Monday, March 1, 2010

Pillarizing my 'Teasing Georgia' bush

I've been growing this lovely David Austin for a little over two years, on the Fortuniana rootstock. Just as Michael Marriott had mentioned, it was at first a very shy bloomer on that rootstock, but growth has been vigorous despite the year's long drought and my stingyness with water.
I've launched a "spring cleaning" campaign to reinvent my front yard due to my friend Pat coming over last Friday and initiating the effort to cut down my maniacally big 'Mermaid' rose that had kept me out of my own yard for over a year...more on that, plus pics, in another posting.

Once 'Mermaid' was down, I could then access my 'Teasing Georgia' several feet behind the had gotten very lax and sprawly, and I debated cutting it back HARD to try to make it be a shrub, or, pillarize it using a 10 foot length of rebar.....the latter won.

The process was made possible by cutting off the power cords from a dead vacuum cleaner, and an AC convertor box I had dumpster dived as the canes were very thick and usual panty hose strips would have been pointless. As I have for years when pillarizing roses for me and my clients, I stood atop a ladder and used a sledge to pound a ten foot long section of rebar about 3 feet down into the ground, behind the plant and in the direction I want to train towards to keep it from encroaching onto my driveway.

I eyeballed the shrub for the best branches to train up and in, and which to lop off, then wrapped the vacuum power cord around the bases of the branches I wanted to keep, and used my foot on a heavy cane and pushed in as I drew the cord tighter and tighter to create the base of the pillar rose. I knotted the cord several times, then repeated the process above that point. Then, using the thinner cord from from the AC converter box, I drew the upper branches to the rebar, then one last piece of vacuum cord for the very top. Power cords might seem like overkill, but this IS hurricane country....awareness of that shapes many decisions I make about my yard.

Today I gave the pillar rose a few gallons of "tea" made by steeping unusually urine-rich horse stall cleanings in water for a couple days. Then I drenched the root zone with a few gallons of rainwater into which I mixed a soluble bloom booster fertilizer a friend gave me, plus a handful of dolomite and half a handful of Southern Ag minor elements.

Since spring is at hand here, I expect to see a nice leafing out of the rose from its semi-leafless winter dormancy, and, hopefully, due to the geotropic responses of the tied branches, a lot of those lovely warm yellow, tea-scented blooms on laterals. Ogle the link below for wonderful photos of the elegant flowers.
I will try to post the pics of the process in sequence.....I think the software for this blog reverses the order when they are posted. Here goes. Pillaring roses with rebar is a wonderful and affordable option for training unruly roses.


No comments:

Post a Comment