Saving old rose today
I have a fun project to do today. Down the street from us is an old house whose occupants (a couple) have lived in it for over 60 years. It is one of those tall skinny Victorian houses. It had no garage when it was built, and is on a very narrow lot. So, perhaps in the 1920s someone built a one car cement garage right in front of the house - very ugly.
The good news is that there has always been a Cl Cecile Brunner growing on that garage. Unfortunately, it never got much care except for some chopping to keep it from blocking the path that runs from the sidewalk, then by the garage to the front steps. The top of the rose sort of exploded over the top of the garage in a large mass, but you could only see most of it from across the street.
A couple of weeks ago I was chatting with the lady who lives there. (Oh, btw, her garden is where I got a cutting of what we are now calling the "Rose of Many Names" because it has been found and given study names over a dozen times in CA). She was upset because her husband wanted to get the rose dug up and get rid of it. I told her that if they hired someone to chop it down to about 7-8 feet from the ground, I would come over and deal with the base of it, which is horribly clogged up to about 2 feet up from the ground with ancient canes, dirt, leaves, and some sort of vining weed which has infested it.
They actually managed, over a month, to chop the rose down to that height themselves. Today my DH and I are going to trundle a wheel barrow full of mulch, tools, rose food,ties, etc down the street to their house (I asked her if they had any of that stuff, and they did not - that rose has not been cared for at all for 60 years - yet every year it bloomed very nicely - old roses are WAY less fussy than some folks think!). I asked my DH to come along because he has some very skinny saw attachments on one of his electric tools, which I figure we may need to cut off one or two of the most ancient canes.
I forgot to take some "before" pics of the entire bush, but I will take some of the base before we start on it - from the looks of it it is hard to believe how long that rose has survived.
The rose is just beginning to leaf out, so I am hoping if I can get the base cleaned up, and some of the canes going more horizontally on the garage wall, and feed it, etc., it will do very well. Stay tuned....