Budwatch 2016

Strawberry Hill Simple Beauty 2016

Hello Friends, it’s been a little while and I hope this post finds you all well and enjoying your spring!

spring in WNC

lilacs on our walk

We’ve been chugging right along with work, neverending house repairs and gardening. I love this time of year, seeing the perennials emerge and the buds unfurl. On our walks, we take time to sniff the lilacs, admire the dogwood blossoms and gaze in amazement at how quickly the forest greens up after a string of warm days. We’re also so relieved that our home got it’s new paint before summer hit it’s stride–one less thing to worry about!

porchNow that the porch isn’t a moldy nightmare, but fresh and white, I’ve been spending a lot more time out here. I’m thinking about painting the floor white, too. Too much? Thoughts?

house 2I know I said recently that I wanted to keep the lawn on the other side of these beds but I’m already thinking that’s a bad idea. They have been getting terribly messy from mud when it rains and grass clippings from when we mow the lawn. I see more gravel in our future!

house 3We’re going to be adding a few more trellises as there are actually several climbing roses planted there (can’t quite see them, yet) and I want this whole front part to be covered in roses. 😉

house 4Not long ago, I watched in horror as the UPS guy backed the truck up to about an inch away from the raised beds before finally slamming on the brakes. Soooo, now we have the whole graveled section really blocked off and I painted this wire table hot pink so it would be really noticeable! (Those forget-me-nots and trug were a gift from a neighbor.)

rockery 1

rockery 2

rockery 3

rockery 4

Our yard is coming along but I joke that it’s just a “mulch garden” as we have yet to really fill it with plants! Planting the flowers, besides the $$$, is the easy part, but we’re not quite there yet. I have to keep reminding myself that these things are a process but, admittedly, I am not the most patient person when it comes to stuff like this. I have a picture in my head of how I want the garden to look but the hard part: laying out the beds, paths, gravel, hardscapes, etc, takes time. We’ve managed to continue our work on the rockery, but it’s been slow going as there is still so many roots from the groundcovers still in the soil wreaking havoc. A little bit of progress every day.

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We’re on “bud watch” with all the roses. While some have already opened like ‘Old Blush’, ‘Summer Romance’ and, most recently, ‘Strawberry Hill’, most are just on the brink. Listen, after my years of struggling with rose midge, seeing roses do what they should be doing–BLOOM–makes me want to jump around and do a little dance. It’s so exciting!

tour 1

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Above is a short tour of a handful of some other flowers in bloom right now and a shot from our trip to a recent plant sale (we’re hitting them all up!) I’m trying not to totally freak out that I’m still using my cellphone b/c I don’t have my new camera yet and these photos look like poop. Total First World Problem and I sound like a moron when I complain. The photo below was one of the last shots I took with the old Nikon. It’s of ‘Summer Romance’ and the jury is still out on this rose. It tends to get a bit woogily in wet weather.  Smells divine, though.

Summer Romance - Kordes Rose - Hedgerow Rose

Have a wonderful weekend!

29 thoughts on “Budwatch 2016

    1. Hi Chi,
      That rose is called ‘Summer Romance’. Thanks for your visit!

  1. Laurie, it just keeps getting better and better. No wonder your neighbors bring gifts!! I hear you on wanting to dance seeing blooms for a change. No midge on your roses and no deer eating mine. I didn’t realize just how much they were eating. Seeing the growth is stunning. I’m trying Summer Romance for the first time. My climate is dry, so maybe they’ll do ok. Also planting some climbers as shrubs so I can try pegging. Just not sure how far apart to plant them. That last photo of your house is just gorgeous!

    1. Thank you Andrea! Gosh, that makes me happy to think that you’re getting your blooms, now, too. Isn’t it so wonderful? I hope Summer Romance does better for you than it has so far for us. Which climbers did you plant?

      1. The climbers I’m hoping to peg are Westerland, Honeymoon and Strawberry Hill. Also, some Austin shrubs that tend to put forth long canes, like Tess of The d’ Ubervilles and Gertrude Jekyll. I’m giving them lots of room and will fill in with perennials.
        I hope you’re not having to lift those big rocks. Our property is more rock than soil and we finally thought of using a dolly to move them around.

        1. Those are all fantastic roses!! I love the scent on Gertrude Jekyll but unfortunately she didn’t like our climate. I keep meaning to try Tess…let me know how you like that one.
          And nope, the mister is moving the larger rocks for me. Thankfully, there aren’t too many spots that need repair. We’re keeping it as a sort of “tumbledown” effect. 😉

  2. Hi Lorie! Was wondering what plant sales have you been hitting up as I too am in NC and would love to look into them!

  3. Your property is looking fantastic! You guys are killing this – your neighbors must be so happy to have you there, I wouldn’t be surprised if you receive many, many more gifts. One of my favorite elements you’ve included is the gingerbread on the house and vertical elements – from the pictures it seems to tie everything together – magical!

    1. Thank you Cole! We have had a few people pull their cars over when they drive past just to tell us how much they enjoy the work we’ve done and, admittedly, sometimes I really need to hear that. It’s been agonizingly difficult so all the encouragement is greatly appreciated. 🙂 So glad you like it!

  4. I LOVE seeing all the work and progress you have made! As always you are an inspiration to this rose enthusiast! I just bought Summer Romance this Spring! It was between Summer Romance and First Crush, and Summer Romance just smelled so incredible I had to add her! I re read your post on propagating roses the other day as I am trying again, and hopefully with your great tips I will have success. Do you think its too early to try in zone 7 (Delaware)? Also I love your pictures as well! Finally I think the porch floor looks great with the wood tone, not painted white grounds the space really nicely, and helps hide scuff marks and the stray smidge of dirt that may sneak in. 🙂 A white floor might no be so forgiving.

    1. Hmmm, good observation about the porch floor. I’ve had votes for paint it white, paint it dark, and don’t paint it at all. Ahhh! Well, maybe I’ll just bump it to the bottom of the list until I figure out what to do. Thank you for weighing in! 🙂
      I hope you get great success with your propagating this year. We’re in zone 7, now, too, and I’m going to wait until this first flush of blooms is totally finished before I start taking my cuttings. (We’re only just in bud now so probably not until late May.) Does that help? Thank you so much for your visit and your comment, Kimberly! 😀

  5. I’m a new reader so maybe you already wrote about this but did you discuss your climbing roses and what you use to support them? I’m new to rose gardening and gardening in general.

    1. Hello and welcome! 😀
      I’ve got a post you might like to take a look at which explains how we install trellises to a house. I also have a page set up for those new to my blog called Roses 101 you might also be interested in. Please let me know if I can answer any further questions for you!

  6. Girl! I don’t know how y’all are even moving, let alone still planning! The transformation is UNREAL! Love love love. My 2 cents on the floor of the porch is: consider painting a pattern or stencil work on the floor. What about a paisley pattern or large vines and oval buds? You are creative. It would be cool to paint it in white and let it wear as the years and memories come and grow – errr, go!

  7. Hi Laurie, Do you have a post about your raised beds? I just love them and we have it in our plans for our side yard :).

    1. I don’t have a specific post on how they were built, is that what you’re referring to? I could ask Jesse if he can give me the instructions if you’d like!

      1. Thank you! My husband can build, my concerns are depth and our hard soil underneath. How tall are yours and did you lay the good soil on top of the ground?

        1. Cool beans! OK, for these beds we used 2×10 pressure treated lumber since we weren’t going to eat anything out of it, otherwise cedar would be a better option. Jesse braced the inside corners with 2×4’s cut to the height of the bed and put the whole thing together with 3” deck screws. (If you’re curious, each bed is about 4’x5’x10”) As far as setting them up, I put them right on the ground, layered cardboard inside to smother the lawn, and then filled them up with compost. Each bed took about 1 cubic yard of compost. I have photos and more info on our raised beds we built in State College in this post if you’d like to check it out!

              1. Well, keep in mind I was putting in roses that were only about a year old–rooted from cuttings, so they were still quite small! 🙂

    1. I don’t plan on moving since they’re all pretty happy so far (and getting quite big.) Thinking back, I do remember planting a couple bare root David Austin’s in these beds at the new house. When their roots develop, they’ll push through what’s left of the cardboard beneath and make their way further into the ground. As you top off the beds year after year (it will settle a lot) the compost will filter down and just make the original soil better and better! 18″ is pretty high…you’re going to need a lot of compost! 😉

      1. Yes! good, we’ve been dressing our regular garden beds for a few years with compost and humus. I was hoping that would be the case, thanks for confirming! Maybe we will go shorter ;). You are so kind to help out your fellow rose lovers! <3

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