The price of a nice garden

(Cue dramatic music)… is PAIN!  No, seriously it is.  I haven’t hurt like this in I don’t know how long.  The insides of my thighs hurt.  My butt hurts, for God’s sake!  How do you garden with your butt?

We’ve been transplanting for two days.  We’ve spent a lot of time talking about how we want our garden to look, and one of the main things we love, and want a lot of in our garden is beautiful roses.  We already have quite a few: Mary (Given to us by Charles’ wife, Mary), Rosalita, Abuelita, Michelle, Kate, Victoria, Diana, Fred, Josephine, Faith, River (was Therese.), Buffy, Willow, Cordy, and two unnamed minis we got from the Jewel.  Have you noticed a trend in this list?  If you said: Joss Whedon, you’d be correct.  So far we have six roses we’ve named (we give all our roses women’s names) for Whedon characters.  And this year we’re giving them a special place in the sun.  The ones that were in our east bed — the one we call the Carlos bed after our Scary Neighbor Who Isn’t Really Scary — are now on the west side of the garage.

We started yesterday.  This photo is Glinda digging a hole for Faith.  She dug it extra deep because Faith is a big girl, and she said she encountered Tibetans on the way down.  That wasn’t the fun part, though.  Getting Faith out of the pot she’d been growing in for two years was the real treat.  It was a ginormous pot, close to three feet in diameter, that I’d brought from my old home, and it still held dirt I put in it in 2000.  Mostly clay.  We live in Chicago, all our dirt is mostly clay which is horrible to work, but incredibly nutritious. So Faith had grown quite a bit in two years, and even pruned back, she was a handful.  She’d grown through her trellis and we couldn’t separate them, and her roots had grown out the bottom of the pot.  It took us half an hour, a shovel, a trowel, and every cuss word known to woman to budge her.

Finally we got her into the hole, and discovered that unless we planted her sideways, she would either hang out over the sidewalk, or get smashed up against the brick.  Into the hole went compost/manure, Epsom salts, eggshells and banana peels, all recommended when you’re planting roses.  Faith is going to be one of the best fed roses on the planet.  Her technical name is “Night Owl” and she really is lovely in bloom.  Here’s a peek at what that’s like.

Next to Faith (though not in this pic yet)  is Fred, named for Winifred Burkle, a lovely, slender yellow rose that goes every which-way.  She was supposed to go on the other side of the grapevine, but the roots from the old wisteria, or as Glinda calls it, “The Enemy” were so thick and dense that it was impossible to plant her there.  this is Fred in sunnier days.  She was surprisingly difficult to shift out of the ground for such a little girl.  Her rose name is “Limoncello.”

Directly to the left of the grape is River.  She’s leggy and lovely with deliciously scented, blush pink flowers and wicked  thorns.  Her rose name is “Therese Bugnet” and she was recommended to us by the rose lady at Gethsemane (Doesn’t anyone else think that’s a less-than-felicitous name for a garden center?) because we love our Zephrine Drouin rose and wanted another that could thrive in shadier conditions than most.

We have a list of Jossverse women we’d like to honor with a place in our rose garden.  Zoe (I think the Eugene de Beauharnais would be perfect for Zoe.), Inara (something exotic), Kaylee, Joyce Sommers, Dawn, Saffron, Anya, and Tara.  If we have room left we’d add Miss Calendar, Drusilla, Echo, and Sierra.

In other garden news, it looks like we have a tenant.  I’ve known for a while now that something has been sheltering in our raised bed because part of it is dug out and there’s a lot of grass and other dried organic material piled up there. But today I walked out and found this:

It’s rabbit fur, and it’s just beautiful, all in shades of gray, tan, brown and silver tips, and it’s so soft.  We saw the bunny run into another yard early in the day and he looked very sleek in his new spring coat.  Then later, while Glinda was lying on the glider moaning about how much she hurt, he came into the garden, hopped up into the raised bed less than three feet from Glinda, and looked at us as if we were the interlopers.  It was incredibly bold and I think he deserves a bold name, but I’m too tired to think of one.  However I’ve decided that we’re going to plant a bunny garden with plants rabbits enjoy.  On one side it’ll say “Jardin des lapins” and on the other, “Look at the bones!” (Said in my best Tim the Enchanter voice.)  I hope they enjoy it.
Glinda told me to stop promising she’s going to write some posts.  So I will.  Stop promising.  It’ll happen.

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