Homecraft Happiness: Roses

Last spring we were too busy working inside the house to get to the severely neglected yard. This year, as soon as it got warm we got to work. We staked out and broke ground on the garden which I’ll cover more in a future post. While the boys were busy with the pick ax and shovel, I got to work on the roses. I think someone planted them five years ago and then forgot about them. They were in bad shape.

There are 4 rose bushes, two of which we thought might be dead. Completely choked out by weeds, leaves and over run by grass, we seriously considered chaining them to the truck and ripping them out. But then, I’d still have to do the weeding and buy new roses. I wanted to keep this project at 20 dollars, so replacing five rose bushes wasn’t going to work. My husband used the weed eater and dug in as deep as he could. We had to buy new pruners (8 dollars) and he went to work clipping. Then it was my turn. I pulled out all the weeds, crab grass and ridiculous amounts of other rouge vegetation, (as well as large rocks, roots, chunks of wood and some buried garbage. Really?)

It's starting to get there!  We were still thinking the little one in the back might be dead.

It's starting to get there!  We were still thinking the little one in the back might be dead.

Once the ground was mostly cleared I needed to find a way to keep the weeds from coming back. They have landscape fabric at the hardware store but one roll would take me over budget. Forty years ago, before they had landscape fabric, they used thickly laid newspaper. It keeps the weeds down and lets the water in. Works for me. So, off to the paper recycle bin! I grabbed enough newspaper for the job, (sorry, didn’t get a picture of myself dumpster diving) and laid it down using broken bricks and slab pieces from a walkway we’re taking up to hold it in place.

I needed rocks to line the edging and luckily, I had a small pile of good size rocks waiting. Half of them we actually found buried after we cleared the area. With the newspaper down and the area lined with rocks it was off to the hardware store to buy mulch which just happened to be on sale 5 bags for 10 dollars. Yes! Five bags did the trick.

Here’s what the finished rose bed looks like.

They have blossomed like crazy in the last two days since being cut back and even the one we swore was dead is starting to bloom.

Best of all, I came in 2 dollars under budget, having spent only 18 dollars to revive this area of the yard. Now to haul away all the crud we dug up and work on the crab grass/lawn.  

Posted on May 14, 2014 and filed under Gardening, Homecraft Happiness.