Saturday, September 01, 2007

Another rose bites the dust

Who can tell me why you would need a sledgehammer to get a rose bush out of the ground? (And maybe someone can tell me why we even have a sledgehammer!)

OK, I can’t see any hands so I’ll tell you. You need it to pound the shovel deeper into the ground around the bush so you can pry the roots loose. Boy, those rose roots are stubborn! I managed, however, and the first task in my fall gardening program is completed. One Carefree Beauty is out, sitting in a bucket of sludge waiting to be moved, and two rudbeckia hirta Herbstonnes are in her place. Later I’ll add some tall salvias, and maybe some Russian sage. I like these new rudbeckias. So much better than the brassy Goldsturms. Speaking of overused plants, I’ve decided to ban coneflower forever. In a moment of weakness, I gave this supposed double-headed one room in the “rose” bed (which no longer even begins to qualify for that name). I don’t care much that it didn’t get the double flower, but I do care that it is so dreary looking. I know that it’s unusual to post ugly pictures on garden blogs, but here it is:



Carol said...

How does one use a sledge hammer on a shovel? Must be a two person job. The visual image... can you record in video mode next time so we can see that?

I'm envious of you starting some fall planting. We still have gotten no rain so any digging I do will likely involve at least pick axes!

Layanee said...

I am also laughing at that image. I guess 'Carefree Beauty' was neither! Lying plant tags!!! A sledgehammer is better than the boredom of lifting weights.

reader said...

Don't give up on coneflowers because of a bad experience with a new hybrid! The market is currently flooded with new hybrid coneflowers, some of them great, many of them not. The double ones usually don't have double flowers the first year in the ground. Apparently the plant has to reach a certain maturity before the extra petals appear. I don't really care for the double ones in any case. As for the lackluster color, keep in mind that they were bred for those extra petals, not for stunning color (it would be nice to have both, but double coneflowers are a new introduction, so this is all that's available so far). 'Ruby Star' is a really nice hybrid with bright, pinky-red coloring, and it's been out long enough that the price isn't exorbitant anymore. Or you could try some of the species other than E. purpurea (the standard purple coneflower): Echinacea paradoxa (yellow coneflower) has a cheery bright yellow bloom in late spring, and Echinacea pallida (pale coneflower) has really interesting narrow, pale pink petals that hang down from the cone, somewhat like a hula skirt. Lots of coneflowers to choose from -- don't write them all off because of a bad experience with one!