Our bare root roses arrived from David Austin Roses! Mom was extremely excited when this box arrived:
The first step was to soak the roots overnight to rehydrate them before planting:
We soaked them in buckets and in half of a whiskey barrel that we had bought to create a pond in (more on that later!)
We planned to plant five of them in the front yard, in our new cottage garden. We coordinated them so that warmer colors were on one side and cooler on the other. We planted Lady of Shalott and Litchfield Angel on one side because they are softer colors – white and light pink/peach. Then we planted Harlow Carr, Thomas à Becket and England’s Rose on the other side, which are all shades of red and dark pink.
We planned to plant three of the white Claire Austin roses on the North side of the house, and train them to climb up the wall. The fourth one we planted beneath a post on the side of the front porch. We put the Cinco de Mayo, Young Lycidas and The Alnwick Rose into pots – two on the back deck, and one on the porch. Lastly, we planted the Princess Anne rose into a spot in the rose garden where another rose had died over the Winter.
Once the roses were rehydrated, the next step was to dig holes that were about 2 feet wide and 2 feet deep. We needed to make sure the roots could fit nicely in the ground and leave enough room for the graft union to be 2-3″ below the ground. Because it gets cold here in the Winter, the roses need the graft union (the bulging area where the roots and the stem meet) to be protected.
We sprinkled rooting powder onto the roots and mixed some organic compost into the dirt that was already in the holes, both of which will help the roses settle in.
Sebastian and Dad dug all the holes. Here they are digging out the spots for the climbing roses:
Sebastian is working super hard! We bought nice, large pots from Home Goods for the potted roses. Here’s one of the pots and the holes for the roses in the front yard:
Once the roses were in, we gave them a good soak and they started to get comfy in their new homes.
The other project we worked on was to create cold frames. We wanted to start putting some of the seedlings outside to harden off (get them used to the outdoor conditions), but they needed to be protected while they adjusted. Cold frames are expensive to buy pre-made, so Dad decided to build some on his own. He bought wood and corrugated plastic from Home Depot and eyelet hooks and we used some twine to hold it shut in the wind.
Here are the cold frames once we filled them with seedlings and brought some of the flats outside. Good job Dad!
The last bit of news is that the hellebores that we planted last year are blooming and they look amazing! Hellebores are one of the first plants to bloom and it’s so uplifting to see them, it makes you excited for what’s ahead.