Early in January our rose garden began to take shape. Volunteers built the raised beds and tilled the native soil together with compost. Others researched appropriate rose varieties for climate, color and growth pattern. Even more work went into sourcing the roses and the amendments and fertilizer for optimal rose growth.
As the team prepared each hole for planting, we mixed magnesium sulfate, bone meal, gypsum, sulfur and 5-8-5 rose fertilizer into the soil backfill. Then began the waiting game. In all, we planted 32 rose bushes.
Watering was our next challenge. A couple of irrigation line breaks delayed the automatic watering system, leading to several days of hand watering each rose bush. Then came the rain, which delayed the need to start the automatic irrigation at all. After that, we had to observe how the water infiltrated the soil to adjust for what we hope is the right amount of water. And even that will change with the weather. At last count in March, only two of the rose bushes failed and will need to be replaced. Just this week, ‘Stainless Steel’ won for first to bloom!
We look forward to cultivating these rose beds over the next few years. With time, each bush will gain strength and develop a larger root system to weather ongoing challenges. Come take a look at our beautiful garden and stop to smell the roses as they continue to bloom!