Saturday, November 12, 2011

Like rabbits

Frankly, the how-to was a bit iffy about getting the Giants out of the ground, and just so you know, that’s not a toy wheelbarrow. Whoever named this walking iris ‘Giant Apostle’s Iris’ must have been just as surprised as I upon seeing the magnitude of its growth. I wonder what this plant would look like in another nine months. On second thought no, I don’t even want to know. Thankfully, the root ball was pretty small compared to the above-ground portion of the plant. So I pushed the shovel in deep, stepped on the handle, and started to wrestle it toward the wheelbarrow. Just as I was figuring it wasn’t going to work, my foot inexplicably pushed down hard. Normally, uncontrolled body movements get me in trouble, but it was exactly what was called for here, because the giant lifted up, slid down the handle and out of the hole.


A 180 with the wheelbarrow easily put it where I could dissect it. But how? I always try to be gentle with plants and their roots, so I went in the house for a sharp knife.


Then shook out the dirt from the roots. I tried making a few cuts and pulling the thing apart but no success.


Then I grabbed the shovel. With great trepidation I set the blade in what seemed like a good place and slammed it with my foot. Then I slammed it again. Gosh, the giant was tough. I believe another slam was required and then some prying which truly sounded like tree limbs breaking. Finally, I had two pieces.


Those two became two more.


The one-gallon pots were ready.


This one had a sizable bunch of roots.


Added more soil and firmly packed it in.


Repeated this operation eight more times.


Very good! You get an A in arithmetic. This giant multiplied itself into nine good-sized plants. You might say it multiplied like rabbits. Kind of jungle-like, aren't they?


But there’s another one, remember? It dwarfed ‘Rita Sammons’, blocked the sun from her and surely must have been sucking up the water that she needed.


Out came the giant easy as pie - hmmm, if it was so easy, why is my back so stiff? -, leaving Rita somewhat visible with her few leaves. Hopefully, now she’ll get nice and leafy. She even has a pretty pink bud that the giant was hiding.


This one came apart in bigger pieces. I don’t know why except that there just didn’t seem to be convenient places to break him into smaller bites. So he became three big 2-1/2 gallon plants and three one-gallon plants, bringing the grand total of baby giants to twelve small and three large plants. The plan is to bring them to the Rose Society meeting next Sunday for the raffles. Well, maybe not all of them. That might be too much of a good thing.

Oh, there was one fan with one root laying on the ground when I was done. I stuck it in the shade bed in the sizable empty space left my Hydrangea ‘Pinky Winky’. I hope the giant isn’t quite so giant in the shade.

Now on to the pretty flowers. And many of the rose bushes are loaded with buds. Oh, goodie.

‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’                                         ‘Bermuda’s Anna Olivier’

‘Bow Bells’                                                               ‘Le Vesuve’

‘Le Vesuve’ again two times

‘Madame Abel Chatenay’                                  ‘White Maman Cochet’

‘White Pet’


  1. Seeing those giants up on the raffle table will make me buy more than my norm set of tickets. I surely would love one of those! Seems like you are moving right along in your rebuilding/removing process. A grand opening might be in order! Take care and get hubby to massage those shoulders each night for you!

  2. I must check the neighbours of my roses, I don't want them to grow like your giant ... Great roses, Shelly !

  3. Giant for sure, but look how many plants you got out of those two. I wouldn't give them all away because I know I would be sorry later.

    Your roses are lovely as usual. I think my favorite this time is Souvenir de la Malmaison.

    Enjoy your day today ~ FlowerLady

  4. I have complete understanding of what you went through to get the "Giant" out of the ground and split. I recently had the same experience. I sometimes wonder why we do such hard work but as soon as I see a new bloom on one of my plants I completely understand...and it was so worth it! Your roses are beautiful.