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Woman Discovers Headlines

Today I will be using headlines because they are quite fun.

Rose Assault Ineffectual

Ruffians broke into the garden one night last winter and brutally pruned on the pillar roses until what remained looked like the suspended skeletons of several snakes.

pillar rose pruned to oblivionToday I can report that the American Pillar roses (there are two) have overcome the violent attempt on their lives and have risen from the pruned ashes to once again shower electric pink color in eye-damaging brilliance.

American pillar rose PINK(If I were just guessing I would say this rose was developed in about 1960, because of its hot pink, but no it is chromatically precocious and dates from 1902, which is about when some previous owner planted it in my garden.)

ingrate pillar rose

Both roses survived the outlaw clipping– could be that I pruned them myself actually, now that I think about it– and I can’t see that they look one bit different than when I prune moderately so I’m taking next winter off from this particular guilt-driven effort.

Mystery Plant Threatens Neighbors’ Safety

In the spring we reported (the gods and I) the appearance of a Mystery Plant in one of the big orange pots. Here’s the accompanying photo:

Mysery Plant

We  thought it might be a vindictive California poppy, showing that they could grow in my garden only if they chose and if it had nothing to do with my planting them.

It turned out to be Delphinium consolida, which has never before volunteered although I plant it nearby every year. This is how it looks today:

Delphinium consolida surpriseOf course it is way too big a plant for growing at the edge of a tall pot so it is falling over and annoying several of its neighbors who are considering a class action lawsuit but it is not my fault.

Pot Improves Life

No not that kind of pot. Well maybe but not right now.

Here is a fern ground-cover (adiantum capillus-veneris) which grew pathetically for years in a bed beneath other ferns but now thrives in its special-special pot filled with soil (not d-i-r-t) to which a bunch of lime has been added.

adiantum capillus-veneris in happy potIt likes to grow wild in limestone with drippy water — this is my best simulation of that and so far it hasn’t caught on to the trick so do not breathe a word about it.

Hen and Chicks Caged with Tiger

Here’s another little pot, with some sand added, and a couple starts of the Hen and Chicks (Sempervivum tectorum) plant inherited from my mother’s garden.

hen and chicksI confine the hen and increasing number of chicks to this mossy homemade tufa pot (they are not free-range) but as you can see they are attempting escape so keep an eye out, they will likely show up in your garden soon.

What tiger?


About linniew

Unpublished novelist seeks therapy in gardening. Westie assists.
This entry was posted in pruning, roses and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

22 Responses to Read all about it

  1. kininvie says:

    That’s a ridiculously long name for a very small fern. If it is a fern. It looks like the sort of thing I pull out of my pond (you know I don’t like ferns). But I DO like that delphinium. Why is there no macro shot for me to look at? How big will it grow if it is not jammed into a pot? Can I grow it in Scotland?
    The tiger will appear soon, I am sure. It is lurking for the moment.

    • linniew says:

      Now Kininvie you know I went to a lot of trouble to provide you with that long name so you would give the little fern some respect. Don’t you have limestone and water? It would love being with you if you would just give it a chance and stop being a anti-fern. I will take into consideration your need for a macro image of the delphinium but I am at odds with the camera with the macro lens so maybe not.

      Of course you can grow the delphinium in Scotland. It is quite easy but does attract small mean tigers.

  2. b-a-g says:

    Just wondering what would happen to the pillar rose if you didn’t provide a pillar. Would it creep horizontally ?

    • linniew says:

      Hi b-a-g
      I know exactly what would happen to the unpillared pillar rose because for years it was that. It spread around like a low fountain and thistles and grass grew under it protected by its thorns and if you mowed close to it the canes wrapped up in the mower and also wrapped around ankles when walking by. This vertical idea is much better although all summer the rose shoots out canes which must be tied up or cut back. See why I had no fear of killing it?

  3. Holleygarden says:

    Your rose looks fantastic! Love that shocking pink, too! It wants to be noticed! I had that delphinium reseed in my garden this year. The only reason it lived is because I am so far behind on weeding! Guess sometimes that can be a good thing!

    • linniew says:

      Thanks Holley– not a pink I would choose myself but certainly vivid. I must talk to the delphinium about coming up in beds next year rather than in a silly pot. It’s a plant with bad judgment I’m afraid.

  4. Susan says:

    I am completely helpless where roses are concerned. I see one and want it, as is the case with the lovely 1902 roses.

  5. Alistair says:

    Fabulous post as usual Linnie, I am now all headlined out. Are you sure that isn’t the paparazzi in the home-made tufa pot.

  6. Grace says:

    Hi Linnie Dear! Here’s my rendition: Late But Still Devoted Reader Enjoys Blog Post … Rose Recovery Stuns Devoted Reader, Requires Optometrist’s Assistance. … Shy Leafy Wonder Blooms and Astounds Devoted Reader … Devoted Reader Envies Blogger’s Skill With Maidenhair Fern, Plots Devious Confiscation … Special Green Hen Threatens World Take-Over, Evidenced By Escaping and Planting Itself in Devoted Reader’s Garden!

    Devoted Reader Is Happy With Summer Weather!

  7. Alberto says:

    Yes… what tiger?? Anyway you got me at ‘Pot improves life’. I really like this new shocking newspaper title format, even though I am more and more worried about your sobriety now. For instance you didn’t tell us how that mushroom compost thing ended, I have it stuck in my mind that it could have change your already ethereal nerve balance. You haven’t been talking about Tillie nor Mr. O for a while now, did you get rid of them? Are they escaped together? Is this something that really made some newspaper title in America and we are not aware here in Europe?!
    Anyway that American Pillar looks very nice, so all my worries about the pruning were useless.
    And thank you for teaching me a new world: ruffians. I’ll teach you a new italian world then: ruffiano, which means pander, almost the opposite of ruffian, don’t you think?

    • linniew says:

      Dear Alberto
      Please do not fret about Tillie or Mr O. All is well, and in fact we may be hearing from Tillie very soon… The mushroom compost was dead (no mushrooms) but has been a well-used material, put with compost, on paths and as mulch. There, now you feel better.

      I researched the meaning of ‘ruffiano’– so I wouldn’t misunderstand. One would have thought I’d searched for ‘seduction’ just based on the list of sites. So yes, you’ve taught me an Italian word! Now, how do you say ‘appalling’ in Italian?

      • Alberto says:

        Frightening, dreadful but also awesome and terrific (that’s why the first time you said my garden was terrific I kind of puzzled for a while). But why you ask me about appalling? Yes a ruffiano could be a seductor as well… In a viscid way.

  8. Stacy says:

    Oregon’s ruffians are a lot more useful than New Mexico’s. If you left some weeds growing temptingly in the front yard would ruffians come whisk them out of the ground? Might be worth the experiment.

  9. Sheila Read says:

    I have inherited some old roses at my new house and have been wondering how to prune them. I was thinking of doing actual research and perhaps even buying a manual on caring for roses. But you have removed my fears – I am fully capable of giving plants and good whack and then feeling slightly guilty.

    • linniew says:

      We seek out a special variety of rose, plant it, feed it, protect it, delight in its flowers–then cut it back to short sticks. It’s a little conflicted I guess, but seems to work fine. So yes, go for it Sheila.

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