Friday, April 16, 2010

don juan

don juan 5
photo by Brad

I've always been more of a daisy girl than a rose girl, but some time after Christmas I got it in my head that we needed a climbing rose to grace the fence we see whenever we're cooking or eating, despite the thick-enough-to-make-your-mama-a-wonky-ash-tray clay soil out in that planting bed. Lo and behold, my sweet husband has humored yet another crazy scheme! For my birthday in January, I got a voucher for my very first rose - A Don Juan climbing rose - and a coupon for an afternoon of physical labor. Score!

In honor of Don Juan's first bloom, I give you this little rose planting tutorial, via the wise council (or excellent salesmanship) of our favorite nursery, North Haven Gardens.

1) Walk into the nursery, try not to look completely helpless and gullible and ask them what you need. Buy it. Gather it in one place.
- expanded shale
- "rose mix" soil amendment
- organic rose food
- Super-Thrive
- bucket
- shovel
- rose


2) Sit the rose where you think you want it, and then check the view from inside.

check view

3) Add a teaspoon of Super-Thrive to a bucket of water, and then soak your rose with that solution for 15 minutes


4) If your belly looks like this:

pink belly

let your partner in crime (a regular old husband will do in a pinch) dig a hole twice as wide and 1.5 times as deep as the rose's current pot. Put the extracted soil in a bin.


5) Do a happy dance if you see any of these:


6) Mix equal parts of extracted soil, expanded shale, and "rose mix." Add 1 cup rose food. If you become discouraged just looking at the ornery clumps of vegetation-and-hope-suppressing clay soil, pull out the ugliest clumps for your toddler to play with.

clay, rose soil mix & shale

7) Put some of your lovely new soil mix in the hole to bring the base of the rose up level with the top of the hole.

check depth

8) Remove rose from pot. Place in hole. Fill in with lovely soil mix. Water in. Pray for a miracle.

fill in and wish well

9) Thank your partner in crime.


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