Friday, May 15, 2015

New Rose Arbor

I am anxiously trying to complete an extensive "to do" list before I am off my feet, post-op ankle surgery. The raised beds are planted with this years veg, the porch planter bed is done, all the balloon flowers are in the ground and I got a bag of gladiola bulbs planted. The irises are blooming and smell wonderful especially at night. On Mother's Day weekend I spotted an early female hummingbird, so I hung up 3 feeders with homemade syrup. The finch feeder sock of thistle seed is up and the Red-Headed finch pairs have been frequent visitors. Today, I saw the first Goldfinch of the season, snacking upside-down on the sock too!

One big project I wanted to complete was to clear out the weedy and crowded plant space in front of the porch planter. Two rogue butterfly bushes had started to grow there, and the one mugo pine was the main vole refuge, as well as having a sawfly infestation; all were slated for removal. My daughter dug and hacked out the medium sized butterfly bushes, but my son's brawn and skills with a pick axe were necessary to remove the pine.

Once those view obstructing shrubs were gone, I could address the climbing red rose I had "temporarily" planted there. This site was initially an interim location, because the poor rose wilted in the bare-root plastic packaging when I forgot to plant it promptly. Several years later (oops), I really had to either move it or give it an adequate support system. Laziness wins and I decided to create an arbor from two 10 ft.-1/2 inch  PVC pipes, 4-36inch pieces of re-bar, and some leftover plastic coated dog fence 36x14 inches. The easiest arbor ever!

I pushed the re-bar into the ground and bent the PVC as I placed the pipe over the foot and a half of exposed re-bar. I hand bent the dog fencing over the top of the curved PVC pipes and attached it with zip-ties. Then I pruned, coerced and forced the rose branches over the arbor and onto the dog fencing; I used zip-ties to affix the rose to the arbor. It took a couple weeks for the rose to recover, but WOW, look at the buds and blooms!

My son wanted a rock and creeping thyme garden, so that is in the works at the base of the arbor. I have to admit the rose looks much happier supported than it did loose. The hummingbirds are also enjoying the feeder I hung from the middle of the arbor. I have one stray branch to secure but it is still a tender new shoot, so I'll wait to zip-tie it to the PVC. The garden tidying continues, but this quick and satisfying chore is done & checked off the "to do" list. 

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