Yesterday I nearly completed the revamp of a bed out front swallowed long ago first by the giant rose 'Mermaid' then perennial morning glory and bidens Spanish Needle. Now it contains the roses "Maggie", Rosa moschata, 'Abraham Darby', 'Cloth of Gold' and a Mystery White Climber rooted by my friend Mary Jo ( each in a buried Water Wise Container Garden to DRASTICALLY cut my water use), plus several perennials. Fresh mulch, a sowing along the border of Dwarf Jewel Mix nasturtiums, a... sprinking of a few hundred seeds of Sweet Alyssum Carpet of Snow, then a deep watering. I may next tuck in a few tomatoes, then in about a week some flower seedlings now in starter trays including Purple Lemon Mint, Malva sylvestris, snapdragons, Dame's Rocket plus some perennial onions. Those folks who've seen my front yard at its jungly worst already would not recognize it...and I'm only about 40% done! woo hoo! Today I finish repainting the tops of the concrete edgings with bright white latex paint that Mary Jo scavenged for me. Pics, maybe a video, in a few weeks.
I use a 3/4 inch paddle bit to make the drainage holes on the SIDES, three inches from the bottom of each bucket, giving each rose that damp soil zone in each Water Wise Container Garden below the holes as over the years, drought, the absence of hurricanes and draconian watering restrictions, plus my commitment to low water use, has decimated what by 2004 was a stunning collection of 170 roses out front. When the rose gets rootbound the roots can exit those holes down deep where the mulched sandy soil will be much damper. I plan on doing this with about 100 roses over the next six months or so. A LOT of digging and a LOT of hauling away to the back yard of the soil I excavate but I want my roses back BUT this time with a far greater degree of water sensibility.