Bathtime

IMG_1309Having had an email from David Austin a few days ago to say my rose order had been dispatched, we have been watching out for the postman as there is no way we would hear the doorbell if we were in the garden. The usual routine is for parcels to be left with a neighbour if we are out, but we were still surprised this morning to have a phonecall from our elderly neighbour two doors away  to suggest we picked up a parcel before he went in the bath. Sure enough it was the roses, which hopefully arrived yesterday rather than the day before – or even the day before that…

IMG_1310Rain was forecast later but I was due out this afternoon anyway so it made sense to get them planted straight away – the guidance from David Austin though was to immerse them in water for several hours or overnight, which is why they were dunked in the galvanised tank which is now almost full of rainwater despite the open drain hole in the base! In the meantime I moved the bags of John Innes no 3 down to where the new urns are, ready for a later planting, and planned to dig the planting holes for the two ‘Snow Goose’ (‘Snow Geese’!) by the Wall adjacent to the blue & white borders. Having forgotten how close the cobbled circle was to the wall, I realised that for one of these roses it entailed removing a couple of cobbles to access the soil below, not the most desirable of planting locations in that case.

Having been outside for less than an hour it suddenly became clear that although it was barely damp and temperatures were hovering around 4 or 5° there was a ‘feels like’ temperature a good few degrees lower and my hands were numb and throbbing – I did the sensible thing and retired inside for a cup of tea.

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12 Responses to Bathtime

  1. Christina says:

    I have to admit I feel a bit sorry for the rose! It will need a lot of TLC in that position.

    • Cathy says:

      Actually Christina it is not as bad as it sounds – after I had warmed up again I went outside and removed the rest of the mortar and was able to dig into at least 18″ of soil, so there will be plenty of soil for the roots to spread around under the cobbled circle and the wall. We are fortunate to have really deep soil here.

  2. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    Oooh I never knew to dunk them overnight? Maybe I haven’t read the instructions properly when planting and might explain why a couple are not doing as well as I’d assume they would’ve after 2/3 years compared to my Gertrude Jekyll which grew massively just in its first year.

    Hope you manage to get out and plant the roses soon… It started out OK here but the rain has returned. Yay.

    • Cathy says:

      I have never come across this before either, Liz – the normal recommendation is probably just to soak the roots but they were quite specific: ‘soak the whole plant, roots and shoots, for several hours or overnight’, so I did as I was told. They will be well soaked as it will be tomorrow afternoon before I will be able to plant them. They also suggest several deep waterings during the first year will be highly beneficial, ensuring roots quickly spread out, encouraging strong growth and more flowers.

  3. Chloris says:

    Well with a bit of luck you will be able to get your roses planted tomorrow. I hope it warms up for you.
    I’ve just had to re-follow you, for some reason I didn’t get your last two posts. I thought you’d gone very quiet. It’s this wretched touch screen; I probably touched something by accident. I’m doing it all the time.

    • Cathy says:

      It may have been damp all afternoon, Chloris, but the temperature has now increased to about 10 or 11 degrees, although the roses will have to wait till tomorrow. I wonder what the ‘following’ problem was? I know it has happened to others before so may not be a self-inflicted thing. Unless there are circumstances outside my control I do aim to post every day, so if you think I have gone quiet I probably haven’t (although you might wish it!) 😉

  4. rusty duck says:

    For a horrible moment I thought it was you bathing out in the rain! Apparently after this storm we get a bit of a respite, happy rose planting.

    • Cathy says:

      Tee hee, not something I make a habit of, Jessica! And the tank is a bit small for swimming in – would take an awful lot of lengths to get my usual quota in! 😉 Not really windy here today, and not lots of rain either – how about you? Your valley must have a microclimate of its own, I imagine.

  5. Anna says:

    At least your parcel arrived Cathy – himself and I are presently taking it in turns to stay in after three days of emails saying that “We attempted to deliver today but were unsuccessful”. I’m not convinced that the company concerned is making much of an attempt 🙂 I hope that your ‘Snow Goose’ roses are soon soaring up skywards and that you quickly warmed up after making such a valiant attempt to plant them.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Anna – and I hope you have got your parcel now. It’s rarely a problem here as with being in a village we are on first name terms with the postman and there are a couple of neighbours who are mostly in, unlike us who are in and out, out and in most days. Even the couriers now mostly know what to do if we are not in – thankfully. Rose planting all done, and what healthy plants they were – top marks to DA

  6. Annette says:

    I sometimes don’t get them planted for days and just give them a good soaking now and then. It works for me. Roses are SO tough. A client soaked them for a week though and I shall never ever forget the smell of them…it keeps haunting me!

    • Cathy says:

      A week!!! They were in brilliant condition when they arrived and I am sure they could have sat about a bit longer if necessary, but they are in their new homes now.

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