The first of the Wallace Garden roses came today – 41 of them in fact. Plants that we thought were going to be 1 ½ to 2 feet tall are, in fact, 4 – 5 feet tall, in 15-gal or bigger pots and in heavy soil (watered in, to boot). We unloaded them with the tractor. Jeff and I placed them that afternoon in preparation for a team planting day which included about eight of the Superstition Mountain branch of the Pinal County Master Gardeners the next day. By the time the MG’s showed up, staff had a good head start on the project and the volunteers only had an hour’s time in. It wasn’t too chaotic; only a couple of plants ended up in the wrong spot, but nothing disastrous.
The next batch of roses arrived today, appropriately enough, on Valentine’s Day. This batch was only 12 bare root plants that had to be planted immediately. The Master Gardeners again showed up but this time I cancelled the team day for staff. Working again with Jeff and Derek, it only took them 1 ½ hours to finish planting. These plants, although not in pots, were easily 5 – 6 feet tall with some soil still attached to the root balls. Talk about heavy! They were each on a piece of carpet and were either dragged or dollied over to their respective planting holes.
Another batch of 46 roses in containers arrived this morning, every bit the size and weight of the prior shipments. Jeff and Derek again wrestled with the pots to try to place them where we thought appropriate. All roses were marked with the color of the flower, if it was known, in a feeble attempt to have more of a rainbow effect. Master Gardeners again showed up on Thursday and showed their mettle, planting all 46 roses in about two hour’s time. The soil in the area is really nice and easy digging, thankfully.
Almost done! Received another 18 roses today for which the same Master Gardeners showed up to plant. What troopers they have been! It is an instant rose garden that would have taken hours to install if not for the MG’s. There are a last 4 plants arriving next week, we have a volunteer who has offered to take care of the bed, and, hopefully, next spring, the area will be a dazzler!