So here we are again… another Spring – and I must say I have been definitely distracted in preparation to this wonderful season, perhaps my favorite and I wonder why… I have been once again stuck in the garden – project after project with a painting resting on the easel that I have commenced and has dried out. Where do I begin this journey of gardening frenzy, I guess I will begin with this brilliant idea of starting a rose garden back in mid-February, just after Valentine’s day. So, after searching the web for ideas and marveling at all those French, Italian and British rose gardens I opted to come up with a design and a plan, I figure I would do a sort of like room space with pavers and some stones with a bench for a sitting area and shape it like an hourglass. On both sides of the stone area, I would have mulch beds with roses and complementary small plants with them. So, I came up with a rough sketch like this…
I really did not have an idea of the size, I only knew I wanted to be able to fit a 6′ wide bench on the stone area and to have enough of a comfortable area to walk into without feeling overcrowded. I opted to do an hourglass shape just to give it a little interest. I ended up with an area of approximately 18×16 that sod had to be removed from…
Let the fun begin…not! I measure and marked the area where the sod had to be removed and also make for the area that separated the mulch garden bed and the stone path. My husband volunteered to help and thank god he did because it was a lot of work especially in the heat we had that weekend. Well, 2 days of cracking jokes, sunburns, lots of dirt everywhere and 35 bags of sod later we finally cleared 288 sq. ft. of sod. Boy, what a workout! I know…we should have rented a sod cutter but I honestly didn’t think it was going to be that bad, considering that I have removed tons of sod in the past for other projects. But anyways, I put in 2 whole days of 9 hours straight of pulling up sod, shaking the excess dirt and bagging it, I had to finish the clearing of the area asap because I had 6 bare-root roses waiting for their home. The roses were sitting in buckets filled with water for 2 days from the day they arrived and I did not want to delay their planting any further, and I had 2 roses from The Antique Rose Emporium, a Fantin-Latour and a Paul Neyron both are Centifolia rose (my favorite roses – I love antique roses and their scents) – oh, did I mention how much I love The Antique Rose Emporium, their selection of antique roses are awesome and they are reasonably priced. They also ship you the most amazing roses (gallon size roses) in stellar conditions and packed with such care – they even tag the rose with the roses name and your name (I just think it’s such a nice little detail) – I even emailed them to let them know how much I appreciated the care they put into their roses- I love them so much that in Mid-March I ordered 2 more roses from them a Monsieur Tillier and a Mrs. Dudley Cross both old garden tea roses. I also had 2 more roses arriving within a few days – a Paul Ricault – centifolia and an Enfant de France –Hybrid perpetual both coming from High Country Roses they weren’t the same size as The Antique Rose Emporium but none the less have a nice product – nice roots and good customer service, I still favor The Antique Rose Emporium.
I began to plant my 6 Honeymoon Roses from Jackson and Perkins and also added some Lavender for some added color and scent before even clearing the bags out. I planted each rose bush with plenty of organic garden soil and added some peat moss (not too much) but I definitely had to enrich the soil and loosen it some because it was so compacted. I continued planting the other 2 roses from The Antique Rose Emporium.
6 bags of sand
11 bags + approximately 12 bags that were upcycled (I had placed them in another garden bed but I didn’t like the look) of Vigoro Marble Chips and some seashells that I had in bags from my seashell combing at the beach :), I figure – why not.
10 bags of Vigoro Black Mulch
Vigoro No-dig landscape edging – just to maintain the shape, I didn’t want the ending to stick out and jeopardize the aesthetics of the design.
Weed Blocker – I used the one in the link but you can use any other commercial weed blocker.
12×12 stepping stones, I chose white because I wanted to have the center white with the black mulch contrast.
Once, the roses were planted I placed the landscape edging around the whole area, placed down the fabric and created the hourglass shape with the edging. With the edging in place, I went ahead and added the mulch in the rose beds. I also started adding the sand (very thin amount to start placing the stepping stones and moving them around until I was happy with the distance between them – I used 23 stepping stones and I place the extra underneath the terracotta planter in the back, added the marble chips and seashells – then I had to wash them down because some of the dirt from the other garden bed that some of the rocks were pulled out from made it into this area.
I eventually added the 2 roses from High Country Roses and added 2 obelisks and a garden bench.
I would show you the whole picture but you need to check the next post – “My Potager” because one thing let to another.