November 8, 2008

November... and still warm!

It is November... and I am still working in my yard!

However, I have put the roses 'to bed'.

I have three plants of the rose Mary Rose (David Austin) and am experimenting with several different ways to give them a bit of protection over Montana's winters. Most sources list this variety as hardy to zone 5. Montana is listed as 4 to 3. In my past experiences with this rose, I know it 'may' live over without protection, if surrounded by the dead tops of other plants grown around it, and with some leaves and other protective mulch. However, this new yard isn't as 'grown together' and included many annuals, AND is in an exposed site, so I am trying two different methods of winter cover for this rose.

We use the Styrofoam cones, mainly because we have problems with mice when using mounds of organic mulch such as leaves or hay. So, the two shortest Mary Rose plants received a little mound of dirt over their crowns, and a Styrofoam rose cone. The third Mary Rose plant had a HUGE mound of dirt piled over it's crown and canes, and I am filling the top of the tall wire surround with leaves and hay, along with a sprinkling of mouse poison baits.

The yard doesn't look as nice now! (photo taken on 11/7)

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