Help me, Edgar Allan Poe

gothiclibrarian(5b)July 8, 2014

With much woe do I post this.

Last week (probably upon a midnight dreary as I wandered weak and weary down the endless hallway to see why my son woke crying in the middle of the night) squirrels chewed my lovely Berenice (gallica) to the ground (hence the EAP reference).

They took all her canes...all of them...and even dug down a couple inches around her crown.

She was tiny, it's true...a band I put in a gallon pot and overwintered in the garage while it got down to -13F here in Indianapolis...I put her in the garden this spring and, frankly, it was just a couple weeks ago that I finally allowed glimmering hope that she was going to make it, anyhow.

Then the evil blighters did their dirty work.

I found her pitiful remains the day after the Mauling, so the canes were all shriveled and gnawed on the ground and there wasn't any hope to save them.

Is there **any** chance of convincing what is now just a stub sticking out of the earth to grow again?

I think I am really just looking for a sympathetic shoulder to cry on...this rose can't be easily replaced.



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mad_gallica(zone 5 - eastern New York)

Replant it, and keep it watered. If it needs more than that, it's a wimp that doesn't deserve to survive.

A couple of years ago, I had voles make a winter buffet of Isphahan. Then, the next door neighbor's dogs spent the spring trying to catch the voles by digging them up. That was a mess. Now the dogs are just chasing groundhogs in the woods, and apparently leaving the voles to my cats.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:38PM
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seil zone 6b MI

It it's an own root plant there is hope for it. Keep it watered and wait and see if it will send up new sprouts.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:41PM
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Would it be at all helpful to put a glass cloche over her pitiful stick-stump? I've got 2 just sitting here...

[EDIT: yes, this is an own-root plant.]


This post was edited by gothiclibrarian on Tue, Jul 8, 14 at 12:59

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 12:58PM
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vmr423(Zone 8b, SC)

A glass cloche would protect her, but the glass might overheat her unless she's in dense shade?

A wire cage might work, though. I have a cage for seedlings just to keep squirrels out. It's a frame made of PVC pipe and covered with 1/4" hardware cloth- it ain't pretty, but the squirrels can't get in...

Forget wood or plastic materials, though- squirrels think that's an invitation to chew right on through.

Good luck with keeping her alive, so that... a maiden will live whom you may know by the name of Gallica B... (Sorry!)


This post was edited by vmr423 on Tue, Jul 8, 14 at 13:14

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 1:11PM
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true_blue(Mtl Can Zone 4b)

Really sorry to hear that happened :(

I have had similar experience with the beasties.

FWIW, since then, I put stones and bricks around the base of the plants, until they are well established.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 1:57PM
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I scrounge for wire baskets from my local Goodwill store, the kind that are used to display fruit or as hanging planters with moss inserts. If the color is too dreadful I sometimes spray them with flat black Rustoleum to make them inconspicuous. Mostly I don't bother. I put them over small plants that are getting unwanted squirrel or rabbit attention and peg them in place. I use either the kind of wire hook that holds down irrigation lines or else battered old wire plant tags. Mostly I am using this for young veggies, but I see no reason why it could not also be used for your rodent-abused rose. It is also good for young hardy geraniums. For some reason these are very tasty to squirrels, but when the plants get bigger they lose interest in them.

You do have to time the removal just right. Leave them on too long and they are tricky to take off.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 2:02PM
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"Good luck with keeping her alive, so that... a maiden will live whom you may know by the name of Gallica B..."

Ha ha!

I wasn't going to keep the glass cloche on her indefinitely...just wondering if it might help assist with moisture retention while she decides if she's to grow or, indeed, fully exit this mortal realm.

There's no air circulation with the glass...and she's in a pretty sunny spot now...hmm...

I love the idea of turning a wire basket upside-down though as a solution for a shorter still-establishing-itself plant. Thank you, Rosefolly!

True-blue I use bricks to help anchor my irises when I plant squirrels are horrible.


This post was edited by gothiclibrarian on Tue, Jul 8, 14 at 14:17

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 2:15PM
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Anika, do NOT give up hope. One of my precious damask bands was sliced down to nothing by squirrels...twice! It eventually returned from the roots. After attempted murder #2, I protected the little guy with a wire cage of sorts (a la Rosefolly and Virginia) until it was large enough to fend for itself. I thought it was toast (twice) but kept it watered and left it in its morning sun only spot. After a month or so, a green sprout emerged. Then another. Then the canes shot up. My damask is doing fine now. I can't promise that your gallica will survive, but I wouldn't be at all surprised if it did. ~Carol

P.S. I'm an English teacher and Poe fan, by the way. My assignment page icon on my school's website was good ol' Edgar. My students studied parody every Halloween using one Poe work or another for fodder. My family also enjoys an ongoing raven theme around the house. :-)

This post was edited by PortlandMysteryRose on Tue, Jul 8, 14 at 14:43

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 2:33PM
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If you do decide on a cloche but are worried about overheating, use a gallon plastic milk bottle with the bottom cut off. The hole at the top will vent excess heat.


    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 6:11PM
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PortlandMysteryRose I was an avid reader at a kid (surprise surprise) and I remember reading Berenice as a pre-teen and being freaked out about all the teeth. I still have nightmares about disembodied teeth, specifically, in fact.

I found an adorable childrens' book a few years ago called 'The Crow' that has *wonderful* cadence and it's one of my kids' favorites. ISBN 0618663800 for anyone shopping.

Thank you all for your help!

So, best case scenario and she decides to not be dissevered from her soul and, indeed, to rise from the proverbial grave that something that might take a long while? ie do I need to wait at least another year?

Where is my crystal ball?


    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 5:56AM
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Anika, please keep us updated! All fingers are crossed. I have dental nightmares, too, but Poe is not to blame. It is the price of crowns which makes me shudder. :-) Thank you for The Crow suggestion. My daughter will love it! Our family sits in the back garden each eve and watches our neighborhood crows fly home. Carol

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 2:50PM
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