A Tax rose is but a rose by any other name

Socialise and chat about other areas of your life
679 posts
Oh Sajehar
I just love the way you can write such entertainment about an electric toothbrush and it's heads!!!
My garden is a mess, after all my efforts last year, being a novice and rather proud afterwards. Blasted broken wrist scuppered any chances of even a tidy up ready for this awful winter we've had. Wrist ( or more the hand) still isn't working as it should, but getting there. Not quite ready to make plans for the garden yet, however, found myself looking at garden pages ( googled) last week.
Hope your day goes well
Hi Pet66

Glad to be of service with reference to leccy toothbrush heads!

Dentist visit went well – no fillings – and my gums are on track again which I’d rather let slip after my C & B. I’ve booked a visit with the hygienist which, because she’s only there part-time, is set for Fri 13th April. Just as well I’m not superstitious, eh!

Take care of that wrist, Pet (we often call on another Pet up here); broken ones can take ages to heal. Patience really is a virtue were broken body parts are concerned. Still, look on the bright side… It’s a bloody good reason to google gardening catalogues to your heart’s content so google away; I do!
Dad’s surrounded by gardening catalogues at the moment. His fave being Thompson & Morgan.

More good news is that mum’s blue moon rose bushes turned up, albeit not till nearly 5pm. The god of couriers, Hermes, smiled on me today. I was so chuffed, even if it did start raining a few minutes later. So no planting ceremony tonight.
The bad news is that when I excitedly unpacked the rose bushes I was well disappointed. I’ve never ordered rose bushes before, so didn’t really know what to expect. But I wasn’t expecting the weedy looking thorny twigs that turned up, with a few measly looking roots and no leaves on them, let alone blue roses; not even any buds, as follows:
blue moon mum roses.jpg
Is this what rose bushes are supposed to look like? Any expert gardeners out there reading this please let me know; would much appreciate any advice.
For example, I’ve been collecting old tea leaves as I once read/heard somewhere that they’re good for roses. Is this true? If this isn’t an Old Wives Tale, how do I use them? Sprinkle them around the planted bush, or dig them into the soil? I really haven’t a clue.
A small consolation for my rubbishy looking leafless/roseless bushes is that included in the box was a bag of 40 gladioli bulbs, all diff colours apparently. An unexpected, but most welcome, free gift as I don’t think we had any gladioli in our garden last year. Mind you, if the gladioli are as ‘successful’ as the wild flower seeds I planted last year, we won’t have any gladioli this year either :cry:

But, but, but… IF, and this is a big if, IF those leafless rose bushes are legit, and will actually grow, then maybe, just maybe dad hasn’t killed one of my fave plants in the garden after all… Maybe?
Nobody, not even mum, actually knew/knows what kind of plant this is. It has no flowers, but does have really striking, very sculptural dark green, glossy, fan-like leaves… very eye-catching.

It certainly caught dad’s eye when he went on his secateurs pruning rampage, cutting off all its leaves and reducing this magnificent plant to a mere twig sticking out of a pot.
I was furious with him, convinced he’d killed the poor thing as it oozed this thick clear gell from its cut top. But maybe, just maybe, he’s right. If the roots are ok, then it’ll grow back. Have to wait and see on that one.

My fave plant reduced to a shadow of its former self by the Butcher of Bag-dad (Bag being an acronym for Back Ally garden as our back garden does indeed back onto a back ally.)
butcher of BaGdad.jpg
Me and my well bro, with dad ‘supervising’ as his arthritis was giving him some serious gip and a lack of grip, had a good day today. We got rid of most of the aftermath of their assault on the back garden via 2 tip runs to the garden waste section of said municipal public rubbish dump.
At some point during the Great Clear Up, I asked dad what time he’d booked The Lodge for on my birthday as I needed to know what time I had to finish up my volunteer litter picking.
It’s a tradition that we always celebrated mum’s and my birthday at The Lodge, as it was mum's fave place to eat out. And always on the 10th March too as that fell between out birthdays. However, because mum’s no longer around, we decided to book it for my actual birthday instead as our family meal out could then also double up as a Sunday lunch.

Dad: I forgot to book it. I’ll do it now.

Me: You dozy twonker! It’s Mother’s Day on Sunday. They’re bound to be fully booked by now as they’re dead popular. And I’ll bet you a fiver you can’t get a booking elsewhere either.

He very wisely declined my bet. Sure enough, he came back somewhat sheepishly. I was right. Not only has The Lodge been fully booked since 1st March, but all the other alternatives were fully booked too.

Dad: How was I supposed to know it’ll be Mothering Sunday on your birthday. Me mam’s been dead for the past 45 years.

Well Bro: Don’t worry, I’ll buy us a lovely welsh leg of lamb and do us all a full Monty Sunday lunch and, as the birthday girl, you get to wriggle out of doing the dishes too. What kind of afters do you want?

Me: Sainsbury’s Tiramisu, and it HAS to be the Sainsbury’s one. That’s my fave and I want a whole family-sized one all to myself. So you’d better get two…. I haven’t had one for ages.

Well Bro: You greedy pig! But no chance, Tiramisu has booze in it. Choose something else.

Me: That’s rubbish! Tiramisu’s a coffee desert not a sherry trifle or something.

Well Bro: Never heard of coffee liqueur? Fat lot you know! What about New York style cheese cake; you like that.

Me: Oh, yes! With a side serving of stewed gooseberries, but not tinned ones…frozen are ok though if you can’t get fresh ones.

Well Bro: Would you like a sprinkling of grated gold leaf dust over it too?

Me: I’d prefer silver actually, you sarky git!

Dad: Stop squabbling. There’s no need for X to cook a meal as I decided to book us in for the 10th instead. That’s always been our tradition.

Me: So now you’re a long suffering, noble upholder of tradition instead of just plain old forgetting to book in advance? You and Topal should have a bevvie together and uphold ‘traditions’ to your heart’s content.

I then had to phone SM to tell him of the change of plans, and that he’d have to leave Wales early in the morning instead of tomorrow night. He them informed me that he’d already booked a table for 10 when he found out he’d have to change the dates of the weekend away. He could’ve sworn he’d also told my dad.

Me: You probably did; he’s got a memory like a sieve, and always has done. I’ll tell you what, if this rain keeps up that litter picking might be cancelled again.

SM: Good! We can have a lie in; I’ll make you breakfast in bed as a treat.

Me: Nice try, Sunshine! But you know I never eat breakfast. You could always join me litter pickin’ if it’s not rained off. Or will it be a case of, “Me lumbago’s playin’ up.”

SM: No, I just don’t relish the prospect of clearing up other people’s rubbish so the self same people can drop litter all over again.

Me: I’m not doing it for other people, litter louts or not. Sod them! I’m doing it for the Natterjack toads. It’s not their fault their marsh homes are full of old coke cans and stuff.

SM: Well try not to kiss any toads when I’m not looking. A prince is a rival I can do without.

Me: Don’t worry. I’m more likely to accidentally step on them and squish them in me great big galumphing wellies than kiss ‘em. Besides, I’m for all forms of monarchy being abolished, including toad princes…. Thought it was frogs you’re supposed to snog to land a prince?

SM: God help the Natterjacks. You do realise they’re a protected species don’t you?

Me: They are? All I know is they’re ugly looking critters. I bet they’re dead slimy too. You’d have to be off your head on something really strong to kiss one of those knobbly things… unlike your good self, of course!

SM: Flattery will get you everywhere.

Me: Funny, I’ve just said precisely that recently. Gotta dash now and cancel that double-booking Mr Senior Moments 2018 made by mistake.

I’ll end for now with a piccie of the kind of tenants I’ll be house doctoring for by helping to de-clutter their marshy estate on Sunday… weather permitting!
NatterjackToad.jpg
NatterjackToad.jpg (30.03 KiB) Viewed 342 times
P.S. Looks a bit like SM.... Only kidding :kiss:
Panic ye not Sajehar, rose bushes are delivered 'bare rooted' at this time of year, ready for planting out. You could even give them a little prune when planting as that will give you bushier bushes.
If you look in gardens now all roses look bare and twiggy, they don't get leaves and flowers until later in the year. It will take your a few years to get bigger, but they will

Enjoy your birthday xx MrsA
P.S. I remember my dad putting tea leaves around base of roses, but that was emptying the tea pot most days. I don't think old kept one's will workso well, but give it a try,won't do any harm
MrsAverage wrote:
Fri Mar 09, 2018 10:42 pm
P.S. I remember my dad putting tea leaves around base of roses, but that was emptying the tea pot most days. I don't think old kept one's will workso well, but give it a try,won't do any harm
Pop to your local garden centre and get either a box of "Bone Meal" to dig into the hole you plant the roses in or get a bottle of liquid tomato fertilizer (which my Dad swore by and he had the most beautiful rose garden !).
Hi Mrs Average

Thanks for your advice about the ‘bare rooted’ state of baby rose bushes this time of the year. That put my mind at rest over my ‘rubbishy new rose bushes.’ I then decided to actually read the booklet enclosed with them, from cover to cover, instead of just glimpsing through it – a habit of mine!
Sure enough it too described at length about ‘bare rootedness’ and pruning, so I needn’t have got myself into a needless tizzy after all IF I had bothered to read their notes in the first place.

Regarding tea leaves, I’ve been collecting them since I ordered the Blue Moons. Mine are from tea bags, torn open and spread out on a baking tray to dry out. When dry, I then chuck them into a bucket. I now have about half a bucket full of mould free tea leaves as both dad and well bro (WB) are avid Yorkshire/PG Tips tea bag drinkers respectively.
SM is also an avid tea drinker, but he likes to use loose tea and a teapot (he would), so his contributions are dried out Lapsongchusong (defeated the Spell Checker again), Earl Grey and Orange Peko. Mind you, SM’s tea leaves don’t half make my tea leaf bucket smell nice, unlike my dad’s and bro’s non-smelly plebe ones.
The only one who hasn’t contributed to my tea leaf bucket is me! I’m a coffee addict and ONLY drink tea if coffee’s not available.
I’ve no idea if my mouldless tea leaves will do any good but, as you say, they probably won’t do any harm either. So when I’ve planted my rose bushes, I shall sombrely, and delicately, sprinkle them around the base of mum’s Blue Moons. It will be my version of a Japanese Tea Ceremony, even if all the tea leaves come from China, India or Africa.

Hi Susieq,

My instruction booklet mentions bone meal too. It’s one thing to collect tea leaves, quite another to collect bones and crush them!
I suppose I could put chicken/lamb bones in a sack and smash them to pieces with a mallet and then grind the bones to near dust with my electric coffee grinder. But I’d probably wreck my grinder in the process as it’s nearly 30 years old. It also seems like an awful lot of effort to go to just for some freebie bone meal. So I’ll stick to buying some from our local garden centre instead.

I also decided to check out our compost bin, which I haven’t bothering doing since I started it, either 3 or 4 years ago, despite filling it religiously with grass cuttings, veggie peelings and even egg shells for all this time.
Dad decided to buy the compost bin from the local council for about £8 as you also got one free. Needless to say, we ended up giving the freebie one away as we didn’t have space for it.
Despite not having a bottom to it, so’s the worms can enter the bin and work their magic, I didn’t trust that this would happen. I then went on a worm safari and collected about a 100 live worms to chuck into the compost bin.
It must have worked because when I took the lid of the bin to see how my compost was getting along I was staggered to be confronted with this:
BAG compost.jpg
And that’s just the latest compost. It’s practically jet black, feels very light & fluffy, with a silken yet grainy texture. How cool is that!
It smells wonderful too, which surprised me. All loamy with a deep musky undertow and slightly sweet, but not too sweet, citrusy top notes followed by an oaky, smoky after drift.
That wine swilling, Jill Whatshername (remember her?) has nothing on me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeLB10bwCbo

I reckon my compost has ‘loads of personality’ too. Not too sure how ‘modern’ compost can be, though. Can you imagine what the really mature stuff on the bottom is like :woohoo:

Therefore, I’ve decided to plant my roses with a 50/50 mix of our garden soil and my compost, with bone meal added. When planted, I’m then going to sprinkle my bucket tea leaves around their bases and water them with tomato feed (we’ve got loads of that, dad’s a huge fan of it.) That little lot will either kill them or make them grow like billyo.

I’m going to keep a photo record of the progress, or not, of my roses (what else?.) If any experienced gardeners out there reckon my plan may be a bit of overkill then please let me know. All hints and tips gratefully received.

My last pre-amble post, before the actual pre-amble post of my C & B, coming up this evening regarding my charity shop spree last Monday.

Chow for now XXX
Sajehar you don't have to crush the bones personally :lol: :lol: :lol: (mind you I can visualise you doing just that !). You can buy it quite cheaply already prepared from any garden centre (most supermarkets and DIY places - like B&Q - also sell it in their gardening sections).

The only time I would not recommend using it (it's a very good general fertilizer) is if you have foxes in your garden - when I first moved here and planted out lots of new shrubs with bone meal added to the soil she spent the next few nights religiously digging up the plants to get to the bone meal that she could smell :shock: I had to keep re-planting them - luckily most of them survived !

Your compost sounds good, but I don't think sprinkling the tea leaves over the top soil will do much good ? Probably be better added and mixed into the compost.
Sajehar, your compost is ace! I have a compost bin too, and love the results, but your looks super crumbly!

Susieq, I did not know about foxes and bone meal! Forewarned is forarmed.

I am a chicken poo fan, although my hubby feels that it is far too smelly 🙂
Flo,
I'm a convert to home made compost now too. I thought all those veggie peelings, etc would turn into a liquidish, squishy, squelchy, mushy, nasty smelling mess :sick: How wrong can a girl be.


I’m having a very pootley day today. Well bro (WB) has taken dad and ill bro (IB) to watch some footie match at a mate’s house of WB’s who has some insanely sized TV.

SM won’t be coming back from Wales till tomorrow morning now as his parents, at the last minute, decided they want to go and see some Icelandic folk band this evening (or was it Finnish, maybe Norwegian; something Scandinavian anyway.)

As neither of his parents can drive anymore, SM was shanghaied into promising to take them to see the folk band. I’ve no idea what Scandinavian folk music is actually like, but I can imagine it being very plaintive and dirge-like. Poor SM, if it is!

I had planned to do some gardening as I’ve had all day today to myself. My ‘excuse’ for not doing so is that apart from the sun shining with a deliciously mild, warmish breeze, there were the occasional showers comprised of about 10 weeny rain drops each. Couldn’t possibly garden in such awful weather now, could I?
My real reason is that I just couldn’t be arsed. So I’ve basically been blobbing out, listening to music, posting here and just generally relaxing…. Feels great 8-)

However, my day wasn’t a complete gardening washout. After my last post to CUK, I dawdled to the local shops to buy some bone meal for mum’s rose bushes. Couldn’t find any, but did buy a box of Duff’s Organic Fish Blood & Bone fertilizer from good old Home & Bargain.

At £1.29 for a 1.25kg box I’m not too sure how organic it is? Especially as you mustn’t breathe in the dust and you’re supposed to wear gardening gloves when using it.
Also it mustn’t be used in areas where cattle, sheep, goats and deer have access. Not much chance of that here!
No mention of foxes, but it did say on the back of the box that this product is very attractive to dogs. That ties in with what Susieq said about her bone meal and her fox. But I have a cunning plan to keep famished foxes at bay from sniffing around and scrabbling up mum’s roses. But more on my cunning plan later.

Clutching my box of fish guts, blood and bone, I passed our local independent discount store. I call this store a Tardis Shop: Small on the outside, massive once through the door. It sells just about everything from asses’ milk to xylophones. I exaggerate, but you get the idea.
Anyway, the discount bloke was putting these large plastic terracotta pots in the window and BAM!!!!

I had a vision of one of the blue moons planted in it outside my room’s patio doors with its scent wafting around my nostrils and watching the dew drops on its buds and flowers when I’m sipping my coffee sitting outside in summer at dawn. I bought one on the spur of the moment.

You’ll have to use your imaginations here as this is my blue moon pot in all its virgin glory!
blue moon pot.jpg
Tomorrow morning, before I set off on my natter jack mission, I shall deflower the pot with compost, soil and some blood and ground up bony guts. Hopefully, my pot deflowering will make my rose twig flower, maybe even this summer?

I also noticed in the shop window some window boxes too. We have these lining the wall. Dad screwed them to the wall so mum could carry on gardening despite her serious arthritis. They were already several years old when dad transplanted them to the wall.
They are now a total disgrace and falling to bits. The only thing stopping them spilling their soily guts are old leather belts holding them together. See what I mean :roll:
boxes window manky.jpg
Dad’s been threatening for ages now to take them down and make new wooden ones. I know, and he knows deep down, that this is never going to happen. So, whether he likes it or not, he’s buying 10 new plastic terracotta window boxes. That will set him back all of £13.90… I love spending other people’s money :evil:

Can’t wait for tomorrow and see what pressies I get. But, after posting this post, I need to get my last pre-amble done before the main pre-amble which I'll do on Monday.... That's the plan, anyway.

Chow for now X
Saj, make sure your virgin pot has some holes in the bottom to allow drainage. Roses don't like sitting in water (they don't grow in ponds in the wild, do they)

Homemade compost is a glorious magical potion. There even a class for it at our village show each summer :D

Now,, young lady , not so much procrastination, I'm on tenterhooks for the main event - when you are ready ;)
679 posts