Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Another to-do list

On January 21st of this year I posted a long list of things I wanted to get done in the coming spring. Some were very simple and easily accomplished, and some were complex, labor intensive, and rather daunting. With great satisfaction I can report that only three and a half of the 36 items did not get done. Half of the mulch and all of the lofty plans concerning a new arbor and a new bower were not even started, but since the arbor and bower were intended for roses that are no longer here, I consider them crossed off the list. Some plans just were not meant to be.

Now that cooler weather is about to arrive it's time for another list. It seems that this time of year always forces me to face harsh realities involving roses that have not performed as planned. Not having the advantage of gardening omniscience, nature often has handed me the unexpected and the disappointing, and October has become the month of reckoning and rethinking. This usually means fewer roses will be here at year's end. Sometimes they get a sort of reprieve and are only relocated...somewhere.

This year daylilies have become more prominent in my thinking and planning. There are dear roses suffering in their current positions, and though I hate to contemplate the thought perhaps much of the  garden is an inhospitable place for them. So if some are to me moved to more favorable spots, then some must come out. So which ones will they be.

That means the prime task on this list is to make decisions, because a new garden plan must be drawn up so daylilies can be planted where roses can't live anymore. Envisioning a mass of daylilies on either side of the front circle near the curb makes the task of culling easier but not easy on account of previous visions that still dance in my head. Beautiful visions unfulfilled.

  • Divide and/or move existing daylilies out from under things and into more sun.
  • Train climbing roses: Climbing Pinkie, Crepuscule & Duchesse d'Auerstadt
  • Move some roses into more sun and possibly out of pots into the ground: Etoile de Mai, Climbing Clotilde Soupert, Mrs B R Cant, Quietness, Rose de Rescht, Softee, Leonie Lamesch, Souv de St Anne's
  • Divide and move the Giant Apostle's Iris (some place where I can plant and forget. Ha! Maybe not.)
  • Remove the gingers in the back shade garden that are irritating me
  • Plant the two Formosa azaleas I recently bought, probably without enough thought
  • Buy more Duc de Rohan azaleas because the one I have has already started blooming and will continue through March!
  • Dig up the Aaron caladiums in the driveway bed since filler is no longer needed
  • Transform the Nur Mahal/Mme Antoine Rebe bed into a hydrangea/Formosa azalea bed due to lack of sun on the north side of the house. Reality bites.
  • Assess the situation, find empty spots, determine what would be better where, find places for the four new Austins (that is, if they have earned them)
  • Show the weeds the RoundUp
  • Plant the front sidewalk bed
  • Finish feeding the rest of the garden and give Milorganite to the previously fed roses - not just soon...like now!
  • Have the trees in the front trimmed and determine if Mystic Beauty and Capitaine Dyel de Graville need to be moved into more sun
  • Say goodbye to Polonaise, Mary Guthrie, Cotillion (with tears, Carol), Mme Antoine Mari and possibly Nur Mahal
  • Get lots of mulch
  • Get composted horse manure
  • Seriously turn off the computer and sit down with the graph paper
  • Have faith that Mme Joseph Bonnaire will be beautiful (Graham Thomas, Mary Rose, Lilian Austin, Hyde Hall and St Swithun, too)
  • Be grateful and happy for Souv de la Malmaison, the Queen of the garden
  • Get more sleep...like now


  1. Wow, Sherry, that's a long list .
    I make mine with only 2-3 things on it ... In the garden, it's always something waiting to be done ...

  2. I think it wonderful that you got 1/2 of your spring list done! With the summer we had, that was a good start. And like you, I have a very long list of things to do this fall. While most of the country is winding down, we finally get weather that allows us to go to work! Good luck with your list! Sounds like a good one - especially the last two.

  3. That's a wonderful feeling to see that so much has been accomplished! I hope you enjoy your new Austins, and continue to enjoy your Malmaison, which is indeed a Queen of the garden!

    Good luck on accomplishing as much on this fall's list! Have fun!

  4. I also make a massive Fall To-Do list starting in May/June. It ends up as a huge Word document on my desktop. Of course, I end up changing my mind once I go out to do my to-do list, but at least it serves to remind me of what needs to be done. The best part is finishing the work and crossing it off the list! Your post is so timely. I just put part of my list on my blog!

  5. Good for you Sherry, for completing almost everything on your prior list and having an organized fall list. I can only do a fraction of what you do but did eliminate a few not-so-good roses (Enchantress was one) and my husband has gotten a good start on planting the 12 new roses I ordered (eight of which I mostly ordered to help Vintage and the other four are a cancelled order from Chamblee's that they sent anyway (and which I insisted on paying since I'm sure they're hurting too). I continually look forward to seeing your new blogs although I haven't written much lately because of personal and family issues. Best wishes!