Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A Rose Victory

I left three beautiful David Austin roses in my old garden when we moved from Oxford, and two of them have struggled since that first summer. I decided earlier this year that I would move those two to my new garden. In my new garden, Golden Celebration needed a better spot where he could arch freely without getting in the driveway. That left me with two big holes to fill, perfect for Tamora and Ambridge Rose from my old garden.

In late January, before the big move:

The very next day, after Phase One of the big move:
Of course I meant to travel to Oxford soon after I completed Phase One to complete Phase Two: moving and transplanting Ambridge Rose and Tamora to my new garden. But, I didn't get around to it in February at all. Then March rolled around and I still had not moved the roses. Finally in late March I moved Ambridge Rose and Tamora and planted them in their new homes:

Tamora took to her new home beautifully. She immediately picked up where she left off and began the process of leafing out and putting on blooms. Ambridge Rose, however, faltered. Many of her best canes were turning brown and black and dying back. Around the first of May, I cut her back a little bit to see if that would help:

Then, I cut her back even more. All the brown canes came off and I left only the green ones. This photo was taken on May 15th, and I am happy to say that Ambridge Rose is leafing out! Take a look:

And here is Tamora with her first few blooms:

I am so glad I was able to transplant Tamora successfully and revive Ambridge Rose! Austins are not cheap, so I was really bummed out when I thought that Ambridge Rose was dying. I learned a bunch about tranplanting mature shrubs like these. Especially these roses since they are covered with long, sharp thorns. What I'll do differently next time:
  • Don't wait until late spring to transplant. Early spring is better.
  • When digging up the shrub from its original location, be gentle, even if the thorny rose isn't gentle with you. Just because you get a thorn stuck in your forearm (and knee and centimeters from your eye) doesn't give you license to chop away at its rootball like you are cutting up firewood.
  • After transplanting the rose to its new spot, mulch around the shrub immediately. Don't wait 6 weeks! You want to keep all that good moisture in so that the ground is soft and the roots can grow freely.


Dirt Princess said...

Looks great! I am glad they both lived. That is great that you were able to get them from your old place in Oxford

Connie said...

Those roses were definitely worth saving. I have a couple of D. Austin roses, and I love them both. (Heritage and Graham Thomas)

Sylvana said...

Sadly I can't grow roses. It gets far too cold here and I can't seem to master the winter cover-up. But yours are gorgeous!!