May 17, 2015

New Roses

When Harry and I built out lovely retirement home here in Michigan three years ago, we spent a lot of time and money planning and laying out the landscaping of the property.  Most of what we planted has done very well, surviving the winters and coming back in the spring.  Except my Knockout Roses.  They have not done well at all.  Out of the 10 bushes we planted three years ago, two have come back fairly well; four have sort of come back, but look pretty anemic; and we completely lost four.

I decided it was time to replace the ones that had died and hopefully rehab the ones that had not.  So that was my project yesterday.   It was an absolutely gorgeous, but chilly, spring afternoon.  A great day to be outside!

Last week I made a trip to one of the nicest greenhouses here in Portage and bought four beautiful "Scentimental" Floribunda Rose bushes, Rosa Wekplapep.  And they smell divinie!  Like roses should smell :-)

First thing I did was remove the dead bushes.  This was pretty dicey because as you know, roses are covered with thorns!

But I was able to remove the dead bushes relatively easily, although with two of them I had to dig pretty deep to remove all the roots.  Then for each new rose bush, I dug a hole twice the size of the container and a little deeper.  I then put about an inch of composted cow manure in each hole to provide nutrients for the new roses.

Since most roses are grafted, I planted the graft about an inch below the soil.  Digging a larger hole will give the roots space to grow and help establish the plant.

Of course, Miss Laci was very interested in what I was doing!

 Next I turned my attention to pruning and cleaning up the Knockout rose bushes that had survived.  This was an exercise in patience and careful pruning.  Dead, thorny rose branches are not to be taken lightly.

Once I was done, the Knockout bushes looked great!  Or at least I think that maybe they'll have a chance to grow this summer and maybe survive the winter.  Hopefully. . .  :-)

It was a fun day for me.  I love our home here in Michigan but I really miss my garden.  Today I got to play in the dirt and that always makes me happy!  I even had an Eastern Kingbird visit me while I was working.  And that was icing on the cake of this wonderful day.


  1. Sounds like a job well done. Hopefully you didn't get too many scratches!

  2. It does look like it was a lovely day! We've had some pleasant ones over here in Wisconsin lately, too. Now I guess we'll have a couple more cool days--which should help to hold the Lilacs in bloom for a bit. Yay! Your Roses are gorgeous! I have a few here, but not many.


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