my garden are bone dry; not many parts I must admit but it did make me wonder if I should water the pots and the narrow dry border round the front of the house.  So thanks to the Rain God for one job saved.

That said, no miracle occurred on the weeds and the dead stuff.  I managed to get out there this morning and finish weeding and tidying the new (last year) border.  I still have the rest of the borders to do which is about three times this strip.

Here's the result:

Not sorted
I thought I would label the photos in case you were in any doubt!

It actually got done because I received the two roses I won last year in a Spalding Plant and Bulb Company competition (the post about that is 15 December 2012).  I particularly wanted to get them in the ground while they were still looking fantastic and the chickweed was in the way! 

The roses were delivered yesterday while we were out and the cardboard box had been left round the back of the house in the bucketing rain; opening the box was like trying to open soup, but the roses inside were pristine in their completely sealed bag.  

Two here, fresh and ready to go
There was a lot of paperwork guff inside including one of their wonderful Planting and Gardening Tips Book.  It is like a bit of a bonus as you can look up the information you need for the plant you just got, but there are thirty plus pages of other information.

To plant a bare root rose properly - you soak it in luke-warm water overnight.  Dig a hole bigger than you think you will need and mix the soil with well rotted manure.  You plant it a bit deeper (5 cms) than the place where all the stems join up.  Put the soil back in the hole and heel it in (tread gently right round it).  Soak with water and then mound up a bit of soil around the stem.

Now for the truth... I rarely bother to soak if the plant looks fresh, green with nice shoots and the roots feel moist, although soaking can still be helpful as it helps 'unfold' the roots.  I just ease them out gently into the right position when I plant.  I never have any well-rotted manure to hand (!) so anything really woody like a shrub or a rose or big tough perennial gets a sprinkling of bone-meal to kick start it.  Also, this time, I let nature do the watering.

Thank you Spaldings.  I can't wait to see them do their thing.

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