Monday, 13 March 2017
Phase 4 of our rose planting program was arranged for Saturday 4th March. Despite the weather forecast predicting rain, it was a beautiful sunny morning, albeit rather chilly.
Many volunteers arrived at ten am, spades at the ready. There were 420 bare- root rose bushes to be planted into four large beds. The ground was heavy after the previous week's rain, but we were keen to make good progress while the sun was shining.
In the picture to the left we were busy planting up the first bed with a variety called Esperanza, a coral pink shrub rose. Amazingly, after only one hour this bed was complete.This called for a tea break, served by our membership secretary Sally.
We worked efficiently, some volunteers digging and planting while others dipped the roses in a solution containing Rootgrow, to help establish a good root system and give the roses a head start.
The second bed took just over an hour to finish planting up. This bed was a pearl pink coloured rose called Bloom of Ruth.
At lunch time many of the volunteers had to leave. The cavalry arrived, so to speak, in the form of two Oxton Society members, armed with spades, but still our numbers dwindled to seven. With another two beds remaining to plant and the weather starting to turn, we had a small snack break and then made the decision to carry on, despite the odd rain shower. The next two rose beds seemed a lot harder, working with heavier clay soil and already tired from the morning's digging.
The third bed now contains saffron yellow coloured roses called Henrietta Barnett. There were four or five healthy roses already in the bed which were also yellow, so they remained in situ.
Last but not least, the final bed was completed by half past three. This bed is now full of a rich red rose variety called Deep Secret. We were relieved that all the bare- root roses were safely in the ground and we could all go home for a well earned rest!