The ax is due to fall (or rather, the shovel to prune...)

woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)June 15, 2010

Last night DH and I were discussing our plan to clean off the stuff on the south gate arbour and swag, to start it again in a more controlled manner. Having got to that point, we starting discussing 'why not go further and remove a few 'hostile' things elsewhere in the garden also?' So, the list of things do for the ax/shovel at the moment are:

- New Dawn on the arbour + swag;

- Blanc Double de Coubert rose in the front garden - plus the Angel roses that form a skirt around it;

- Therese Bugnet rose in the front garden;

- The Fairy rose in the front bed - small, nice rose but in a spot where I'm always encountering the business end of the thorns!

Using one of DH's roof view photos, this is a mockup of where the tuteur will go (eventually...) as well as where the BDC, Therese Bugnet and Fairy roses will be deleted. The BDC rose is the X in the bed with the mulch path behind it. The Angel roses in that bed will go too - essentially that bed will be mostly cleared out and replanted. A hydrangea with clematis will probably be the featured shrub in it. The Therese Bugnet rose may also be replaced by a hydrangea/clematis combination. I'm still figuring out details.

New Dawn is just starting to bloom now. You can see from this picture that, pretty as it is, it is past time for a clean-up! It's just turning out to be more radical that I first thought!

Sunny but very cool here today. DH worked on painting the shed. I thinned out the bridalwreath spireas and cut the prunings up for the brush pick-up.

The big Copper beast supervised; Misty slept on the job!

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gottagarden(z5 western NY)

I love your new dawn rose! Seems a shame to remove it, but sometimes things just outgrow their allotted space.

What software do you use to annotate your photos?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 6:31AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Hi Woody, love your photos! I bet you can't wait to see that tuteur in place. Having that overhead photo sure comes in handy, doesn't it? I'm surprised and not surprised that you are taking out the roses. I've probably mentioned before that having been gardening organically for a long time, I avoided roses. I just added a few about 3 years ago now, to try them. I thought I was doing well with the two I had and bought more this spring and now the first two roses are awful this year. I can't figure out a reason either. The weather has been perfect. I pruned and fertilized as usual. I had bugs early on but lady bugs showed up and took care of most of those, but then the foliage started to turn yellow and ugly. I just cut one down to the ground and will let it develop new foliage and see if it will get through to try again next spring. The bed it is in is full of perennials that should be blooming for the rest of the season so it won't cause a real problem. Those I bought this year look okay. I had small caterpillars making a mess of the foliage earlier and had to spend time picking those off by hand and the fragrance on the new ones is not all it was cracked up to be. So, I may end up doing the same thing in the next few years.

I really liked the idea of New Dawn on the swags. So what happened? Was it a lot of pruning or some other reason that New Dawn is not working out?

Do you have a Honeysuckle anywhere? I have one on an arbor and so far it has not been any trouble at all and we love the fragrance. It also doesn't seem to need full sun and doesn't have any thorns and birds nest in it. I like the idea of a number of different clematis on your swag. Especially since then you can get overlapping bloom periods.

What type of hydrangeas are you thinking about?

LOVE your shed colors! It really does blend in. I always enjoy more than the usual two colors, but it always seems like more trouble to do it the way you want it with different shades. I'm glad you went for it. I'm going to have to remember that it's worth the trouble.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 9:48AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

gottagarden - I love ND too and really hate to lose it but it is largely being removed because it's too high to do maintenance easily. I think the ideal place for it is to grow it along a 4' tall cedar rail fence - the color would be perfect with the cedar and on a low fence, it would be easy to maintain. Let's face it, we're not getting and younger and trying to keep ND in shape from a stepladder isn't going to be possible at some point. So, better to remove it now and give something else time to get established - something that is not going to rip you to shreds and, if ignored for a while, isn't going to turn into an impenatrable mass!

The software I used on the picture is an old - and somehat defective (the 'line' tool is missing) Photoshop. The top part of the tuteur mock-up is a V rotated 180 degrees with an I running through the center (all letters using an Arial font). The base of it is an H with 2 horizontal Is to make the top and bottom bars!

PM2 - I'm not sure if I'll get he tuteur in place this year or not! Mario's wife had a triple by-pass unexpectedly and some complications from the surgery. So Mario has not been able to do anything on it. I'm waiting to hear back whether he thinks he could do it by this fall and, if not, a recommendation for who I should deal with instead.

I avoided roses too - I'm not into fussing. If they need spraying - out they go... The ones that are left are pretty tough and we will keep the Queen Elizabeth in the driveway border and the mass of Angel roses in the herb bed. What we're removing is the thorny ones that are taking up real estate that I'd rather use for something else now. I've run out of room to make the garden larger so, to do something new, something else has to come out...

I do have several honeysuckle and have considered honeysuckle vines for the arbour and swag, with or without clematis. I'm still thinking through what I want for the area and probably won't make a final decision until the arbour is cleared and we're ready to go.

The two hydrangeas I like most are White Moth and White Dome - easy pruning and long flowering. I have them in several other places in the yard. There are also several newer ones I've noticed in a catalog that look interesting and I'll be checking those out further too.

The rain has stopped here but I doubt it'll dry off enough to paint today. I'm really anxious to get the shed finished and move on to other things. I'm not entirely happy with the door color but will wait and see how it all looks when the top and corner trim is painted. Randy is getting thoroughly sick of painting so I think I'll have to live with it for a while even if I decide I want the door darker! :-)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 11:14AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

I just bought that New Dawn, Woody and planted it bareroot back in April. At the moment I have it planted in front of a 4 ft high picket fence that is cedar color. The only trouble is that the fence area is only two fence sections wide, so about 16 feet. I think the New Dawn will be much larger than that. I have a 6ft high stockade fence that intersects with that fence along a lot line that needs screening, so I'm thinking it might go around the corner when it gets there and have room to roam. I will have to probably give it more structure at that point. But we'll see what happens between now and then. [g] It has a few buds on it but haven't seen one open yet.

How disappointing about your tuteur. Sometimes you only know one person who can do something for you, so if they can't, you're kinda stuck. Sorry to hear it.

I've always liked Queen Elizabeth, so I'll have to remember that you find it a keeper. Yes, I haven't reached that point where the garden is so full that I have to take something out to put something in. In my garden, that doesn't seem like such a difficult thing, because every year there is something that isn't doing well that I'm thinking of replacing. lol

I like the idea of the honeysuckle with the clematis. I wonder about the pruning though. Would you grow Clematis that are Type 3 pruners that get pruned back to the ground every year? If so, would you cut the honeysuckle back every year with it?

More and more, I wait to make my final plans until the space is ready to go and I get a look at it. Things seem to be decided much more definitively and quickly at that point.

I hadn't heard of that 'White Moth' Hydrangea. It's very pretty. I see the 'White Dome' is an aborescens. I have the 'Annabelle' and I really enjoy it. It is very long blooming and starts early. Mine is just starting to bloom now.

Someone on the New England forum was talking up a new variety called 'Vanilla Strawberry' Hydrangea. I saw a photo of it and it looks really interesting. It's a paniculata. I've read a description of hardy to zone 4. Might be another one to check out.

I'm sorry you've had so much rain to deal with trying to paint the shed. It would be easier to just drag the paint out once or twice and get it done. I don't mind painting so much, it's the clean up that I don't look forward to. Well, maybe if it's just the door and you have another color to try, you might as well get it done the way you want it, now while it is all ready to paint so you won't have to prep it again when you want to change it.

We need to stain a few sections of the fence and the vegetable beds and an arbor and the rain has been making it difficult here too. Haven't even gotten the sanding done yet.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 3:30PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

Is your dog (Copper?) a Briard? We lost our Angel last summer--a wonderful, unforgettable dog.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 7:07PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

PM2 - Just outside the arbour gate, the neighbours' wooden privacy fence extends out 6' or so. ND is running along there too - I put up a couple of big hooks, dropped the canes into the hook part and tied them there. You should have no problem getting the canes to go around the corner. Hopefully, there is solid wood that you can screw in some hooks to support and control the canes at the 4' level. I used the ones in the link below. That is also what is used to support the swag chains on the posts - the links in the chains fit neatly over the hooks.

I can live with a delay on the tuteur. Mario and family are dealing with a lot of stress because of his wife's health and the effect it has on the care of their adult mentally disabled son. I don't want to add to their stress so, if at all possible for Mario to build and install it this year, I'd rather wait for him to do it.

I have to think through the pruning issues if I combined group 3 clematis with honeysuckle on the swag. But I already grow group 3 clematises - including one on the arbour - that I don't prune back. They do just fine. The flowers are higher up - but that's not a problem for the top of the arbour. It would be more of an issue on the chains perhaps though so I have to think about what is best. I could do what I do with Paul Farges - which is strip off all the old growth except for thicker central stems, which I sometimes leave long and sometimes cut back, depending on where I want the flowers to be. If I did that, chose shorter varieties, planted one variety per support post for the swag chains and then trained the vines to grow towards the next post and from the lower chain to the top, I think I could produce a wall of flowers. I would probably try having the colors change in a sequence along the swag - e.g. start with a white one, shade to a pale blue one, end at a dark blue/purple one or something like that. A honeysuckle might confuse the issue. Maybe I'll put honeysuckle on one side of the alley and clematis on the other. Lots of possibilities to think about...

White Moth is my favorite hydrangea in the garden! I'm not keen on the mophead type of hydrangeas but like the cut-it-down of arborescens. White Dome gives me that but with a flower style I find more attractive. Since I have hydrangeas combined with group 3 clematises, I wanted hydrangea types that bloom on new wood. The clematises get cut back when/as much as the hydrangeas they are entangled with are pruned in spring.

The Vanilla Strawberry looks interesting in pictures. I'll probably look for that one.

alisande - yes, Copper is a Briard (not many people recognize the breed!) but she's not ours. We do a lot of dog-sitting for friends. Copper's 'parents' are on vacation, so we just have her until the 19th. She's 4 now and has calmed down a lot - she was one rowdy puppy and juvenile!! Misty, our little dog, is 12 now and is not so keen as she used to be at having a big goof bouncing all over her! Copper has very strong herding instincts and used to try to keep Misty from going off the patio when they were outside! There are some cute pictures of Misty and her buddies, including more of Copper, at:

How old was your Briard when she died? I know the breed is prone to bloat, amongst other things so we're careful about feeding and no vigorous play before or after meals and such. She's certainly a 'character'!

Here is a link that might be useful: hooks

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 9:22PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

I meant to post this alternative view of the planned deletions to the front bed This was taken from the front porch this morning. (The driveway fruit and veggie pot area is in need of some tidying up!)

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 9:28PM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

Angel was 16well beyond the age Briards normally live. We figure she must have had some hybrid vigor. My daughter Jill found her as a small puppy, hit on the roadÂstunned, but not injured. We had no idea what she was. She had gold-tipped brown fur, and I thought she was the collie-shepherd of my dreams.

Then she changed completely, getting all that facial hair as well as a long grey coat. We were clueless until I saw a picture of a Briard at the vet's. I sent Angel's picture to a Briard breeder, who confirmed that's what we had. She said since Angel had a white chest it was possible she'd been rejected because the white chest was a flaw in the show ring.

Angel had all the traits of a Briard, and was a strong presence in this house all her life. We miss her!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 10:21PM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Woody, leave it to you to find an easy, practical solution to tying in the canes of the New Dawn. [g] Love those hooks! I looked over the Lowe's website and they don't have anything like that. Lee Valley is a nice catalog. Thanks.

Gosh, your friend Mario really has his hands full. It is amazing how much people can deal with. Hope things improve for that family soon.

I'm glad you have a new project to work on with your swag. I always love the distraction of a new project too. It will be interesting to see how it all works out.

White Moth is nice and airy and I can see why you like it. Especially if it blooms a long time too. I always check to see that hydrangeas bloom on new wood too. I haven't had good luck with getting bloom on the old wood. I love the Cityline series of mopheads but they all bloom on old wood. We all love the mopheads, especially for drying for arrangements. I want to find a Vanilla Strawberry but haven't been to the nurseries enough this year. I hope I'll find one later when they are in bloom.

Looks like your peas are finished. Our string beans just came up.

alisande, sorry to hear you lost your dog. Angel is such a sweet name. We've never had the pleasure of getting to know a Briard, but I'll look forward to it from your description of your dog. :-)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 2:49AM
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alisande(Zone 4b)

I should have added that we named her Angel because I said God must have sent her to see me through menopause. :-)

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 9:04AM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

PM2 - only the first pot of peas with the earliest maturity is finished. If you're referring to the empty tripods of bamboo poles in the pots, those are for the pole beans which we just planted on Monday. The beans need the 8' poles. The peas only need short poles.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 9:12AM
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jnfr(z5b CO)

I admire your willingness to remove plants that aren't working for you. I know firsthand how hard it can be to give up on something and let it go. I hope your new, improved garden is even better and more lovely than before.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 8:49PM
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