Update…

Garden Roses Stretched Canvas Print by Hedgerow RoseFor those of you who don’t know, I was recently in a car accident. I do not have any memory of the pickup truck crashing into me but I do remember waking in the hospital and the nurse telling me that my husband (who was in GA at the time) was contacted and on his way. I won’t get into the icky details but I will say I was in very good hands. And on that note: If you or someone you know is either a first responder, police officer, nurse, doctor…the person who selflessly steps up and offers support when someone else has had a trauma and is in need…please give them a hug from me with my gratitude.

Forgive me for sharing this recent event–I often purposefully keep the “personal” stuff behind scenes if it doesn’t have anything to do with gardening and/or my work. In this case, my accident actually does affect the new garden as I’ll be recovering for a little while and won’t be able to get into all the projects I had lined up. Drat!! However, there were some things that we accomplished in the past couple weeks and some things that we are hiring out to do, so here’s an update on that and what’s to come:

Recently we…

◆ Removed a ginormous patch of Japanese Knotweed. That, in of itself, is cause for rejoicing. If you are unfamiliar with this plant, it looks very much like Bamboo, but it is not. (My husband would say it is much more evil.) It spreads by underground stems and seeds and we were not only finding it popping up in clumps all over our yard but our neighbor’s garden, too, which wasn’t cool. It had to go.

Future plans for the rock wallThe former daylily bed in background and the pachysandra/vinca bed in foreground (soon to be removed and replanted)

◆ Removed those daylilies I was telling you about. We bagged them and curb-alerted them and they are in someone else’s garden now. I love when things work out like that. Yay!

Iris ensata 'Geisha Gown'Iris ensata ‘Geisha Gown’ grows in one of the few areas where the soil is pretty decent

◆ Added another raised bed. We’re up to 3 now which isn’t much but, hey, it’s a start. We have very, very poor soil here. I am seriously missing the awesome soil I built up over the years at the old house. Having good soil is like having a hefty savings account! Both take time to build up. Not surprisingly, the plants we put in the 3 raised beds are doing well, but the ones we put directly into the garden are struggling. I see more compost deliveries in my future!

Princess Alexandra of Kent◆ Planted a few more roses, Princess Alexandra of Kent to be precise, but none of our roses are thriving, yet. See soil reference above. Grr.

◆ Removed more lawn and added additional growing space. Did this trick for adding a new zinnia bed and I’m really looking forward to seeing them take off (they’re the scabiosa kind!)

Tuscany SuperbTuscany Superb – a cutting that “took” and gave me a precious bloom

◆ Sent a bunch of rose cuttings collected on our recent visit to PA to gardening pals and started some for ourselves. Unfortunately, with the accident, I let ours dry out and we lost a bunch. I’m hoping to at least get a few to take; wouldn’t that be nice?

Jesse being sillyJesse being silly. But this is pretty much how the entire house looks currently–being eaten by overgrown trees and shrubs. It’s causing the paint to crack/mold and of course there isn’t much sunlight coming in. We’re working on it!

In progress…

◆ As I type this, there is an Arborist and his crew doing their magic with chain saws and trimmers. I’m so excited about this happening because we are on a very wooded piece of property that I’d love to see cared for by someone who knows what they’re doing. Right now, it’s mainly invasive shrubs and vines along with poison ivy and a lot of scrub trees. I have this crazy vision of creating paths and planting native shrubs and wildflowers while allowing the trees we actually want the space and sunlight to grow properly. I’ll have some before and after shots soon!

Agastache 'Kudos Coral'Agastache ‘Kudos Coral’ – pollinator friendly and easy-breezy!

◆ Removing the pachysandra and vinca that is currently sucking the life out of what would actually be a lovely feature in the garden: a dry rock wall. The goal is to remove all that nonsense, and then replant with pollinator-friendly flowers that can also take the heat.

◆ More beds and more lawn removal! I’ve been saving all the cardboard from our move to use to create new beds/remove lawn. It’s such a timesaver to do the cardboard method.

Painting the knotty pine WIPWIP!

◆ Inside the home, we have begun painting the knotty pine paneling that lines our walls, heaven help us. I knew getting into it that it would be an insane amount of work but even taking it one wall at a time is brightening up the house so much.

When I start getting more mobile again, I’ll have some more photos of the garden and the work that’s being done so I can share some before and afters. Hope you are all doing well and enjoying your summer!

PS: That’s a new print in the shop! 🙂  > Garden Roses Stretched Canvas Print

Garden Roses

40 thoughts on “Update…

  1. Hi Laurie,

    First I want to wish you well for a speedy recovery!

    I have been so inspired by your blog, and your fantastic rose keeping skills! I was inspired by you to start some roses in pots on our deck. Last year I planted Abraham Darby and and Strawberry Hill. Abraham Darby bloomed, Strawberry Hill did not. Then Buffalo had one of the worst winters in history and both roses died. I have started over with Strawberry Hill and Radio Times this summer. Fingers crossed for better luck this time.

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and inspiration!

    1. Hi Laura! Thank you for your well wishes and kind words about this blog. I am so pleased it inspired you to try growing roses in containers….but darn, what a bummer they didn’t make it through last winter! If it makes you feel any better, you’re not alone. I lost a few of my favorites, too, and I’m hearing that from a lot of other rose gardeners around the country. If you haven’t already, you might try and bring the containers into a sheltered location this winter (we put ours in our unheated garage). I hope you have better luck….let me know how they do this summer!

  2. Very sorry to hear about the accident. I have only yesterday found your images on Flickr, and now here, and hope you may soon return to harvest and share floral beauty with us. All the best!

  3. Hi Laurie, I’m glad to hear you’re on the mend! And making so much progress on your projects! I received some of your sweet pea’s and they’re healthy but not growing so much. I’m brewing some moo poo tea and hope that will get them going in the right direction, UP! I’m wondering if my soil isn’t amended enough, as you mentioned. Mmmmm….. When would I sow seeds for a fall flowering? I’m in your old zone/area. Wishing you a speedy recovery! : ) Ann

    1. Hi Ann! Thank you for your thoughtfulness!

      I found that it was best to start my sweet peas indoors in late January/early February. I know that there are some people who have had success sowing them in the cooler later months of summer for autumn bloom but I never have. They need a warming mat (or the top of a fridge in a pinch) to have even germination rates. Once they germinate, I take them off the warmer and place them in an unheated greenhouse so they get bright, cool light and then I plant out in April. The beds definitely need to be amended deeply and richly because sweet peas have long roots and are heavy feeders. Throughout the flowering season, water with compost tea, comfrey tea, kelp tea or all of the above!

      That being said….I’m in the same boat as you this year as with the move, our sweet peas didn’t get in the ground until very late and the bed wasn’t nearly as amended as I would have liked. Now, it’s blazing hot and the vines, without a strong/deep root system, are struggling to say the least. I’m letting them do their thing, though, because you never know with these little guys, sometimes they surprise you, and some flowers is better than no flowers. 😉

      1. Hi Laurie, Hope you’re feeling better! Just saw you latest Instagram post of A Shropshire Lad… and you asked about QoS…. As a rose person, you must get it! It is sweet and dainty. It’s only my 2nd summer with it and it’s not a non stop bloomer, but oh so pretty and can fit into small spaces. I’m not on social media, so sorry to post off topic on this blog post ; ) Love all your pretty flower pics! And btw, I removed topsoil around all my roses last fall to try and avoid rose midge and I think it helped. I know it’s still there, but wanted to thank you for the suggestion. I think the newspapers and leaf mulch throughout the garden helped as well. We’ll see what’s left after the JB’s get done w/their destruction ; ) Happy Gardening! I’ll look forward to your QoS pics ; )

        1. I’m adding QofS to my wishlist, then! Thank you!!
          Also, I’m so glad to hear that your midge is decreasing. Have you ever tried adding beneficial nematodes to your soil? That was something I meant to try and never got around to but it may help. Crossing fingers for you!

  4. Laurie! I am so glad you are alright, or will be soon. Yikes! I wish I was nearby and could bring you muffins and help out! {{{hugs}}}

  5. So sorry to hear about the accident. First responders took care of my husband when he fell seriously ill, and I second your feelings of intense gratitude. I was also very sick this spring and didn’t get to tend to my garden much either. Very glad you are home and recuperating!

    We are likewise in a wooded area with tons of shrubs and the Vinca That Ate the World. I’m seriously considering hiring someone to just bulldoze up the whole patch, because me and my shovel are only winning by inches every month. Finally planted my first rose (Louise Odier) and waiting for it to grow faster than an inch a month, bah. Anyway, love reading your blog. It let me have patience too– if you can make those awesome gardens over years, I don’t have to get mad at myself for not being able to do everything this year!

    1. I hope you are feeling better, Nora!!
      “Vinca that ate the whole world” that made me laugh! Isn’t that the truth?? We’re still trying to figure out a way to get rid of it since pulling it out by hand doesn’t seem to be working.
      Louise Odier is a beautiful rose…a wonderful addition to your garden! 🙂

  6. Hi Laurie – I am so very sorry to hear of your car accident. It sounds as if it was quite serious. I hope you have a very speedy recovery with no lasting effects from the crash. Hopefully you can sit outside in a comfy lawn chair, breathe in the fresh air, and admire the wild shrubberies and poison ivy from a far, all the while planning more raised beds and more rose plantings! Take care.

    1. Thank you Louise! I’m very lucky and trying to make the most out of the “forced rest.” It is quite pretty here so I can’t complain!

  7. It’s wonderful that you are back here sharing your love of life and gardens with people. I love how many people are here to learn and care about you and gardens. Even though you are all planting flowers, I think that you are actually all planting love and joy. That grows no matter what.

    1. Thank you Adrienne! Too many projects and not enough time/$ hahaha…but we’re getting there!

  8. I am so sorry to hear about your accident, but very happy you’re okay and recovering! Your new home and grounds will wait for yo to continue when you’re well 🙂 XOXO

  9. So very glad you are going to be OK and also glad that you have no memory of the actual accident! Hope you have a super speedy recovery. Glad to see new blog and postings about your new garden and home. We have awful soil here too in California (GRRR) plus not much water to work with. So, it is wonderful to see pictures of greenery and blossoming flowers that you are caring for!
    Now, pretend you’re from New York for a minute, get that Joey from Friends accent out, and let’s hear a bit “Fuggit about it” regarding the accident! Big hugs to you my sweet niece!

    1. Haha! Admittedly, I’ve been watching a lot of Friends lately. They’re always good for a pick me up. Wish I could send you some rain!

  10. Oh, Laurie… I am so sorry to hear about your accident and I’m glad you’re ok. Scary not to remember what happened at all, but maybe that’s for the best? I hope your recovery is easy and quick even if it is frustrating not to be able to get out in your garden and work on those projects you have planned.

    You’ve done so much already with the house and gardens, but I know how the list can be neverending.

    Sending healing thoughts your way.

    1. Thank you Anne! Yes, every time I start to get a glimpse of remembering what happened I tell my brain, no! Shut it down! Ah well.
      PS: really enjoying the lovely watercolors of your flowers you’ve been posting on IG!

  11. I am sorry to hear about your accident. I will be praying for a speedy recovery. I am hopeful that you will be able to tend to your garden. Thank you for sharing pictures of your gorgeous flowers. Sending hugs your way.

    1. Thank you Adrienne! We’ve been happy to see some of the roses I mentioned in this post that looked pretty bad start to make a comeback and give us a few blooms, too! So there is hope that this garden will pull itself up by the bootstraps eventually. 😉

  12. Hi Laurie,
    I am very sorry to hear about the accident – and hope you make a speedy and full recovery. How harrowing! I hope the roses provide you with many healing and beautiful blooms to help you along the way 🙂 It is also wonderful to read a new post on your garden. You inspired me to try Comtesse de Rocquigny in my garden this year (and to have patience with it! ) 😉
    Best of luck and healing thoughts!
    Karen

    1. Thank you Karen! How wonderful that you have CduR in your garden! I was so in love with that rose but sadly it did not make it through Pennsylvania’s horrific winter of 2014-15. (You might want to give yours some very good winter protection if you live in a cold climate.) Hope you get lots of blooms!

  13. Hey – so sorry to hear about your accident – glad you’re ok and in recovery mode. Praying that you have quick recovery in every regard. Thanks for taking time to show us your garden and projects – you guys have done an amazing amount of work! Take care!

    1. Thank you Cole! Lots more to be done but we’re chipping away at it a little bit every day. 🙂

  14. I am glad to hear you are doing better. I wish a speedy recovery for you. Enjoy your garden. As a gardener I know you will be tweaking your garden ideas/plans while you are healing. We just can’t help ourselves. Thanks for the beautiful pictures. 🙂

    1. Haha, isn’t that the truth? I may not be moving around as much but my brain is whirring with plans. Glad you are enjoying the photos!

  15. Sending healing vibes your way and just wanted to say I have a Tuscany Superb too and it is one of my treasures. Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

    1. Thank you Jane! Tuscany Superb is an absolute jewel of a rose. Can’t imagine a garden without her!

  16. I haven’t visited in a while – computer issue stuff. I’m so sorry to hear of your accident and so glad to hear you are on the mend.

    I love your roses, of course. I am a total failure at growing them.

    Pachysandra and some strange fern have taken over a part of the yard I don’t see often but now that I have seen it, I truly would love to get rid of it. I wonder the best way. the nastiness of digging it all out is a bit daunting as one never knows what is living in it. Ah for a gardener in the budget!

    Continue to heal well/

    1. Thank you Elaine! I understand completely about the the gardening on a budget! Our pachysandra is mingling in a rock wall which makes it extra tricky, but if it were simply growing at ground level, I would try smothering it with cardboard and a very thick layer of mulch. Maybe that’s something that would work in your situation?

      1. Brilliant! I shall start the cardboard hunting right away – recycling to my own yard. It’s a rather large space but we are due for a trip to a wholesale club so perhaps I can score a bit extra then. Thanks so much for the idea!

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