I really shouldn’t complain. After all, the rest of the country has been toasty hot from an early start, but… woe is me! The harsh winter and colder than usual spring has left me in a state of gardening withdrawal. Signs of color, other than green, have been a rarity this spring. It’s not that things didn’t grow, and it’s not like we haven’t had some really nice days, but rather that the timing of almost every bloom lined up with rather unfortunate weather. Most of our tulips were tattered apart by wet blustery storms, the cherry blossoms were blown out of the trees from start to finish, and every iris in the garden was besmirched by wind and rain. It seemed the sun only came out for the days between bloom cycles.

I know I said I that wouldn’t, but I did… I had to! After having dug up the roses last year, in order to stop attracting deer, I found that I couldn’t live without them. This May past, I put my husband to work digging holes. It was rather labor intensive, and my pointing finger was left a wee bit worn out. As he stated at the time, “You point, I dig.” And point away, I did!

Egadz! You planted bare root roses in May?! That’s too late! They will never grow! Against local advice, I did. With our spring temperatures having been hovering mainly in the 50’s and 60’s, that’s a California January. I’m not sure that I would have called my timing unfortunate, as although, to my disappointment, roses had come and gone at the local nurseries at that point in the season (I can’t help but wonder who these avid gardeners were that dug through 3 feet of snow and ice to plant them), having had to scour the internet for them turned out to be not only quite informative, but also really opened up the selection and allowed me to contemplate which roses by description and various forum reviews would do well in my area. When all was done, I ended up ordering roses from 3 different nurseries: David Austin Roses, Rogue Valley Roses, and Vintage Gardens.

I’m pretty sure that what I dug up last year was nothing but root-stock, everything above the graft having been a previous tasty treat for the deer. I’m hoping to avoid the same dilemma by:
1) Having planted the roses only in the back yard. (They were previously planted in the open front yard.) Although the fence isn’t so high that they can’t make the jump, I’m hoping that the deer won’t realize that they are there to begin with.
2) Planting own root roses. Not every rose on my list was available on its own roots, but I did go the extra mile to get the ones that were.

Back to: They will never grow! Actually, they are growing along quite nicely so far. I’m hoping for some summer color.