Spring sprung; saving roses

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Remember that rhyme we used to say. It goes like this “Spring has sprung, the grass is ‘riz, I wonder where the flowers is.”

By all accounts it has been a late spring, the trees are budding again for the third time and the iris never really did recover with many flowers.

I got serious about getting the place in shape last Saturday.

Our daughter, Nancy, a master gardener and a workaholic, came out with a carload of beautiful orange geraniums and filler plants and filled four lovely big buckets for our front porch. And when she said she was able to help more, we went to work on my rose garden (she did the work and I did the supervising and the iced tea deliveries).

It was terrible

A couple of summers ago our daughters, Mary and Kate, decided (when Bob and I were out-of-town) they were sick and tired of trying to keep the weeds out of the rose garden so they labored to lay down weed fabric that was supposed to allow for the oxygen and the moisture to be contained while keeping out the weeds. Within weeks I saw my healthy rose plants start to not look so good. I didn’t do anything for those couple of years but overwater them.

Remember it was the severe drought too and I slacked off on all my gardening. To make a long story short, I saw my 29 rose bushes deteriorate. Now come spring a couple have died and a couple more look like they’re going to.

Now I sprung into action and after calling Paulino Gardens they told me to get rid of that non-porous black fabric.

So Nancy and I began the task of ripping it and the sour, very wet dirt under it out. We filled five huge garbage cans with the stuff that was making our roses “sick”. We took out all the dirt and red wood chip mulch. Now I’m going to let the remaining soil get plenty of air and sun before I do any more fixing.

Of course the two girls thought they were being helpful in dealing with all the bind weed, aspen sprouts and trumpet vine seedlings. Instead we nearly killed the roses. It may well be that some roses will not survive. We’ll see!

Anyway the lesson learned is to ask your nursery folks for advice and then take it. Meantime I’m going to give those roses tender loving care and see if they can recover.

It’s going to take a lot of Aleve for Nancy — and my back to recover — to wait until the trash people get a gander of those five huge trash containers. Wow!

Quote of the Week

“Although he’s regularly asked to do so, God does not take sides in American politics.” Main Street Memories

Stay well, stay involved and stay tuned.

P.S. Remember this Memorial Day to honor those who have died.

Vi June is past Democratic state representative for House District 35. She is a former mayor of Westminster and a former newspaper publisher. A Westminster resident for more than four decades, she and her husband, Bob, have five grown children and eight grandchildren.

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