So… here we are. Let the hard work begin

Posted on July 3, 2012

The Old Girl is starting to feel like home. I’m no longer going to the wrong drawer in the kitchen to find the tongs. I’m turning right instead of left to find the bathroom. I’ve unearthed the bandaids. Life is good.

The Builder and I have begun work on the outside. The Old Girl comes with a substantial bit of garden (see the last of the roses, left) and we realised pretty early (that is, day one) that if we didn’t go in hard we’d need machetes to find our way to the front gate come summer. So I spent two hours last Friday pruning the front garden. And four hours last Saturday pruning the back garden.

So. Many. Roses.

As I attacked with my secateurs, dodging thorns and trying to work out if I was doing it right, at all, I found myself remembering this post about our one rose bush at the Fibro. About how stressed I was about making the cuts, worried I’d kill the whole bush with one wrong prune. And this post about how incredibly thrilled I was when it all started growing back.

Putting in the hard work now, laying the garden bare, will be worth all the effort when the growing season is upon us.

I can’t wait for summer. This garden is going to go off.

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  1. Alison P

    Beautiful! Glad to hear youre settling in. Makes me think of that Elvis Costello song “Its been a good year for the roses.”

  2. lipglossmumma

    Wow your roses are going to look gorgeous in a few short months! I pruned our four yesterday. Every year I get harsher and the results are amazing. Amazing because they grow back beautiful and I have absolutely no idea how to prune roses!

  3. River

    Like a tip for roses? Start with heavy duty gloves, and a thick long sleeved shirt. Get a sharp pruning saw, then get down low and cut off any dead wood at the base, then cut off older branches at the base, leaving strong green growth. By reducing the number of branches this way, you’ll have less to trim in the canopy area. For this part, if you’re not sure, just cut every remaining branch in half, a few mm above an outward facing bud. Or leaf if there is no bud. Remember to pick up and discard all cut offs as the thorns will remain in the ground for years and stab you when weeding. Do not compost the prunings, as the thorns will not break down enough. Feed with rose food and/or blood and bone at the first sign of new spring growth. Water it in well.

  4. Elizabeth

    Congratulations on your new house and garden. I love roses, what a wonderful place it will be come summer when everything blooms. Nature at it’s best is the best.

  5. Kim H

    Your garden sounds gorgeous, Al. You can never EVER have too many roses. Happy gardening at The Old Girl xxx

  6. Rachel

    A rose garden is equal parts bliss and hard labour (not unlike parenting). Enjoy both 🙂

  7. Miss Pink

    I have huge garden envy of those who can actually, you know, grow stuff.
    I try. I really do, but everything just dies, or never sprouts. I have no idea why. If I ignore the seeds I plant and leave Mr Black to it, we have a gorgeous “whatever” growing. If I care to it, even once, it’s dead.

  8. Diminishing Lucy

    And the smell will be sensational!

    I am envious.

  9. Kelly Exeter

    Beautiful photo of your roses Al!

  10. therhythmmethod

    Glad to hear you are settling. No more worrying about the big tree dropping branches on your house. Never mind the thorns, you’re well prepared with those bandaids. Enjoy x

  11. Brenda @ Mira Narnie

    oooh that sounds like a lot of hard work! And completely off the topic…now that you’ve moved…will you change the name of your blog??

    • allison tait

      No, I thought about it and dithered and asked the Fibro community and decided that I am keeping the name as a souvenir of our happy little Fibro home. We are still Fam Fibro, just in slightly different environs.
      And yes, lots of hard work!

  12. Claireyhewitt

    Spring carnival in Melbourne is always roses time. I love it. We moved into a house with a garden full of heritage roses and they are lovely. Thorny but lovely.

  13. ruddygood

    I dream of a rose garden…

    • allison tait

      I do too – currently have a garden full of bare sticks!

  14. Belinda

    I remember when our roses first started blooming throughout our garden , it was magical and all the different colours felt enchanting. X

    • allison tait

      They’re like that roses, aren’t they? Enchanting!

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