Saturday, April 18, 2009

I promised myself I wouldn't do it...again...

Every spring there's some gardening I do. It was most insane the first spring we moved here (spring '07) where I bought no less than 10 bare root roses (mail order, yes they still mailed them to me in the hot months) soaked them, then planted most of them in 5 gallon pots. Some I just plunked in ground after a week of soaking. It was damn hot by then and it was not recommended planting time. For anything much less bare root roses. For all intents and purposes they never should have survived that first summer. They are, presently, about 6 feet high. I have more pictures of them but that's for another post. Today I'm talking about broken promises. To myself no less.

We have a plant swap out here, twice a year. A bunch of us gardening geeks get together and swap cuttings or plants we just don't want anymore. I've done it since the first one that came along after I moved out. I found out about them via Garden Web forums. We have a local (Texas) section and they are the nicest bunch of people. They get very familiar with each other and it's nice to see that kind of neighborly love being delved out across the net. Half my garden is sported by these people, one lady had me over to her house and was just yanking stuff out of the ground and giving to me. Her garden was HUGE and needed to be separated and toned down anyway so it's not like you could even see that she had pulled the stuff for me but it was such an awesome gesture of kindness. Like I said, these people are great.

This past plant swap I didn't go to. That's a first for me but I just can't go and not come back with something. I still have plants unplanted from all the swaps I've been to before! For this reason I didn't go. I went so far as to stay off the forum completely until the date of the swap passed. If I went on there someone would ask where I was at and I'd fold, I just know it. No forum for me, 1 month! And even though the kid wanted to buy the pretty little annuals at Lowes or whatever store we managed to flit past, I refrained. I even managed to plant 4 of the 5 bare root roses that has been sitting in a pot for, oh, almost 2 years now. The ground we have here is not dirt. It's rock. We live on a rock quarry. Planting anything in a 5 gallon pot requires the hunny digging a hole. With a digging bar, an axe, and a few other strange implements of destruction which normally results in severing some sprinkler or cable line. We have mastered the art of repairing sprinkler lines ourselves and fortunately the cable company doesn't charge when they have to come out and fix a line. Mostly because I had them come out and mark the lines when we first moved here and I swear they marked them all wrong.

We have a large front flower bed (amended soil by the builders) though and I decided the roses could go in there. I only killed 1 sprinkler head (screw in, easy fix) and found 1 broken line that I think was not buried deep enough so walking across the ground broke it. So now I only have 1 more rose to plant. This is a monumental spring. I still have about 15 iris I need to get in the ground but those should be simple. Again, I'm just going to put them in the front and that should only take a few minutes. The last rose will probably go in at that point too. Maybe tomorrow...

Regardless I did not want to buy/acquire any more plants until I had all of these into their new home, in the ground. The pot ghetto is getting to me and really, there's just no reason for it. Well other than the fact that the hunny is so not in the 'Let's go dig a hole in the yard!' kind of mood. Ever. Really, this ground sucks to plant in. On the up side the roses grow like gangbusters. I don't amend the soil at all, I just plunk them in.

So what is the problem? I have a thing for a certain flower in my mother in law's garden. She has a massive garden (taken care of by her husband, I love him) with tiers of roses in the front and orchids everywhere else. There are a few other things in between but those are the 2 main residents. Oddly enough the roses that she has are not the kind I like, plus what grows well in San Diego does not do the same in San Antonio. I don't do orchids, too hard to grow. No the plant that I really like of hers she has growing against the side of her garage in back. Actually it engulfs the entire side of her garage. It's a beautiful camelia named Mabel Bryan. It's a candy can stripped flower that blooms like nuts in San Diego. I don't know if it'll survive in my climate though. I planed two very small ones last year and they died. They were small though and I think one of the freezes killed them. Or maybe I just didn't water them enough, who knows. I love gardening but I am still a busy/lazy woman.

I passed up buying one last year, the only size I found it in was a HUGE 25 gallon pot and no amount of bribing would get my hubby to dig a hole for it. Today I went to Lowes and all of their camelias were 50% off. They had one in a 5 gallon pot and I just could not pass it up. So there you go, I broke a promise to myself regarding my gardening. I must get all of these plants in ground before the summer hits or they'll all get toasted. The bad part is I don't want the camelia in the front flower beds. I need it in the back yard where it can grow to it's full potential. Something like 15'-20' high and about 10' wide. Yeah not good for the front flower bed.

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