Honestly, We Like Digging

We'd appointed this weekend for moving the roses around, and so on Saturday we went out into the icy afternoon and beheld our problem children.

Rose hedge, phase one

The roses were too close together, and they also desperately needed pruning. So I pruned the heck out of them while Noel did the digging. The first day we moved five or six roses and got a decent amount of pruning done before it got dark, then today we moved almost every other rose.

Work done

It was a lot of work, but we managed to spread the roses out decently and do a bit of earthworks on the lumpy ground out front. I'd still like to spend more time on that lumpy ground, but it's fine for now.

One side in detail

Still left to be done is a reworking and extension of the irrigation, because now there's more area to cover. But given that the initial installation took all of half an hour, I'm not too concerned.

We did unearth several more bricks in the process, which I'm going to use as edging in the back. Noel's been throwing bricks away in the trash every week, and had finally gotten rid of the huge pile by the sidewalk, so I wanted to save him some grief.

Chipping

The real coup was not just pruning and moving all the roses, but getting our butts in gear and shredding all the trimmings and the huge pile of lavender from the back. It's so gratifying to take a five-foot pile of brush and turn it into a tiny pile of chipped-up bits that compost fast (you can see the pile in the middle of the photo). We did end up having to take the safety guard off the chipper to get it to work properly and not jam, but we're sensible people and no harm was done.

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posted by ayse on 01/15/07

8 Comments

To rid yourself of bricks... Don't throw them away!

Try posting on your local Craig's list.

Craigslist, yes, we tried that. For three months I ran regular ads offering the bricks for free. People would ask all sorts of outrageous things like for us to reserve all the bricks for them, or for us to take individual photos, or deliver them. Few if any showed up, and no appreciable dent was made in the brick pile.

We even left them neatly stacked on the curb for eight months, and every now and then comebody would take a few. But eventually it is time to just admit nobody wants them and throw them away. The whole thing has been very depressing.

Wow! That looks like quite the project. Good job! I am jealous. I miss my garden...

So, I guess that's your accomplice with the wood chipper, then?

Argh! Ayse, I wish I lived closer. (Michigan to California's a bit of a trek, for brick)

Am glad you tried. Sighs.

Hanna: it will be spring before you know it! Hang in there!

Scot: if you were on this continent right now you would be in a world of hurt.

Jenn: yeah, it's a bummer that we're awash in bricks here and you guys would like them. I think it's because anything made of brick here just gets shaken apart, whereas your bricks all stay together. One good earthquake in the midwest, and you'd have a nice solid source of bricks for years to come. :)

I hope you didn't plant any roses where others had been. Or if you did, you used all new soil. Because roses are funny about that. It's called, I think, rose soil sickness. I think the chemical warfare that some plants practice is fascinating, except when you run up against it. Once I tried to grow plants under a sycamore. It turns out there is a reason why there is often bare dirt under sycamores....

Rose soil sickness should not be a problem here, because the roses were only in place for one year, and the soil was completely new then (rose soil sickness is largely a function of length of planting of the previous rose). In addition, they were transplanted with their rootballs intact, so they brought their own soil with them.

But, you know, we'll see how right I am about that.

Note: We're getting pummeled with spam comments, so I've turned off the ability to use any HTML or include any links for the time being. Email with any issues.

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