Sunday, March 31, 2013

Rambling Roses in south Tampa

'Seagull' and 'Leontine Gervais' Rambling Roses are now 90% trained to their rebar trellis on the west side of the front yard, soil fed with more goat poop from Pamela Lunn at Dancing Goat Farm, monocalcium phosphate, feed grade urea, then a few dozen glad bulbs and a coleus and an amarcrinum planted, followed by a slow trickle deep watering. Tomorrow the whole bed gets deeply mulched with shredded palm tree, then between the roses go several fancy, striped mixed color Four O'Clocks, with lemon yellow dwarf cosmos seeds direct sown into openings in the mulch along the border. I'm likely to also plant a few super-hot pepper seedlings here and there. I'm surprised how anal I'm getting about linear plantings, equidistant spacing etc. as I have fun profoundly tidying up the yard in Dad's memory (he was HYPER TIDY vs. my perennial slovenliness). To further build up and heal this LONG TIME sandy hot dry bed, next will go in dead Tithonia stalks on the mulch in between the roses and and other plantgs as I clear out the east side of the house to make room for the other 250 tote generously given me by a student to convert it into a rain barrel to add lignin and humus formers, plus soiled clay cat litter. For years I've used chicken path soil in the litter box, but roses LOVE clay and a 25 lb. of white clay cat litter at Publix is just $3, so from now on all my roses now and then get soiled clay cat litter. Once this west bed is deeply mulched and fully planted, atop the mulch and stalks goes several gallons of rain water with Alaska Fish Fertilizer added. Both of these roses will be prime breeders for me in my new effort to breed ONLY xeric roses for the southeast and other mild climates, so since they've persevered since 1999 in often harsh conditions, I want to coddle them a bit to give me more blooms to work with while adding color and grace to my front yard here in south Tampa. Open-pollinated hips of 'Seagull' can taste pretty good after what we call cold weather in my Denver yard it bore MANY hips but out there I had easy access to the much bigger and tastier hips of the Dog Rose (Rosa canina) by the High Line Canal that ran behind Fairmount Cemetery.

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