HERE AT A GARDEN FOR THE HOUSE, I’m working daily to prepare my “garden rooms” for a number of scheduled tours which begin (gasp!) early in June. Last week, I focused on the Rose Garden (above). This involved trimming the boxwood, turning on the fountains (I ran into a snag with these), and crying over the sorry appearance of the roses themselves.
No doubt about it — my boxwood needed a haircut. It had grown to an height of nearly 36 inches, which meant you could barely see the roses. I’m not handy with a hedge trimmer, so I hired the job out to a professional…
It is my policy to save a number of the box clippings, and turn them into new plants. That’s how I achieved most of my boxwood in the first place.
With the boxwood clipped and trimmings picked up, the next goal was to turn on the fountains. But when I flipped the switch, nothing happened. And this has been a problem every spring that I’ve flipped that switch for the past 8 years.
See the clay pots located beside each fountain? These for years have covered big, boxy, electrical outlets that an electrician insisted on mounting (against my loud protests) right smack against the each fountain’s basin. Not only were the boxes aesthetically unappealing, but they would shut themselves off at the slightest hint of moisture. Moisture beside a splashing fountain…who would have guessed!? Certainly not the electrician.
So last week, I solved the ugly-outlet-problem once and for all. I cut off the boxes and capped their cables. Then I ran the pump cord for each fountain under the brick path. The cord now emerges, out of view, behind the boxwood hedge. To provide electricity to the pumps, I buried an outdoor-grade extension cord in the lawn. No more eyesores! Now the only cringe-element is my memory of what the electrician was paid.
As for the roses, well, they are nothing to sing about this spring. I attribute this to the weird, 90-degree heatwaves we experienced in March and April. Each heatwave was followed by freezing temperatures. The early warmth caused early leaf-break on stems, while the cold caused severe die-back. For the sake of appearance, I planned to buy a few new roses. But even those I’ve seen at high-end garden centers look no better than mine. Meanwhile, I’m keeping my roses well-watered and fed. And I’m hoping for the best.
How’s your own garden shaping up this year? I’d love to hear from you.
Don’t miss anything at A Garden for the House…sign up for Kevin’s weekly newsletter.